A Generic Heuristic for Maximizing Inventory Slack in Emergency Medication Distribution Problem

In the event of an unnoticed man-made or natural disaster, city and metropolitan areas are required to deliver prophylactic medications or emergency relief supplies to their entire residents within a restricted time window via previously selected points of dispensing (PODs). Inventory of such supplements at PODs should not reach the negative stock at any times. Medical inventory management; thus, can be formulated as Inventory Slack Routing Problems (ISRPs), which are known to be NP-Hard. Solution algorithm developed herein is based on three phases: routing and scheduling of supply vehicles to PODs and defining delivery quantities to each POD. Heuristic approaches are proposed for the first two phases, results of which are employed in the third phase to obtain the exact delivery quantities. The proposed algorithms are later tested on county public health departments in the state of Maryland facing emergency situation that requires dispense of one type of prophylactic medicine to its entire population. The proposed approach outperforms the existing methods in terms of the delivery slack as well as its generic applicability in different conditions (geographical location of the depot and PODs, resource availability…). Modifications and detailed comparison with earlier methodologies are provided and followed by sensitivity analyses guiding decision makers towards an efficient and essential investment in public health section.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AT015(2) Paper reviews - Modeling. Alternate title: Generic Heuristic for Maximizing Inventory Slack in Emergency Medication Distribution Problem.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Mollanejad, Mostafa
    • Faturechi, Reza
    • TariVerdi, Mersedeh
    • Kim, Myungseob (Edward)
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2014


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01519382
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 14-5293
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2014 2:58PM