A one-to-many inventory routing problem (IRP) network comprising of a warehouse and geographically dispersed customers is studied in this paper. A fleet of a homogeneous vehicle located at the warehouse transports multi products from the warehouse to meet customer's demand on time in a finite planning horizon. We allow the customers to be visited more than once in a given period (split delivery) and the demand for each product is deterministic and time varying. Backordering is not allowed. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer programming problem and is solved using CPLEX 12.4 to get the lower and upper bound (the best integer solution) for each problem considered. We propose a modified ant colony optimization (ACO) which takes into account not only the distance but also the inventory that is vital in the IRP. We also carried the sensitivity analysis on important parameters that influence decision policy in ACO in order to choose the appropriate parameter settings. The computational results show that ACO performs better on large instances compared to the upper bound and performs equally well for small and medium instances. The modified ACO requires relatively short computational time.
- Ant colony optimization