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MMU researchers develop new logistics optimization algorithm

LBR Staff Writer Published 14 March 2016

Researchers from the UK-based Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have developed a new optimisation algorithm, which enables logistics firms to calculate the best routes and times to send vehicles on the road efficiently.


MMU's school of computing, mathematics and digital technology Alan Crispin and MSc student Alex Syrichas have developed the algorithm to solve the vehicle routing problem (VRP).

Quantum Annealing Optimisation algorithm is a new generation optimization technique, which helps to improve logistic operations for businesses and can be used in a range of other applications.

MMU said that the Quantum annealing is a computing system that was recently developed by scientists and underpinned by complex quantum physics.

Currently, the university is working with IT firm ServicePower Technologies to provide software for logistics firms.

The new algorithm holds capability to enhance productivity and route efficiencies in field management systems, said ServicePower.

Crispin said: "The new optimisation technique promises to plan future services - reducing time to deliver - thereby growing sales and reducing operational costs and improving customer service levels."

"We're working on expanding the research with ServicePower to make this applicable to the real-world market and to be used in business."

ServicePower has applied for three patents covering the Quantum Annealing optimisation algorithm.

Image: MMU's researchers have developed new algorithm to solve the vehicle routing problem. Photo: courtesy of Manchester Metropolitan University.