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VEHICLE ROUTING FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM USING GENETIC ALGORITHM

D. Kanchana, L. Manivannan and N. B. Premkumar

The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, 2008, vol. III, issue 1, 46-60

Abstract: This article presents vehicle routing for Public Distribution System (PDS) of a district in Tamil Nadu, India. We have proposed a Genetic Algorithm (GA) method to minimise the cost, i.e., the distance travelled by the vehicles from the depot to various ration shops. Let there be ‘m’ distribution points and ‘n’ vehicles. It is required to distribute the essential commodities like sugar, rice, wheat, etc., to these ‘m’ destinations through ‘n’ vehicles. The objective is to minimise the cost involved in routing the vehicles to the various destinations. In this regard, the vehicle routing is to be computerised for efficient logistics. The PDS is a consumer-oriented system and as such it can be run successfully only when the public are involved in it. The present study covers four taluks in Namakkal district—Tiruchengode, Namakkal, Rasipuram and Velur—which consist of 727 Fair Price Shops run by cooperatives. The system requires participation of the authorities and the drivers, who are following the routing schedules and dealing with the problems faced by them. In the light of the suggestions given, the system can be strengthened with a view to ensuring satisfactory, adequate and continuous arrangements for the distribution of essential goods at a reasonable and fair price to the vulnerable and weaker sections in the study area. The study focuses on the importance of cost and time minimisation of vehicle routing for PDS. The staff of the cooperative societies are following intuitive vehicle routing method. They are not following a scientifically devised vehicle routing method.

Date: 2008
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