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Optimization Using Simulation of the Vehicle Routing Problem
A key element of many distribution systems is the routing and scheduling of vehicles servicing a set of customers. A wide variety of exact and approximate algorithms have been proposed for solving the vehicle routing problems (VRP). Exact algorithms can only solve relatively small problems of VRP, which is classified as NP-Hard. Several approximate algorithms have proven successful in finding a feasible solution not necessarily optimum. Although different parts of the problem are stochastic in nature; yet, limited work relevant to the application of discrete event system simulation has addressed the problem. Presented here is optimization using simulation of VRP; where, a simplified problem has been developed in the ExtendSimTM simulation environment; where, ExtendSimTM evolutionary optimizer is used to minimize the total transportation cost of the problem. Results obtained from the model are very satisfactory. Further complexities of the problem are proposed for consideration in the future.
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