Approximation algorithms for the traveling repairman and speeding deliveryman problems

Greg N. Frederickson, College of Science
Barry Wittman, Elizabethtown College


Constant-factor, polynomial-time approximation algorithms are presented for two variations of the traveling salesman problem with time windows. In the first variation, the traveling repairman problem, the goal is to find a path that visits the maximum possible number of locations during their time windows. In the second variation, the speeding deliveryman problem, the goal is to find a path that uses the minimum possible speedup to visit all locations during their time windows. For both variations, the time windows are of unit length, and the distance metric is based on a weighted, undirected graph. Algorithms with improved approximation ratios are given for the case when the input is defined on a tree rather than a general graph. The algorithms are also extended to handle time windows whose lengths fall in any bounded range.