The EURO Meets NeurIPS 2022 Vehicle Routing Competition

Wouter Kool, Laurens Bliek, Danilo Numeroso, Yingqian Zhang, Tom Catshoek, Kevin Tierney, Thibaut Vidal, Joaquim Gromicho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Solving vehicle routing problems (VRPs) is an essential task for many industrial applications. Although VRPs have been traditionally studied in the operations research (OR) domain, they have lately been the subject of extensive work in the machine learning (ML) community. Both the OR and ML communities have begun to integrate ML into their methods, but in vastly different ways. While the OR community primarily relies on simplistic ML methods, the ML community generally uses deep learning, but fails to outperform OR baselines. To address this gap, the EURO Meets NeurIPS 2022 Vehicle Routing Competition brought together the OR and ML communities as a joint effort of several previous competitions to solve a challenging VRP variant on real-world data provided by ORTEC, a leading provider of vehicle routing software. The challenge focuses on both a “classic” deterministic VRP with time windows (VRPTW) and a dynamic version in which new orders arrive over the course of a day. Over 50 teams submitted solutions over a 13-week submission period, battling for not only the best performance on the competition problems, but also for the longest dominance of the leaderboard. The goals of the competition were achieved, with both state-of-the-art techniques in OR and ML playing a significant role in several of the winning submissions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the NeurIPS 2022 Competitions Track
EditorsMarco Ciccone, Gustavo Stolovitzky, Jacob Albrecht
PublisherPMLR
Pages35-49
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022 - Hybrid, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 28 Nov 20229 Dec 2022
Conference number: 36

Publication series

NameProceedings of Machine Learning Research
Volume220
ISSN (Electronic)2640-3498

Conference

Conference36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
Abbreviated titleNeurIPS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period28/11/229/12/22

Funding

We would like to thank ORTEC for sponsoring the majority of the prize pool, as well as both the EURO VeRoLog and DSO working groups which provided additional support to enable the jury and young talent prizes. The compute infrastructure used during the competition was generously sponsored by the HPC lab of the Eindhoven University of Technology. Finally, we would like to thank both the EURO and NeurIPS conferences for their support while organizing this competition.

FundersFunder number
EURO, Association of European Operational Research Societies
ORTEC
Eindhoven University of Technology

    Keywords

    • combinatorial optimization
    • dynamic dispatch problem
    • Machine learning
    • stochastic optimization
    • vehicle routing problem with time windows

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