A frame relay service offers virtual private networks to customers by provisioning a set of long-term private virtual circuits (PVCs) between customer endpoints on a large backbone network. During the provisioning of a PVC, routing decisions are made without any knowledge of future requests. Over time, these decisions can cause inefficiencies in the network and occasional offline rerouting of the PVCs is needed. In this paper, the offline PVC routing problem is formulated as an integer multicommodity flow problem with additional constraints and with an objective function that minimizes delays and network overload. We propose variants of a GRASP with path-relinking heuristic for this problem. Experimental results for realistic-size problems are reported, showing that the proposed heuristics are able to improve the solutions found with standard routing techniques. Moreover, the structure of our objective function provides a useful strategy for setting the appropriate value of its weight parameter, to achieve some quality of service (QoS) level defined by a desired maximum utilization rate.
AT&T Labs Research Technical Report (no number) June 15, 2001