Complete Field Coverage as a Multiple Harvester Routing Problem

This paper considers the problem of finding an optimal route to harvesting a field using multiple harvesters. It can be seen as a variant of the multiple travelling salesman problem, where the harvesters should traverse several segments once and only once, thereby covering the entire field. In contrast to the cities in a travelling salesman problem the segments have a considerable length, resulting in four possible distances to travel along two segments. We consider both finding the minimal total travel distance, and balancing the workload amongst the harvesters. An example is provided to demonstrate the validity of the proposed method.