The team includes Anna Nagurney, the John F. Smith Memorial Professor of Operations Management, and Min Yu, a doctoral student in management science at the Isenberg School. Nagurney says the research was inspired by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haitian earthquake of 2010. In both cases, getting humanitarian relief supplies of water, food, medicines and needed services to the victims was a major challenge because of the absence of well planned and coordinated logistics.
These problems are uniquely challenging since the needs of the affected population should be met as closely as possible. An undersupply of food, water and medicines quickly leads to loss of life and at the same time, an oversupply of products may also carry costs, due to unnecessary waste and even, possibly, environmental damage.
To address these issues, the research team developed a computer-based mathematical model that allows for the optimal design of such supply chain networks at minimal total cost and with the satisfaction of the product demands at the demand points, as closely as possible under conditions of uncertainty. The model also enables the evaluation of trade-offs associated with in-house production versus outsourcing. The research has relevance to organizations from government-based agencies to humanitarian groups that are involved in decision-making in disasters, emergencies, and pending epidemics.
Nagurney says, “A company can, using our model, prepare and plan for an emergency such as a natural disaster in the form of a hurricane or earthquake and identify where to store a necessary product such as food packets, water and medicines, so that the items can be delivered to the demand points in a timely manner and at minimal total cost.”
She notes that in the case of Wal-Mart and Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart had existing capacity in the form of its large distribution center and numerous stores in the southern U.S. where Katrina had its greatest physical impact. “It was able to distribute needed supplies and, in addition, achieved an enormous amount of goodwill,” she says.
The paper, “Supply Chain Network Design for Critical Needs with Outsourcing,” was co-authored by Patrick Qiang of Pennsylvania State University Malvern. Qiang earned his doctorate from the Isenberg School in 2009. It is available online from the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, in the journal Papers in Regional Science.
Partial support for this research was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation through its Bellagio Centers Program through the workshop “Humanitarian Logistics: Networks for Africa,” that was organized by Nagurney and took place at the Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Italy. Additional support was provided by the John F. Smith Memorial Fund.Anna Nagurney
Anna Nagurney | Newswise Science News
Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses