Hello,

I will try to explain my problem by means of a the figurethat I attached in this post.

In the figure you can see the study area. Each small dot represents a biomass collection location. As you can see, the dots are divided in three different colors in order to create 3 subareas which each are visited by a truck to collect the biomass. The blue lines represents the existing road network in the study area. The large blue dot is the central biomass plant location, which is currently not relevant for the explanation of the problem.

For each of the 3 subareas, the biomass should be collected by a truck at each dot. This should be done in a way the distance to be traveled is as low as possible. Therefore, I would like to develop an algorithm which satisfies 2 important conditions:

1) After the first dot is visited, the next dot to be visited is the dot that is the closest to the first dot. The third dot, is the dot that is the clost to the second dot, and so on. In general, one could say that the next dot is the dot closest to the current dot, except dots that are already visited.

2) The sequence of the dots that are visited should afterwards be consultable for further analysis, just like the total distance and the distance that is traveled between each dot.

If possible, the distance over the existing road network should be calculated. However, since not all collection points are connected to a road network, Euclidian distance with also be satisfying.

I hope my explanation is clear !

Many thanks in advance...

Thomas Voets

I will try to explain my problem by means of a the figurethat I attached in this post.

In the figure you can see the study area. Each small dot represents a biomass collection location. As you can see, the dots are divided in three different colors in order to create 3 subareas which each are visited by a truck to collect the biomass. The blue lines represents the existing road network in the study area. The large blue dot is the central biomass plant location, which is currently not relevant for the explanation of the problem.

For each of the 3 subareas, the biomass should be collected by a truck at each dot. This should be done in a way the distance to be traveled is as low as possible. Therefore, I would like to develop an algorithm which satisfies 2 important conditions:

1) After the first dot is visited, the next dot to be visited is the dot that is the closest to the first dot. The third dot, is the dot that is the clost to the second dot, and so on. In general, one could say that the next dot is the dot closest to the current dot, except dots that are already visited.

2) The sequence of the dots that are visited should afterwards be consultable for further analysis, just like the total distance and the distance that is traveled between each dot.

If possible, the distance over the existing road network should be calculated. However, since not all collection points are connected to a road network, Euclidian distance with also be satisfying.

I hope my explanation is clear !

Many thanks in advance...

Thomas Voets

I�??m not sure why you need this rule:

The lowest cost route does not necessarily visit orders in the sequence defined in your rule, unless you have some business requirement to do so.

If your objective is just to minimize the total travel distance, your problem should be solved with VRP solver. Here is the way to setup your problem:

- Introduce 3 routes (also called trucks) each corresponding to one subarea, i.e. R1, R2 and R3. Assuming that trucks will return to the biomass plant location when finishing visit all biomass collection locations, you can introduce plant location as a Depot and use it as route end depot (setting it in Route �??EndDepotName�?�).

- Load all biomass collection locations as Orders. For each order, set its correpsonding �??RouteName�?�, i.e. all biomass collection locations to be visited by R1 will have RouteName set to R1 (you may open order attribute table, select a bunch of orders, right click RouteName field to open �??Field Calculator�?� and do a batch set ). Set all order assignment rule to �??Preserve Route.�?�

The solver will return the low cost solution visiting all collection locations. You can find the route cost summary and other time and cost information in route properties.Please go through the help and tutorial doc for more details on VRP solver:

http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/Exercise_7_Servicing_a_set_of_orders_with_a_fleet_of_vehicles/004700000062000000/

http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/Vehicle_routing_problem_analysis/00470000004v000000/

I hope this helps.

Thanks.

Anna