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A Comparison of Cross Entropy Approaches for the Classical Vehicle Routing Problem

11 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2012 Last revised: 18 Nov 2012

Marta Cabo Nodar

ITAM - Department of Mathematics

Edgar Possani

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Date Written: August 8, 2012

Abstract

The cross entropy method (CEM) is a relatively new stochastic metaheuristic, initially developed to estimate rare event probabilities through simulation, that has been successfully applied to combinatorial optimization problems. However, it has not been widely applied to the vehicle routing problem (VRP). In this paper we review such applications of the CEM method to VRP, and propose new heuristics for the problem based on CEM.

The main idea is to use a cluster-first route-second scheme, which yields better results than previous approaches of CEM for the same problems. To the authors' knowledge this is the first such application of the CEM scheme for clustering in general that could be applied to other problems. We provide computational results to evaluate this approach, and discuss its advantages and drawbacks.

Keywords: Vehicle Routing Problem, Cross Entropy Method, Heuristics

JEL Classification: C44, C61

Suggested Citation

Cabo Nodar, Marta and Possani, Edgar, A Comparison of Cross Entropy Approaches for the Classical Vehicle Routing Problem (August 8, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2126865 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2126865

Marta Cabo Nodar

ITAM - Department of Mathematics ( email )

Rio Hondo No. 1, Tizapan, San Angel
Mexico, DF 01000
Mexico

Edgar Possani (Contact Author)

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) ( email )

Rio Hondo No. 1
Progreso Tizapan
Mexico City, D.F., 01080
Mexico
52 55 56284000 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.matematicas.itam.mx/

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