The facts on the ground: Evaluating humanitarian fleet management policies using simulation

Liyi Gu, Ilya O. Ryzhov, Mahyar Eftekhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In humanitarian fleet management, the performance of purchase, assignment, and sales decisions is determined by dynamic interactions between the fleet composition, the time-varying and uncertain demands on the fleet, and the depreciation of the vehicles as they are exploited. We propose to evaluate purchase, assignment, and sales policies in a holistic simulation environment that directly models heterogeneous vehicle attributes and tracks their evolution over time. Using data from a large international humanitarian organization (LIHO), the simulator can identify the rationale behind seemingly ad-hoc decisions by field managers at LIHO. For instance, by selling vehicles later than LIHO recommends, managers are actually reducing their costs; similarly, managers decline to switch vehicles between mission types because the benefits to the operational cost turn out to be marginal at best.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Humanitarian fleet management
  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Resource allocation
  • Simulation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management

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