Abstract - An evolutionary discrete version of the Firefly Algorithm (EDFA) is presented in this paper for solving the well-known Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW). The contribution of this work is not only the adaptation of the EDFA to the VRPTW. Additionaly, some novel route optimization operators are presented in this study. These operators incorporate the process of minimizing the number of routes for a solution in the search process itself. To do this, node selective extractions and subsequent reinsertion are performed. The new operators analyze all routes of the current solution increasing the diversification capacity of the search process (against traditional node and arc exchange based operators).
With the aim of proving that the proposed EDFA and operators are promising, some different version of the EDFA are compared. The work done includes the experimentation with all the 56 instances of the well-known VRPTW. Finally, in order to obtain rigorous and fair conclusions, two different statistical test have been conducted.
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