Graduation Project: New generation of Hybrid Genetic Search for vehicle routing – ORTEC – Zoetermeer


Job description

At ORTEC, we built: it won the DIMACS 2022 challenge for the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW). It is a hybrid genetic search algorithm that relies on clever data structures and algorithms to efficiently explore the huge space of possible route configurations and we continuously research potential improvements. While the algorithm is fast and efficient in searching a large search space, many internal steps and parameters are defined heuristically or even random. Can we improve the performance by making these steps more intelligent? 

Your challenge 

You will build on PyVRP, an open-source implementation of the hybrid genetic search algorithm for the VRPTW that originated from ORTEC’s winning solver for the DIMACS challenge. You will evaluate PyVRP on large real-world problem instances and push its limits to maximize performance in a short amount of time. You have freedom on how to achieve these goals, from optimizing parameters to implementing additional initialization strategies or new genetic algorithm concepts, clever code optimizations or using machine learning to guide internal decisions of the algorithm. Naturally, we will help you identify a promising research direction! 

Who you are

  • You are a master student in computer science, operations research or artificial intelligence 
  • You are comfortable with Python and have experience with optimization algorithms 
  • Experience with compiled languages like c++ and/or running computational jobs on (cloud) compute infrastructure is a pre 
  • You are currently living in the Netherlands and you are studying at a Dutch University  
  • You communicate fluently in English, verbally and in writing 
  • You are available for 6 months for 32-40 hours a week 
  • What we offer

  • Entrance to the most passionate powerhouse in applied mathematics. We share a drive to use our problem-solving skills to improve our planet, from the world at large to our own backyard. 
  • Inclusion in a company founded by graduate students back in 1981, which today still fosters its students by: Excellent supervision during your graduation project. Good internship allowance, laptop, and other office facilities. An open, kind, and fun culture. Young ORTEC, an association that organizes all kinds of activities for juniors, mediors, and graduate students at ORTEC, including Thursday afternoon drinks at our own bar “ORTap”. 
  • Did we peak your interest? Then upload your CV, motivation letter and grade lists (BSc and MSc in one PDF if applicable). The recruitment process will consist of two online assessments, first interview, and a second interview with a case. 

    What to expect

    We will help you to thrive in your field of expertise. We offer development programs, tailored to your individual needs and function requirements, including opportunities to attend courses and seminars. We offer challenging, practical hands-on experience with opportunities to work abroad. We operate in a flat organizational structure that keeps communication lines short. The atmosphere is open, informal, cooperative and positive.

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