Bus network design is an important problem in public transportation. A main step to this design is determining the number of required terminals and their locations. This is a special type of facility location problem, which is a time-consuming, large scale, combinatorial problem. In a previous attempt by the authors, this problem had been solved by GAMS, based on a branch and bound algorithm.
In this research, different techniques for solving the problem are investigated to choose the best one. One of these methods is Simulated Annealing (SA), which is an efficient algorithm for solving complex optimization problems. SA’s parameters vary from one problem to another. Here, for the bus terminal location problem, SA’s parameters are determined, then the problem is solved. Another algorithm is the Implicit Enumeration method.
In this paper, the results obtained from the above 3 techniques are compared. The criteria for this comparison are the CPU time and the accuracy of the solution. In all the cases studied, SA gave the most accurate results. Its CPU time is lower than the others, too. Solving the bus terminal location problem for the Mashhad network shows that SA is about 150 times faster than GAMS and 50 times faster than Implicit Enumeration. Moreover, bus terminal location problem for the network of the city of Tehran, which is a more difficult problem, has been solved by the SA algorithm successfully.
Keywords: Bus network, Lacation problem, Heuristic, Simulated Annealing, Implicit Enumeration