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Route selection for best distances in road databases based on drivers’ and customers’ preferences

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The importance of road databases for distance calculations and route selection is increasing. One reason is that payments and invoicing are often based on the distance driven. However, it can be hard to agree on a “best” distance because of drivers’ preferences. These preferences can be described by road features such as road length, quality, width, speed limits, etc. Moreover, a pure standard “shortest path”, which is often used in road databases, can result in a route that is considerably shorter than a preferred and agreed distance. Consequently, there is a need to find suitable weights for the features of the roads that provide fair and agreed distances at the same time for all users. We propose an approach to find values of such weights for the features. The optimization model to find weights is an inverse shortest path problem formulated in a mixed integer programming model. The approach is tested for the Swedish Forestry National Road database. Since 2010, it has been in daily use to establish distances and is available for all forestry companies and haulers in Sweden through an online system.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, SE-75183 Uppsala, Sweden. 2: Université Laval, Québec, QC G1W 0A6, Canada. 3: SDC, SE-85183 Sundsvall, Sweden.

Publication date: June 8, 2012

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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