Heuristic algorithms for a vehicle routing problem with simultaneous delivery and pickup and time windows in home health care

Abstract : This paper addresses a vehicle scheduling problem encountered in home health care logistics. It concerns the delivery of drugs and medical devices from the home care company's pharmacy to patients' homes, delivery of special drugs from a hospital to patients, pickup of bio samples and unused drugs and medical devices from patients. The problem can be considered as a special vehicle routing problem with simultaneous delivery and pickup and time windows, with four types of demands: delivery from depot to patient, delivery from a hospital to patient, pickup from a patient to depot and pickup from a patient to a medical lab. Each patient is visited by one vehicle and each vehicle visits each node at most once. Patients are associated with time windows and vehicles with capacity. Two mixed-integer programming models are proposed. We then propose a Genetic Algorithm (GA) and a Tabu Search (TS) method. The GA is based on a permutation chromosome, a split procedure and local search. The TS is based on route assignment attributes of patients, an augmented cost function, route re-optimization, and attribute-based aspiration levels. These approaches are tested on test instances derived from existing VRPTW benchmarks.
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Ran Liu, Xiaolan Xie, Vincent Augusto, Carlos Rodriguez. Heuristic algorithms for a vehicle routing problem with simultaneous delivery and pickup and time windows in home health care. European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, 2013, 230 (3), pp.475-486. ⟨10.1016/j.ejor.2013.04.044⟩. ⟨hal-00838253⟩

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