Storage Assignment with Rack-Moving Mobile Robots in KIVA Warehouses

This paper treats an automated warehousing system, known as the KIVA system, where mobile robots lift complete racks and autonomously move them to stationary pickers. This innovative parts-to-picker system relieves the pickers from unproductive walking times without requiring high investment costs into inflexible hardware such as conveyors, storage and retrieval machines, or lifts. In this context, the authors treat the decision problem where to park the racks during order processing when they are consistently moved between the picking stations and the storage area. The authors formalize the resulting rack assignment problem as a special interval scheduling problem and introduce a new matheuristic dubbed adaptive programming. In a comprehensive computational study, the authors compare the results of their optimization approach with simple rule-based assignment policies. Their results reveal that the well-established rules widely applied in traditional picker-to-parts warehouses, for example, random and dedicated storage, lead to considerable optimality gaps. Adapted rules, however, which consider the peculiarities of KIVA warehouses, lead to very good results. The e-companion is available at

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    • Abstracts reprinted with permission of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences,
  • Authors:
    • Weidinger, Felix
    • Boysen, Nils
    • Briskorn, Dirk
  • Publication Date: 2018-11


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01691450
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 28 2018 10:48AM