Stochastic and robust optimization algorithms for the inventory-routing problem and its extensions

Traditionally, inventory control and routing problems have been treated separately. However, recently we observe more and more cases where both subsystems are integrated into one. From an Operations Research (OR) perspective, the problem that emerges in such a system is the Inventory-Routing Problem (IRP). This problem's main objective is to minimize inventory and transportation costs simultaneously while providing a feasible logistical plan.

In literature we observe a clear trend towards developing advanced heuristics for this problem. Although these heuristics may have their practical use, in most cases they don't reveal anything on the underlying structure of the problem. This leaves certain fundamental questions unaddressed. For example: How robust are the solutions (i.e. logistical plans) when uncertainty is introduced? This PhD project proposes to investigate the structure of the IRP and its extensions, study the mathematical properties of these structures and develop exact solution methods based on the resulting insights.

Wouter Lefever
  • El-Houssaine Aghezzaf
Sept. 30, 2018, 4:01 p.m.
Research group