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I have an alternative problem which I reckon can be solved using OR-tools. For this problem, apart from the distance between nodes within a solution, I also need the distance between the n-th node of each solution.

For instance, my sample below yields:

  • v1: 2 -> 1 -> 2
  • v2: 4 -> 12 -> 11 -> 15 -> 3 -> 4
  • v3: 6 -> 16 -> 10 -> 9 -> 5 -> 6
  • v4: 8 -> 0 -> 7 -> 13 -> 14 -> 8

Then, i would need the distance between all v[n] for each n, and 0 if nothing is planned on that index for one of the vehicles. For the first n, this would be

  • distance from 2-4 i.e. distance from v1[n] to v2[n]
  • distance from 2-6
  • distance from 2-8
  • distance from 4-6
  • distance from 4-8
  • distance from 6-8

These would be added to the total distance travelled within a solution. The overall objective is to minimze the total distance.

Is something like that feasible and possible? Below is the standard OR-tools sample adjusted for start & end points per vehicle

from ortools.constraint_solver import routing_enums_pb2
from ortools.constraint_solver import pywrapcp


def create_data_model():
    """Stores the data for the problem."""
    data = {}
    data["distance_matrix"] = [
        # fmt: off
      [0, 548, 776, 696, 582, 274, 502, 194, 308, 194, 536, 502, 388, 354, 468, 776, 662],
      [548, 0, 684, 308, 194, 502, 730, 354, 696, 742, 1084, 594, 480, 674, 1016, 868, 1210],
      [776, 684, 0, 992, 878, 502, 274, 810, 468, 742, 400, 1278, 1164, 1130, 788, 1552, 754],
      [696, 308, 992, 0, 114, 650, 878, 502, 844, 890, 1232, 514, 628, 822, 1164, 560, 1358],
      [582, 194, 878, 114, 0, 536, 764, 388, 730, 776, 1118, 400, 514, 708, 1050, 674, 1244],
      [274, 502, 502, 650, 536, 0, 228, 308, 194, 240, 582, 776, 662, 628, 514, 1050, 708],
      [502, 730, 274, 878, 764, 228, 0, 536, 194, 468, 354, 1004, 890, 856, 514, 1278, 480],
      [194, 354, 810, 502, 388, 308, 536, 0, 342, 388, 730, 468, 354, 320, 662, 742, 856],
      [308, 696, 468, 844, 730, 194, 194, 342, 0, 274, 388, 810, 696, 662, 320, 1084, 514],
      [194, 742, 742, 890, 776, 240, 468, 388, 274, 0, 342, 536, 422, 388, 274, 810, 468],
      [536, 1084, 400, 1232, 1118, 582, 354, 730, 388, 342, 0, 878, 764, 730, 388, 1152, 354],
      [502, 594, 1278, 514, 400, 776, 1004, 468, 810, 536, 878, 0, 114, 308, 650, 274, 844],
      [388, 480, 1164, 628, 514, 662, 890, 354, 696, 422, 764, 114, 0, 194, 536, 388, 730],
      [354, 674, 1130, 822, 708, 628, 856, 320, 662, 388, 730, 308, 194, 0, 342, 422, 536],
      [468, 1016, 788, 1164, 1050, 514, 514, 662, 320, 274, 388, 650, 536, 342, 0, 764, 194],
      [776, 868, 1552, 560, 674, 1050, 1278, 742, 1084, 810, 1152, 274, 388, 422, 764, 0, 798],
      [662, 1210, 754, 1358, 1244, 708, 480, 856, 514, 468, 354, 844, 730, 536, 194, 798, 0],
        # fmt: on
    ]
    data["num_vehicles"] = 4
    
    # custom start and end index, always return back
    data["starts"] = [2,4,6,8]
    data["ends"] = [2,4,6,8]
    return data


def print_solution(data, manager, routing, solution):
    """Prints solution on console."""
    print(f"Objective: {solution.ObjectiveValue()}")
    max_route_distance = 0
    for vehicle_id in range(data["num_vehicles"]):
        index = routing.Start(vehicle_id)
        plan_output = f"Route for vehicle {vehicle_id}:\n"
        route_distance = 0
        while not routing.IsEnd(index):
            plan_output += f" {manager.IndexToNode(index)} -> "
            previous_index = index
            index = solution.Value(routing.NextVar(index))
            route_distance += routing.GetArcCostForVehicle(
                previous_index, index, vehicle_id
            )
        plan_output += f"{manager.IndexToNode(index)}\n"
        plan_output += f"Distance of the route: {route_distance}m\n"
        print(plan_output)
        max_route_distance = max(route_distance, max_route_distance)
    print(f"Maximum of the route distances: {max_route_distance}m")



def main():
    """Entry point of the program."""
    # Instantiate the data problem.
    data = create_data_model()

    # Create the routing index manager.
    manager = pywrapcp.RoutingIndexManager(
        len(data["distance_matrix"]), data["num_vehicles"], data["starts"], data['ends']
    )

    # Create Routing Model.
    routing = pywrapcp.RoutingModel(manager)

    # Create and register a transit callback.
    def distance_callback(from_index, to_index):
        """Returns the distance between the two nodes."""
        # Convert from routing variable Index to distance matrix NodeIndex.
        from_node = manager.IndexToNode(from_index)
        to_node = manager.IndexToNode(to_index)
        return data["distance_matrix"][from_node][to_node]

    transit_callback_index = routing.RegisterTransitCallback(distance_callback)

    # Define cost of each arc.
    routing.SetArcCostEvaluatorOfAllVehicles(transit_callback_index)

    # Add Distance constraint.
    dimension_name = "Distance"
    routing.AddDimension(
        transit_callback_index,
        0,  # no slack
        3000,  # vehicle maximum travel distance
        True,  # start cumul to zero
        dimension_name,
    )
    distance_dimension = routing.GetDimensionOrDie(dimension_name)
    distance_dimension.SetGlobalSpanCostCoefficient(100)

    # Setting first solution heuristic.
    search_parameters = pywrapcp.DefaultRoutingSearchParameters()
    search_parameters.first_solution_strategy = (
        routing_enums_pb2.FirstSolutionStrategy.PATH_CHEAPEST_ARC
    )

    # Solve the problem.
    solution = routing.SolveWithParameters(search_parameters)

    # Print solution on console.
    if solution:
        print_solution(data, manager, routing, solution)
    else:
        print("No solution found !")


if __name__ == "__

main__":
    main()
$\endgroup$
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  • $\begingroup$ I'm sceptical. While the routing-solver basically allows everything to model in regards to feasibility through it's cp-solver, there are only a few objective-related patterns one can use (adding funcs is virtually impossible). Furthermore, the solver core is based on the arc-flow / next-var formulation (as i would call it) which basically has no information about absolute positioning within some tour. Deducing the index needs accumulation of fake counting-dimensions. And even then... consumption and further processing is hard. Therefore i don't think there is a general-purpose "nice" solution. $\endgroup$
    – sascha
    Commented Jan 12 at 23:19

0

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