Construction Heuristic for the inspection of Electricity Meters (Case Study: Koforidua Municipality, Eastern Region, Ghana)

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Chinese postman problems (CPP) heuristic algorithm is used for several real-world route inspection problems, such as street sweeping, mail delivery, solid waste collection, street watering among others. They can however, be modelled as CPP with some peculiar constraints. As a part of the preventive maintenance programme for the electricity service providers, this study employs the CPP heuristic algorithm to the inspection of electricity meters along the streets in Koforidua municipality as an undirected network. A formal definition of the CPP is presented. The heuristic procedure consists of cluster first, route second method. The Dijsktra‘s algorithm is initially implemented with Matlab programme to find the optimal distance to be covered in each route and the optimal route is found with the Fluery‘s algorithm. The construction heuristic algorithm is proposed which gives near optimal feasible solutions and applied to find the optimal inspection route for four (4) main inspection blocks within the municipality. The adoption of the proposed heuristic in Koforidua resulted in an optimal distance for the four inspection blocks as follows 6.17km in block-1, 9.015km in block-2, 9.955km in block-3 and 12.172km in block-4. The results revealed a good performance of the proposed heuristic method for any route inspection problem for Koforidua township.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Industrial Mathematics, June-2012