Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Theses & dissertations (College of Business)


Business and Technology

First Advisor

Yoshinori Suzuki


The driver helper dispatching problems (DHDPs) have received scant research attention in past literature. In this three essay format dissertation, we proposed two ideas: 1) minimizing of the total cost as the new objective function to replace minimizing the total distance cost that is mostly used in past traveling salesman problem (TSP) and vehicle routing problem (VRP) algorithms and 2) dispatching vehicle either with a helper or not as part of the routing decision. The first study shows that simply separating a single with-helper route into two different types of sub-routes can significantly reduce total costs. It also proposes a new dependent driver helper (DDH) model to boost the utilization rate of the helpers to higher levels. In the second study, a new hybrid driver helper (HDH) model is proposed to solve DHDPs. The proposed HDH model provides the flexibility to relax the constraints that a helper can only work at one predetermined location in current-practice independent driver helper (IDH) model and that a helper always travels with the vehicle in the current-practice DDH model. We conducted a series of full-factorial experiments to prove that the proposed HDH model performs better than both two current solutions in terms of savings in both cost and time. The last study proposes a mathematical model to solve the VRPTW version of DHDPs and conducts a series of full factorial computational experiments. The results show that the proposed model can achieve more cost savings while reducing a similar level of dispatched vehicles as the current-practice DDH solution. All these three studies also investigate the conditions under which the proposed models would work most, or least, effectively.

Copyright Owner

Shih-Hao Lu



File Format


File Size

97 pages