An approximation algorithm for the pickup and delivery vehicle routing problem on trees

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This paper presents an approximation algorithm for a vehicle routing problem on a tree-shaped network with a single depot where there are two types of demands, pickup demand and delivery demand. Customers are located on nodes of the tree, and each customer has a positive demand of pickup and/or delivery. Demands of customers are served by a fleet of identical vehicles with unit capacity. Each vehicle can serve pickup and delivery demands. It is assumed that the demand of a customer is splittable, i.e., it can be served by more than one vehicle. The problem we are concerned with in this paper asks to find a set of tours of the vehicles with minimum total lengths. In each tour, a vehicle begins at the depot with certain amount of goods for delivery, visits a subset of the customers in order to deliver and pick up goods and returns to the depot. At any time during the tour, a vehicle must always satisfy the capacity constraint, i.e., at any time the sum of goods to be delivered and that of goods that have been picked up is not allowed to exceed the vehicle capacity. We propose a 2-approximation algorithm for the problem. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Katoh, N., & Yano, T. (2006). An approximation algorithm for the pickup and delivery vehicle routing problem on trees. Discrete Applied Mathematics, 154(16), 2335–2349.

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