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Scientific Programming
Volume 2017, Article ID 1021432, 13 pages
Research Article

A Modified Harmony Search Algorithm for Solving the Dynamic Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows

Department of Information Science and Technology, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Rong Chen; nc.ude.umld@nehcr

Received 19 April 2017; Accepted 2 November 2017; Published 28 November 2017

Academic Editor: Emiliano Tramontana

Copyright © 2017 Shifeng Chen 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.


The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) is a classical combinatorial optimization problem. It is usually modelled in a static fashion; however, in practice, new requests by customers arrive after the initial workday plan is in progress. In this case, routes must be replanned dynamically. This paper investigates the Dynamic Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (DVRPTW) in which customers’ requests either can be known at the beginning of working day or occur dynamically over time. We propose a hybrid heuristic algorithm that combines the harmony search (HS) algorithm and the Variable Neighbourhood Descent (VND) algorithm. It uses the HS to provide global exploration capabilities and uses the VND for its local search capability. In order to prevent premature convergence of the solution, we evaluate the population diversity by using entropy. Computational results on the Lackner benchmark problems show that the proposed algorithm is competitive with the best existing algorithms from the literature.