Optimised Routing, Scheduling & Packing


Aerospace, Aviation & Transport, Engineering & Manufacturing, Environment & Sustainability, Information & Communications Technologies, Tourism

About Opportunity

Some processes can be optimised effectively using simple techniques but most real-world problems can be very difficult or time-consuming to optimise, due to complex constraints and the sheer number of possibilities that need to be evaluated. Consider the delivery driver who has to visit 10 addresses whilst covering the shortest distance; there are 3,628,800 possible solutions each suggesting an order in which the deliveries might be made. If the problem becomes more complex, with time restrictions on visits, limited driving hours and multiple vehicles then even finding a solution to the problem that satisfies all the constraints can become incredibly difficult.  Modern optimisation techniques are capable of finding robust, high-quality solutions to every- day problems using software running on a standard PC; they can optimise solutions according to any defined criterion, for example cost, time or distance; many optimisation techniques will support multiple optimisation criteria, finding solutions that satisfy all the criteria or more commonly, finding sets of solutions that trade off one criterion against another, in order that an informed selection can be made from the set of potential solutions according to preference.

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Key Benefits

  • The key benefit of optimisation is being able not only to solve a complex problem, but to have the solution tailored towards one or more of your chose criterion. For instance, being able to choose whether the solution should focus on costs, emissions or some other criterion.


  • Modern optimisation algorithms
  • Vehicle routing
  • Timetabling
  • Packing Applications

IP Status

Edinburgh Napier University is seeking commercial partners with novel uses for Optimisation Techniques. Please contact us if you are interested in collaborative research or consultancy.

Areas of Expertise link icon

  • Bio-inspired Computing
    The Bio-Inspired Algorithms group within the Centre for Algorithms, Visualisation and Evolving Systems is a large and thriving group with interests in nature-inspired computing that include Evolutionary Computing, Hyper-Heuristics, Artificial Immune Systems and Swarm Intelligence.
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+44 (0)131 455 2946

Sharon McGettrick
Room C49
Merchiston Campus
10 Colinton Road
EH10 5DT