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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2015, Article ID 638104, 10 pages
Research Article

A Column Generation Based Hyper-Heuristic to the Bus Driver Scheduling Problem

1School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Beijing 100083, China
2State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
3School of Traffic and Transportation, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
4Laboratoire Systémes et Transports, Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard, 90000 Belfort, France

Received 2 January 2015; Accepted 9 February 2015

Academic Editor: Chin-Chia Wu

Copyright © 2015 Hong Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Public transit providers are facing continuous pressure to improve service quality and reduce operating costs. Bus driver scheduling is among the most studied problems in this area. Based on this, flexible and powerful optimization algorithms have thus been developed and used for many years to help them with this challenge. Particularly, real-life large and complex problem instances often need new approaches to overcome the computational difficulties in solving them. Thus, we propose a column generation based hyper-heuristic for finding near-optimal solutions. Our approach takes advantages of the benefits offered by heuristic method since the column selection mode is driven by a hyper-heuristic using various strategies for the column generation subproblem. The performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with the approaches in the literature. Computational results on real-life instances are presented and discussed.