We consider a third party logistics service provider (LSP), who faces the problem of distributing different products from suppliers to consumers having no control on supply and demand. In a third party set-up, the operations of transport and storage are run as a black box for a fixed price. Thus the incentive for an LSP is to reduce its operational costs. The objective of this paper is to find an efficient network topology on a tactical level, which still satisfies the service level agreements on the operational level. We develop an optimization method, which constructs a tactical network topology based on the operational decisions resulting from a given model predictive control (MPC) policy. Experiments suggest that such a topology typically requires only a small fraction of all possible links. As expected, the found topology is sensitive to changes in supply and demand averages. Interestingly, the found topology appears to be robust to changes in second order moments of supply and demand distributions.
- Network topology design
- bi-level optimization
- logistics service provider
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering