Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Software for vehicle routing

ILOG Dispatcher is a software component that elaborates vehicle routing and technician dispatching plans, known in the trade as vehicle routing problems (VRP). Dispatching staff is assisted in planning service rounds at the lowest cost possible while accommodating business constraints such as customer orders, visit time windows, driver timetables, work-hour regulations, fleet capacity and other characteristics. Efficient vehicle routing has tangible direct and indirect effects: lower costs as fleet use is streamlined; superior quality in customer service due to precise routing plans and immediate reactivity; higher motivation due to less driving time, rationalised routing and driver workloads, personalized working hours, reduced driver fatigue and frustration; less environmental impact and lower density of utilitarian traffic as fewer vehicles are on the road and for shorter periods of time. Major innovations of ILOG Dispatcher are performance, quality and flexibility: the solving engine is world-class, outperforming analogous products on several standard benchmarks; feasible plans are produced that maximize the number of satisfied goals; in the face of evolving situations dynamic rescheduling is immediate, permitting on-the-fly re-application or modification of user-defined strategies, priorities and ordering. Underlying technology is a unique blend of constraint satisfaction and operations research optimization technology. Elaborated as a C++ class library, ILOG Dispatcher is fully-portable (UNIX, Windows 95 and NT), and can easily be integrated into existing information systems and used with any database, geographic information system and management application. New business requirements are taken into account with minimal reconfiguration. ILOG Dispatcher is already being used or is planned for use in package delivery services, intra-enterprise supply chain management, and maintenance technician dispatching.

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