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Motivated by a real project for a sophisticated automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), we study the problem of generating K shortest paths that are required to satisfy a set of constraints. We propose a structural branching procedure that decomposes the problem into at most K|N| subproblems, where |N| is the number of nodes in the network. By using a Network Modification procedure, each subproblem can be transformed into a constrained shortest path problem (CSP). When these constraints satisfy a so called separable property, the subproblem can be further simplified. Based on this branching procedure, we propose a specific algorithm for an application where resource and loopless constraints have to be respected. Numerical results show that our algorithm is very efficient and robust.
Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:7 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Jan. 2010