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Locating Depots for Capacitated Vehicle Routing

By Inge Li Goertz and Viswanath Nagarajan


We study a location-routing problem in the context of capacitated vehicle routing. The input is a set of demand locations in a metric space and a fleet of k vehicles each of capacity Q. The objective is to locate k depots, one for each vehicle, and compute routes for the vehicles so that all demands are satisfied and the total cost is minimized. Our main result is a constant-factor approximation algorithm for this problem. To achieve this result, we reduce to the k-median-forest problem, which generalizes both k-median and minimum spanning tree, and which might be of independent interest. We give a (3+c)-approximation algorithm for k-median-forest, which leads to a (12+c)-approximation algorithm for the above location-routing problem, for any constant c>0. The algorithm for k-median-forest is just t-swap local search, and we prove that it has locality gap 3+2/t; this generalizes the corresponding result known for k-median. Finally we consider the "non-uniform" k-median-forest problem which has different cost functions for the MST and k-median parts. We show that the locality gap for this problem is unbounded even under multi-swaps, which contrasts with the uniform case. Nevertheless, we obtain a constant-factor approximation algorithm, using an LP based approach.Comment: 12 pages, 1 figur

Topics: Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms
Year: 2011
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