Modelling and solving the joint order batching and picker routing problem in inventories (with C.A. Valle and A.S. da Cunha) Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol.9849, 2016, pp81-97.

In this work we investigate the problem of order batching and picker routing in inventories. These are labour and capital intensive problems, often responsible for a substantial share of warehouse operating costs. In particular, we consider the case of online grocery shopping in which orders may be composed of dozens of items. To the best of our knowledge, no exact algorithms have been proposed for this problem. We therefore introduce three integer programming formulations for the joint problem of batching and routing, one of them involving exponentially many constraints to enforce connectivity requirements and two compact formulations based on network flows. For the former we implement a branch-and-cut algorithm which separates connectivity constraints. We built a test instance generator, partially based on publicly-available real world data, in order to compare empirically the three formulations.

Keywords: Order batching; Picker routing; Inventory management; Integer programming

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J E Beasley