Solving Vehicle Routing Problem Using OptaPlanner

Posted By : Anirudh Bhardwaj | November 12, 2020

OptaPlanner Software Development Services

Efficient vehicle routing and tracking is an important part of logistics services that requires a proactive approach and automation techniques. Despite the best efforts, several logistics companies face vehicle routing problems in their day-to-day operations. These problems may arise due to errors in route optimization for fleet carriers. Vehicle routing problems may prove detrimental for logistics companies as they directly impact their customer services. Surprisingly, most businesses don’t pay special attention to curb this problem unless it’s causing any severe damage. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to take appropriate measures and use dedicated software tools to automate logistics operations, thereby reducing the chances of manual errors. 


OptaPlanner is an AI-based constraint solver and embeddable planning software that enables organizations to streamline their logistics operations. OptaPlanner software development services let them efficiently run their fleet operations by identifying the shortest routes to various destinations. OptaPlanner also finds its use in route optimization and is effective at solving vehicle routing problems including TSPs and many similar use cases. 


In the following section, we’ll discuss the vehicle routing problem in detail. Subsequently, we’ll explore the features of OptaPlanner and learn how businesses can eliminate these problems through OptaPlanner software development services. 


Also read Hybrid Mobile App Development For Logistics Management


Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP)

In technical terms, VPR is defined as the difficulty in determining the optimal routes of delivery for a fleet of vehicles while satisfying the given constraints. It is a combinatorial optimization problem that requires mathematical programming algorithms for effective resolution. Therefore, a majority of constraint solvers use heuristics and metaheuristic algorithms to counter and solve vehicle routing problems. 


There are three main types of problems with vehicle routing:


Shortest Path Problem (SPP): it is the problem that arises with a single origin-destination routing. These problems can be solved using Dijkstra’s algorithm if the transportation costs are non-negative. 


Network Flow Problem (NFP): it generally occurs during multiple origin-destination routing. The network simplex algorithm is effective in dealing with such problems. 


Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP): it involves routing with single-vehicle origin and roundtrip and is solvable via heuristic and metaheuristic algorithms. 


VRP Resolution Via OptaPlanner

At its core, OptaPlanner is an AI-based constraint solver that streamlines and automates business process planning by solving complex issues in real-time. It runs on Drools (a business rule management system) and supports all the aforementioned algorithms to efficiently solve vehicle routing problems. 


OptaPlanner software development services give you increased flexibility to effectively handle all types of vehicle routing issues. Besides, it enables Java programmers to optimize vehicle routing, which in turn, significantly reduces driving time and fuel consumption. In addition to heuristic and metaheuristic algorithms, OptaPlanner uses advanced features like incremental score calculation, nearby selection, and shadow variables. 


It combines complex AI algorithms (including Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing) with incremental score calculation and other constraint solving techniques. As a result, you get a highly optimized constraint solver to categorically solve vehicle routing problems. 


You may also be interested in reading Top Supply Chain Management Trends For 2021


Closing Thoughts

From a developer’s perspective, OptaPlanner is extremely useful and easy to use. It is entirely written in Java and runs in any JVM environment. This is yet another reason that developers can ace it in no time. Above everything else, OptaPlanner is open-source with an Apache license and is also available in the Maven repository. As a result, OptaPlanner software development services enable organizations to significantly reduce their project costs while ensuring optimum product quality.


Avail Our OptaPlanner Software Development Services To Streamline Your Business Workflows

We are a 360-degree ERP development company that provides end-to-end OptaPlanner-integrated business planning solutions to enterprises. Our development team uses the OptaPlanner software suite to solve complex business problems and streamline workflows using advanced optimization algorithms. Our OptaPlanner software development services enable organizations to efficiently manage their business processes with effective task scheduling and resource planning. We have successfully built several full-scale planning solutions using OptaPlanner and other open-source business process management tools. For more information, drop us a line at [email protected].

About Author

Anirudh Bhardwaj

He is a technology enthusiast with 3+ years of experience in producing insightful content on projects related to next-gen technologies like AI, Blockchain, ERP, OTT, Cloud, Big Data, AR/VR, IoT, and more.

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