The Multi-Commodity k-splittable Maximum Flow Problem consists of maximizing the amount of flow routed through a network such that each commodity uses at most k paths and such that edge capacities are satisfied. The problem is NP -hard and has application in a.o. telecommunications. In this paper, a local search heuristic for solving the problem is proposed. The heuristic is an iterative shortest path procedure on a reduced graph combined with a local search procedure to modify certain path flows and prioritize the different commodities. The heuristic is tested on benchmark instances from the literature and solves 83 % of the instances to optimality. For the remaining instances, the heuristic finds good solution values which on average are 1.04 % from the optimal. The heuristic solves all instances in less than a second. Compared to other heuristics, the proposed heuristic again shows superior performance with respect to solution quality.
Optimization Letters, 2014, Vol 8, Issue 3, p. 919-937
k-Splittable flow; Multi-commodity flow; Local search heuristic; Meta-heuristic; Shortest path