EURO Meets NeurIPS 2022 Vehicle Routing Competition
Competition starts 1 July
Participants in this year's edition of the competition have to find optimal routes for vehicle routing problems. Vehicles are dispatched to serve a list of customers, and using techniques from machine learning and from operations research, the competitions aims to make a fair comparison between both fields and advance the state-of-the-art in vehicle routing.
Best of three competitions
The competition is a joint effort of three previous competitions on the topic: the 12th DIMACS Implementation Challenge, the series of VeRoLog competitions, and the AI4TSP competition. The competition is hosted at the Thirty-sixth Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2022). Sponsors are the Association of European Operational Research Societies (EURO), the Eindhoven AI Systems Institute (EAISI), and ORTEC.
What makes this competition unique is the fact that it aims for and allows solutions from operations research as well as approaches based on machine learning, for which there is a growing interest but a fair comparison between the two has often been lacking. Participants are asked to solve two problems: a vehicle routing problem with time windows, and a dynamic variant where orders are dispatched during the day and not all information is known in advance. Another unique aspect is that all solutions are required to solve both types of problems at the same time, and we provide easy ways to accomplish this for participants who are interested only in one of the two problems. While the static problem is traditionally solved with operations research techniques, interest for approaches based on machine learning has been growing for this type of problem, and we are curious to see if these new approaches can outperform the traditional ones given enough time and motivation. The dynamic problem, on the other hand, will require innovative solutions no matter what, and we expect novel machine learning techniques to perform well on this type of problem. Both types of problems make use of real-life data provided by ORTEC
The competition will begin on July 1st and runs until the NeurIPS conference in November. This is where the winners will be announced.