The research is about solving a specific kind of vehicle routing problem (VRP) with a metaheuristic algorithm. More specifically, the research is on an open route capacitated periodic VRP with time windows using an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm.
The problem is to plan the refilling system of a series of petrol stations using refilling trucks. There are different priorities for each petrol station then we have different time window for each.
The vehicles can be manned or unmanned. The only matter is to be able to adapt and satisfy the needs. There is an assumption that the trucks capacity is limited, so each vehicle can visit only some stations which it can satisfies their needs. Another assumption is that each vehicle has a limited travel distance that depends on the actual petrol in its consumption tank. These assumptions make the problem we are working in more accurate and realistic to find a solution of this kind of VRP.
The research work is to create a mathematical model representing the problem then solve this mathematical model using Xpress MP. After that the results from Xpress MP can be compared with the results from the ACO algorithm.
ACO technique for solving computational problems which can be reduced to finding good paths through graphs
Artificial Ants stand for multi-agent methods inspired by the behavior of real ants. The pheromone-based communication of biological ants is often the predominant paradigm used.