Metaheuristics for the school bus routing problem
This thesis focusses on a special part of the supply chain that is relevant to the student transportation problem. Considering previous studies, it appears that addressing emergent issues such as increased traffic load, high student population, lack of resources, safety, and risks can play a substantial role in designing an efficient plan for the student transportation system. The significance of this issue is highlighted when we consider the needs and expectations of all stakeholders, including students, the private sector, and municipalities. In this regard, this dissertation considers a number of realistic and innovative characteristics for the school bus routing problem (SBRP). In doing so, two main trajectories have been followed. First, the existing gap and concerns in the literature and real life are considered to extract a new model-based variant of SBRP characteristics. Second, an attempt is made to construct proper metaheuristic algorithms (solution approaches) to efficiently solve the problems identified in the first phase. To put it more clearly, in the first trajectory, we consider different problem features and propose new model and problem for SBRP, and in the second trajectory, we design and construct a metaheuristic approach germane to the defined problem. To do so, there are challenges that must be addressed concerning how to design an appropriate metaheuristic that corresponds to the specific type of problem and makes a trade-off between computing time and solution quality as well as a trade-off between intensification and diversification. Following the above phases entails two advantages. It helps the decision-maker in urban planning to adopt the right course of action and presents alternatives in choosing the appropriate solution approach. In the first and second chapters of this thesis, the existing school bus routing problems along with different kinds of solution approaches are discussed, while in chapters three to five a new model and, correspondingly, new metaheuristics are presented. In other words, the first two chapters we present new solution approaches for the existing current problem, and in the remaining chapters we explore and attempt at a new model as well as solution approaches. Briefly, regarding the solution approach, we have considered the strategic oscillation (searching between feasible and infeasible parts of the solution space), different large neighborhood search algorithms (presenting different kinds of removal and insertion heuristics), neighborhood selection mechanisms, and a number of diversification strategies. We have also developed new mathematical models for SBRP that consider mixed-load effect, transporting morning and afternoon students, and the existing risks of student transportation. Further analyses are also executed to address real life concerns.
Antwerp : University of Antwerp Operations Research Group , 2024
252 p.
Supervisor: Sörensen, Kenneth [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Sajadifar, Mehdi [Supervisor]
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Creation 13.03.2024
Last edited 16.03.2024
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