Integrating Local Search and Network Flow to Solve the Inventory Routing Problem

Hoong Chuin Lau, National University of Singapore; Qizhang Liu, ASPrecise Pte Ltd; Hirotaka Ono, Kyushu University

The inventory routing problem is one of important and practical problems in logistics. It involves the integration of inventory management and vehicle routing, both of which are known to be NP-hard. In this paper, we combine local search and network flows to solve the inventory management problem, by utilizing the minimum cost flow sub-solutions as a guiding measure for local search. We then integrate with a standard VRPTW solver to present experimental results for the overall inventory routing problem, based on instances extended from the Solomon benchmark problems.

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