Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM

A special issue of Algorithms (ISSN 1999-4893). This special issue belongs to the section "Algorithms for Multidisciplinary Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 10060

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Transportation, logistics, and supply chain systems and networks constitute one of the pillars of modern economies and societies. From sustainable traffic management in smart cities or air transportation to green and socially responsible logistics practices, many enterprises and governments around the world have to make decisions that affect the efficiency of these complex systems. Typically, optimization algorithms are employed to deal with these challenges, and simulation approaches are utilized when considering scenarios under uncertainty. However, better results might be achieved by hybridizing both optimization algorithms with simulation techniques to deal with real-life transportation, logistics, and SCM challenges, which often are large-scale and NP-hard problems under uncertainty conditions. Hence, simheuristic algorithms (combining metaheuristics with simulation) as well as other simulation-optimization approaches constitute an effective way to support decision makers in such complex scenarios.

This Special Issue aims to present a collection of high-quality papers on simulation and optimization in transportation, logistics, and supply chain management. Simulation-optimization algorithms, including simheuristics and simulation-based optimization approaches, and their practical applications in the solving of rich and realistic scenarios under uncertainty are welcome. The Special Issue is open to well-known researchers in these topics. In particular, this Special Issue is strongly connected to the topics covered in the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) track on logistics, transportation, and SCM, which includes a track on simheuristic algorithms as well. Extended versions of the best papers presented at WSC’22 and WSC’23 (as well as at other conferences of similar quality) are also invited.

Prof. Dr. Javier Faulin
Prof. Dr. Angel A. Juan
Prof. Dr. David Goldsman
Prof. Dr. Markus Rabe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

