An integrated metaheuristic routing method for multiple-block warehouses with ultranarrow aisles and access restriction

Fangyu Chen, Gangyan Xu, Yongchang Wei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A problem-specific routing algorithm integrating ant colony optimization (ACO) and integer-coded genetic algorithm (GA) is developed to address the newly observed limitations imposed by ultranarrow aisles and access restriction, which exist in the largest e-commerce enterprise with self-run logistics in China. Those limitations prohibit pickers from walking through the whole aisle, and the access restriction even allows them to access the pick aisles only from specific entrances. The ant colony optimization is mainly responsible for generating the initial chromosomes for the genetic algorithm, which then searches the near-optimal solutions of picker-routing with our novel chromosome design by recording the detailed information of access modes and subaisles. To demonstrate the merits of the proposed algorithm, a comprehensive simulation for comparison is conducted with 12 warehouse layouts with real order information. The simulation results show that the proposed hybrid algorithm is superior to dedicated heuristics in terms of solution quality. The impacts of the parameters with respect to warehouse layout on the picking efficiency are analyzed as well. Setting more connect aisles and cross aisles is suggested to effectively optimize the picking-service efficiency in the presence of access limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1280285
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • General

Cite this