Dr Çagri Koç, Doctoral Award winner

Doctoral Award Presentation

This year’s Beale Medal event was held on 22 February at the Royal Society, London and was attended by some 100 delegates.

It has become a tradition for the Beale Lecture to be preceded by a presentation from a recent Doctoral Award winner. This year was no exception. Dr Çagri Koç, Doctoral Award winner in 2015 gave the opening talk entitled Heterogeneous Location and Pollution-Routing Problems, but before he did so, President John Hopes presented him with his award.

Dr Koç is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Social Sciences University of Ankara. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at HEC Montreal and CIRRELT. He received his PhD degree in Management Science in 2015 from the University of Southampton, and his MSc (2012) and BSc (2010) degrees in Industrial Engineering from Selçuk University.

Opening talk: Heterogeneous location and pollution-routing problems

Dr Çağri Koç

New classes of heterogeneous vehicle routing problems

Dr Koç’s talk presented new classes of heterogeneous vehicle routing problems with and without location and pollution considerations. It illustrated the development of powerful evolutionary and adaptive large neighbourhood search based metaheuristics capable of solving a wide variety of such problems.

It began by classifying and reviewing relevant literature on heterogeneous vehicle routing problems and presenting a comparative analysis of the available metaheuristic algorithms for these problems. Dr Koç then described a new technique he had developed, which involved the use of a hybrid evolutionary algorithm for heterogeneous fleet vehicle routing problems with time windows.

The algorithm developed is capable of successfully combining several metaheuristics whilst introducing a number of new advanced efficiency procedures. Results from his work indicated that the new algorithm was highly competitive with state-of-the art methods.

Dr Koç presented a series of slides which illustrated how his new algorithm could accommodate different fleet sizes and mix the location-routing problem with time windows. This part of his presentation illustrated how a hybrid evolutionary algorithm approach could be successfully applied to a large pool of realistic benchmark instances.

Dr Koç also spoke about the benefits of using a heterogeneous fleet over a homogeneous one and of taking into consideration the combined impact of depot location, fleet composition and routing decisions on vehicle emissions in urban freight distribution which were characterised by several speed limits. His algorithmic solution can be tailored to a wide number of routing problems simply by adjusting parameters to suit each individual problem.

He had decided to use an adaptive large neighbourhood search algorithm as he found it could advantageously be applied to a large pool of new benchmark instances. His presentation illustrated the benefits of applying powerful evolutionary and adaptive large neighbourhood search-based metaheuristics. Two of its recommendations were to site depots in suburban areas rather than in the city centre and to use heterogeneous fleets over homogeneous ones.