The Drone Delivery Problem
30 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 10, 2019
This paper introduces the Drone Delivery Problem (DDP) in which drones are used to make deliveries to a number of customers and the drones themselves are transported by traditional vehicles that act as launch points. The DDP consists of (i) selecting the launch points from a potential set of sites from where drones will take off to serve a number of customers, (ii) assignments of customers to the launch points, and (iii) the speed at which drones are to travel between the customers and the launch points. The paper presents a nonlinear model for the DDP, which minimizes the total operational cost including an explicit calculation of the energy consumption of the drone as a function of the drone speed, that is limited by both a service time bound and the range of the drone. The model is reformulated using second order cone programming, and subsequently strengthened by the use of perspective cuts, that allows the use off-the-shelf optimization software to solve the problem. Computational results are presented on a realistic data set that quantifies the effect of various parameters on location, assignment and speed decisions.
Keywords: drone delivery, energy consumption, freight transportation, second order cone programming, perspective cuts
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation