Sunday, October 7, 2018

[DMANET] VeRoLog Solver Challenge 2019

== CALL FOR PARTICIPATION - VeRoLog Solver Challenge 2019 ==

The VeRoLog Solver Challenge (VSC) is an initiative of VeRoLog, the Working Group on Vehicle Routing and Logistics within EURO, the Association of the European Operational Research Societies. The VSC is aimed at promoting the development of effective algorithms for real-world applications in Vehicle Routing. The problem subject of the challenge is selected by the VeRoLog board in collaboration with a company. The challenge is open to everybody, regardless of affiliation. Registration is free.

The VSC 2019, organized by ORTEC (, revolves around a challenging vehicle routing problem which has received little attention in the literature so far. This problem combines distribution and subsequent installation of equipment, such as vending machines. The organizers provide a comprehensive description of the problem, the formal challenge rules, instances, and some resources such as a solution validator on the challenge website

The challenge consists of two parts. Participants may compete –and win money prizes– in one or in both parts of the challenge.

This part runs from 8 October 2018 until 5 May 2019. The main goal in this challenge is to find all-time-best solutions to the 25 'early instances'. Submitted solutions are ranked weekly on the challenge website. Solutions submitted in this part of the challenge may be obtained by any means available.

This part, which starts on 1 January 2019, is a challenge in the more traditional form: resources are restricted, especially time. Participants have to run their algorithm on a set of 'late instances' and submit their solutions and implementations no later than 1 March 2019. Based on the submitted results, the organizers select the finalists. The algorithms of the finalists are then run on a set of hidden instances. Per instance the participants are ranked and the participant with the lowest mean rank is the winner of the challenge.

FICO, GUROBI and IBM supply licenses of their solvers Xpress, GUROBI and CPLEX, respectively, which ORTEC may use during the second part. This means that the algorithms submitted may call on these solvers.

== AWARDS ==

The awards, supplied by ORTEC, are as follows.

In the all-time-best challenge: €0,50 per instance per week for the instance's frontrunner at the end of the week; €40 per instance for the instance's frontrunner by the end of May 5, 2019.

In the restricted resources challenge: the award for the winner is €2019, the runner-up is awarded €500, and the award for third place is €250.

The awards will be presented during the upcoming VeRoLog conference in Seville, June 3-5, 2019 ( Selected participants will have the possibility to present during this conference and to publish in a special issue of the journal Networks.


Start all-time-best challenge: Oct 8, 2018
Start restricted resources challenge: Jan 1, 2019
Submission deadline restricted resources challenge: Mar 1, 2019
Finalists announced: May 1, 2019
End all-time-best challenge: May 5, 2019
Winners announced: June 4, 2019 (VeRoLog conference, Seville)
* Contributions to be spread via DMANET are submitted to
* Replies to a message carried on DMANET should NOT be
* addressed to DMANET but to the original sender. The
* original sender, however, is invited to prepare an
* update of the replies received and to communicate it
* via DMANET.