Memetic search for vehicle routing with simultaneous pickup-delivery and time windows

Shengcai LIU, Ke TANG, Xin YAO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The Vehicle Routing Problem with Simultaneous Pickup-Delivery and Time Windows (VRPSPDTW) has attracted much research interest in the last decade, due to its wide application in modern logistics. Since VRPSPDTW is NP-hard and exact methods are only applicable to small-scale instances, heuristics and meta-heuristics are commonly adopted. In this paper we propose a novel Memetic Algorithm with efficienT local search and Extended neighborhood, dubbed MATE, to solve this problem. Compared to existing algorithms, the advantages of MATE lie in two aspects. First, it is capable of more effectively exploring the search space, due to its novel initialization procedure, crossover and large-step-size operators. Second, it is also more efficient in local exploitation, due to its sophisticated constant-time-complexity move evaluation mechanism. Experimental results on public benchmarks show that MATE outperforms all the state-of-the-art algorithms, and notably, finds new best-known solutions on 12 instances (65 instances in total). Moreover, a comprehensive ablation study is also conducted to show the effectiveness of the novel components integrated in MATE. Finally, a new benchmark of large-scale instances, derived from a real-world application of the JD logistics, is introduced, which can serve as a new and more challenging test set for future research. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100927
JournalSwarm and Evolutionary Computation
Early online date15 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work is supported in part by the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory (Grant No. 2020B121201001), the Program for Guangdong Introducing Innovative and Entrepreneurial Teams (Grant No. 2017ZT07X386), the Shenzhen Peacock Plan (Grant No. KQTD2016112514355531), the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 19511120600), the National Leading Youth Talent Support Program of China, and the MOE University Scientific-Technological Innovation Plan Program.


  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Industrial application
  • Memetic algorithm
  • Vehicle routing problem


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