Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
For many years, researchers have focused on developing optimization models to design and manage supply chains. These models have helped companies in different industries to minimize costs, maximize performance while balancing their social and environmental impacts. There is an increasing interest in developing models which optimize supply chain decisions of perishable products. This is mainly because many of the products we use today are perishable, managing their inventory is challenging due to their short shelf life, and out-dated products become waste. Therefore, these supply chain decisions impact profitability and sustainability of companies and the quality of the environment. Perishable products wastage is inevitable when demand is not known beforehand. A number of models in the literature use simulation and probabilistic models to capture supply chain uncertainties. However, when demand distribution cannot be described using standard distributions, probabilistic models are not effective. In this case, using stochastic optimization methods is preferred over obtaining approximate inventory management policies through simulation.
This dissertation proposes models to help businesses and non-prot organizations make inventory replenishment, pricing and transportation decisions that improve the performance of their system. These models focus on perishable products which either deteriorate over time or have a fixed shelf life. The demand and/or supply for these products and/or, the remaining shelf life are stochastic. Stochastic optimization models, including a two-stage stochastic mixed integer linear program, a two-stage stochastic mixed integer non linear program, and a chance constraint program are proposed to capture uncertainties. The objective is to minimize the total replenishment costs which impact prots and service rate. These models are motivated by applications in the vaccine distribution supply chain, and other supply chains used to distribute perishable products.
This dissertation also focuses on developing solution algorithms to solve the proposed optimization models. The computational complexity of these models motivated the development of extensions to standard models used to solve stochastic optimization problems. These algorithms use sample average approximation (SAA) to represent uncertainty. The algorithms proposed are extensions of the stochastic Benders decomposition algorithm, the L-shaped method (LS). These extensions use Gomory mixed integer cuts, mixed-integer rounding cuts, and piecewise linear relaxation of bilinear terms. These extensions lead to the development of linear approximations of the models developed. Computational results reveal that the solution approach presented here outperforms the
standard LS method.
Finally, this dissertation develops case studies using real-life data from the Demographic Health Surveys in Niger and Bangladesh to build predictive models to meet requirements for various childhood immunization vaccines. The results of this study provide support tools for policymakers to design vaccine distribution networks.
Azadi, Zahra, "Stochastic Optimization Models for Perishable Products" (2018). All Dissertations. 2551.