Improved modeling and solution methods for the multi-resource routing problem

Peter Francis, Guangming Zhang, Karen Smilowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This paper presents modeling and solution method improvements for the Multi-Resource Routing Problem (MRRP) with flexible tasks. The MRRP with flexible tasks is used to model routing and scheduling problems for intermodal drayage operations in which two resources (tractors and trailers) perform tasks to transport loaded and empty equipment. Tasks may be either well defined, in which both the origin and the destination of a movement are given, or flexible, in which the origin or the destination is chosen by the model. This paper proposes methods to effectively manage the number of options considered for flexible tasks (either feasible origins for a known destination or feasible destinations for a known origin). This modeling change generates sufficient options to allow for low-cost solutions while maintaining reasonable computational effort. We also propose a new solution method that uses randomized route generation. Computational results from test cases show that these changes improve the quality of solutions by at least 5% in the test cases as compared to methods from previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1059
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


  • Heuristics
  • Large-scale optimization
  • Logistics
  • Routing
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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