27 pages, 9282 KiB  
Article
Comparing Direct Deliveries and Automated Parcel Locker Systems with Respect to Overall CO2 Emissions for the Last Mile
by Kai Gutenschwager, Markus Rabe and Jorge Chicaiza-Vaca
Algorithms 2024, 17(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/a17010004 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1551
Abstract
Fast growing e-commerce has a significant impact both on CEP providers and public entities. While service providers have the first priority on factors such as costs and reliable service, both are increasingly focused on environmental effects, in the interest of company image and [...] Read more.
Fast growing e-commerce has a significant impact both on CEP providers and public entities. While service providers have the first priority on factors such as costs and reliable service, both are increasingly focused on environmental effects, in the interest of company image and the inhabitants’ health and comfort. Significant additional factors are traffic density, pollution, and noise. While in the past direct delivery with distribution trucks from regional depots to the customers might have been justified, this is no longer valid when taking the big and growing numbers into account. Several options are followed in the literature, especially variants that introduce an additional break in the distribution chain, like local mini-hubs, mobile distribution points, or Automated Parcel Lockers (APLs). The first two options imply a “very last mile” stage, e.g., by small electrical vehicles or cargo bikes, and APLs rely on the customers to operate the very last step. The usage of this schema will significantly depend on the density of the APLs and, thus, on the density of the population within quite small regions. The relationships between the different elements of these technologies and the potential customers are studied with respect to their impact on the above-mentioned factors. A variety of scenarios is investigated, covering different options for customer behaviors. As an additional important point, reported studies with APLs only consider the section up to the APLs and the implied CO2 emission. This, however, fully neglects the potentially very relevant pollution created by the customers when fetching their parcels from the APL. Therefore, in this paper this impact is systematically estimated via a simulation-based sensitivity analysis. It can be shown that taking this very last transport step into account in the calculation significantly changes the picture, especially within areas in outer city districts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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14 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
Solving NP-Hard Challenges in Logistics and Transportation under General Uncertainty Scenarios Using Fuzzy Simheuristics
by Angel A. Juan, Markus Rabe, Majsa Ammouriova, Javier Panadero, David Peidro and Daniel Riera
Algorithms 2023, 16(12), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/a16120570 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1385
Abstract
In the field of logistics and transportation (L&T), this paper reviews the utilization of simheuristic algorithms to address NP-hard optimization problems under stochastic uncertainty. Then, the paper explores an extension of the simheuristics concept by introducing a fuzzy layer to tackle complex optimization [...] Read more.
In the field of logistics and transportation (L&T), this paper reviews the utilization of simheuristic algorithms to address NP-hard optimization problems under stochastic uncertainty. Then, the paper explores an extension of the simheuristics concept by introducing a fuzzy layer to tackle complex optimization problems involving both stochastic and fuzzy uncertainties. The hybrid approach combines simulation, metaheuristics, and fuzzy logic, offering a feasible methodology to solve large-scale NP-hard problems under general uncertainty scenarios. These scenarios are commonly encountered in L&T optimization challenges, such as the vehicle routing problem or the team orienteering problem, among many others. The proposed methodology allows for modeling various problem components—including travel times, service times, customers’ demands, or the duration of electric batteries—as deterministic, stochastic, or fuzzy items. A cross-problem analysis of several computational experiments is conducted to validate the effectiveness of the fuzzy simheuristic methodology. Being a flexible methodology that allows us to tackle NP-hard challenges under general uncertainty scenarios, fuzzy simheuristics can also be applied in fields other than L&T. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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15 pages, 520 KiB  
Article
A Learnheuristic Algorithm for the Capacitated Dispersion Problem under Dynamic Conditions
by Juan F. Gomez, Antonio R. Uguina, Javier Panadero and Angel A. Juan
Algorithms 2023, 16(12), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/a16120532 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1206
Abstract
The capacitated dispersion problem, which is a variant of the maximum diversity problem, aims to determine a set of elements within a network. These elements could symbolize, for instance, facilities in a supply chain or transmission nodes in a telecommunication network. While each [...] Read more.
The capacitated dispersion problem, which is a variant of the maximum diversity problem, aims to determine a set of elements within a network. These elements could symbolize, for instance, facilities in a supply chain or transmission nodes in a telecommunication network. While each element typically has a bounded service capacity, in this research, we introduce a twist. The capacity of each node might be influenced by a random Bernoulli component, thereby rendering the possibility of a node having zero capacity, which is contingent upon a black box mechanism that accounts for environmental variables. Recognizing the inherent complexity and the NP-hard nature of the capacitated dispersion problem, heuristic algorithms have become indispensable for handling larger instances. In this paper, we introduce a novel approach by hybridizing a heuristic algorithm with reinforcement learning to address this intricate problem variant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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19 pages, 3395 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Determining Collision Likelihood Using Continuous Friction Values in a Connected Vehicle Environment
by Qian Xie and Tae J. Kwon
Algorithms 2023, 16(9), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/a16090426 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 855
Abstract
Jurisdictions currently provide information on winter road conditions through qualitative descriptors like bare and fully snow-covered. Ideally, these descriptors are meant to warn drivers beforehand about hazardous roads. In practice, however, discerning between safe and unsafe roads is sometimes unclear due to intermediate [...] Read more.
Jurisdictions currently provide information on winter road conditions through qualitative descriptors like bare and fully snow-covered. Ideally, these descriptors are meant to warn drivers beforehand about hazardous roads. In practice, however, discerning between safe and unsafe roads is sometimes unclear due to intermediate RSC classes covering too wide a range of conditions. This study aims at solving this safety ambiguity issue by proposing a framework for predicting collision likelihood within a road segment. The proposed framework converts road surface images into friction coefficients, which are then converted into continuous measurements through an interpolator. To find the best-performing interpolator, we evaluated geostatistical, machine learning, and hybrid interpolators. It was found that ordinary kriging had the lowest estimation error and was the least sensitive to changes in distance between measurements. After developing an interpolator, collision likelihood models were developed for segment lengths ranging from 0.5 km to 20 km. We chose the 6.5 km model based on its accuracy and intuitiveness. This model had 76.9% accuracy and included friction and AADT as predictors. It was also estimated that if the proposed framework were implemented in an environment with connected vehicles and intelligent transportation systems, it would offer significant safety improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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13 pages, 6020 KiB  
Article
The Electric Vehicle Traveling Salesman Problem on Digital Elevation Models for Traffic-Aware Urban Logistics
by Yusef Ahsini, Pablo Díaz-Masa, Belén Inglés, Ana Rubio, Alba Martínez, Aina Magraner and J. Alberto Conejero
Algorithms 2023, 16(9), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/a16090402 - 23 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
With the increasing demand for online shopping and home delivery services, optimizing the routing of electric delivery vehicles in urban areas is crucial to reduce environmental pollution and improve operational efficiency. To address this opportunity, we optimize the Steiner Traveling Salesman Problem (STSP) [...] Read more.
With the increasing demand for online shopping and home delivery services, optimizing the routing of electric delivery vehicles in urban areas is crucial to reduce environmental pollution and improve operational efficiency. To address this opportunity, we optimize the Steiner Traveling Salesman Problem (STSP) for electric vehicles (EVs) in urban areas by combining city graphs with topographic and traffic information. The STSP is a variant of the traditional Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) where it is not mandatory to visit all the nodes present in the graph. We train an artificial neural network (ANN) model to estimate electric consumption between nodes in the route using synthetic data generated with historical traffic simulation and topographical data. This allows us to generate smaller-weighted graphs that transform the problem from an STSP to a normal TSP where the 2-opt optimization algorithm is used to solve it with a Nearest Neighbor (NN) initialization. Compared to the approach of optimizing routes based on distance, our proposed algorithm offers a fast solution to the STSP for EVs (EV-STSP) with routes that consume 17.34% less energy for the test instances generated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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21 pages, 1706 KiB  
Article
Decision Making under Conditions of Uncertainty and Risk in the Formation of Warehouse Stock of an Automotive Service Enterprise
by Irina Makarova, Polina Buyvol, Larisa Gabsalikhova, Eduard Belyaev and Eduard Mukhametdinov
Algorithms 2023, 16(8), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/a16080388 - 13 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
This article is devoted to the problem of determining the rational amount of spare parts in the warehouse of a service center of an automobile manufacturer’s branded network used for maintenance and current repairs. This problem was solved on the basis of the [...] Read more.
This article is devoted to the problem of determining the rational amount of spare parts in the warehouse of a service center of an automobile manufacturer’s branded network used for maintenance and current repairs. This problem was solved on the basis of the accumulated statistical data of failures that occurred during the warranty period of vehicle operation. In the calculation, game methods were used. This took into account the stochastic need for spare parts and the consequences of their presence or absence in stock, which are expressed in the form of a profit and an additional possible payment of a fine in case of a discrepancy between the current level of demand for spare parts and the available spare parts. Two cases of decision making are considered: under conditions of risk and uncertainty, the occurrence of which depends on the amount of information about the input flow of enters to the service center. If such statistics are accumulated, then the decision is made taking into account the possible risk associated with the uncertainty of a specific need for spare parts. Otherwise, the probability of a particular need is calculated on the basis of special criteria. To optimize the collection of information about the state of warehouse stocks, the transfer of information, and the assessment and forecasting of stocks, well-organized feedback is needed, which is shown in the form of an algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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21 pages, 3991 KiB  
Article
Developing Prediction Model of Travel Times of the Logistics Fleets of Large Convenience Store Chains Using Machine Learning
by Yang-Kuei Lin, Chien-Fu Chen and Tien-Yin Chou
Algorithms 2023, 16(6), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/a16060286 - 01 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Convenience store chains are many people’s top choice for dining and leisure and have logistics procedures that involve each store receiving multiple deliveries because of the varying delivery periods and suitable temperatures for different goods. The estimated arrival time for each delivery has [...] Read more.
Convenience store chains are many people’s top choice for dining and leisure and have logistics procedures that involve each store receiving multiple deliveries because of the varying delivery periods and suitable temperatures for different goods. The estimated arrival time for each delivery has a huge impact on the route arrangement and convenience store preparation for dispatchers to schedule future deliveries. This study collected global positioning system travel data from a fleet of one of the top convenience store chains in Taiwan between April 2021 and March 2022 and proposed machine learning to establish a model to predict travel times. For unavailable data, we proposed the nonlinear regression equation to fill in the missing GPS data. Moreover, the study used the data between April 2022 and September 2022 with mean absolute percentage error to validate the prediction effects exceeding 97%. Therefore, the proposed model based on historical data and the machine learning algorithm in this study can help logistics fleets estimate accurate travel times for their scheduling of future delivery tasks and arranging routes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization Algorithms in Logistics, Transportation, and SCM)
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