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A heuristic approach applied to the fleet sizing problem for military ground vehicles

A heuristic approach applied to the fleet sizing problem for military ground vehicles This paper aims to propose two solution approaches to determine the number of ground transport vehicles that are required to ensure the on-time delivery of military equipment between origin and destination node pairs in some geographic region, which is an important logistics problem at the US Transportation Command.Design/methodology/approachThe author uses a mathematical program and a traditional heuristic to provide optimal and near-optimal solutions, respectively. The author also compares the approaches for random, small-scale problems to assess the quality and computational efficiency of the heuristic solution, and also uses the heuristic to solve a notional, large-scale problem typical of real problems.FindingsThis work helps analysts identify how many ground transport vehicles are needed to meet cargo delivery requirements in any military theater of operation.Research limitations/implicationsThis research assumes all problem data is deterministic, so it does not capture variations in requirements or transit times between nodes.Practical implicationsThis work provides prescriptive details to military analysts and decision-makers in a timely manner. Prior to this work, insights for this type of problem were generated using time-consuming simulation taking about a week and often involving trial-and-error.Originality/valueThis research provides new methods to solve an important logistics problem. The heuristic presented in this paper was recently used to provide operational insights about ground vehicle requirements to support a geographic combatant command and to inform decisions for railcar recapitalization within the US Army. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics Emerald Publishing

A heuristic approach applied to the fleet sizing problem for military ground vehicles

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References (66)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© In accordance with section 105 of the US Copyright Act, this work has been produced by a US government employee and shall be considered a public domain work, as copyright protection is not available. Published in Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited.
ISSN
2399-6439
DOI
10.1108/jdal-03-2020-0005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to propose two solution approaches to determine the number of ground transport vehicles that are required to ensure the on-time delivery of military equipment between origin and destination node pairs in some geographic region, which is an important logistics problem at the US Transportation Command.Design/methodology/approachThe author uses a mathematical program and a traditional heuristic to provide optimal and near-optimal solutions, respectively. The author also compares the approaches for random, small-scale problems to assess the quality and computational efficiency of the heuristic solution, and also uses the heuristic to solve a notional, large-scale problem typical of real problems.FindingsThis work helps analysts identify how many ground transport vehicles are needed to meet cargo delivery requirements in any military theater of operation.Research limitations/implicationsThis research assumes all problem data is deterministic, so it does not capture variations in requirements or transit times between nodes.Practical implicationsThis work provides prescriptive details to military analysts and decision-makers in a timely manner. Prior to this work, insights for this type of problem were generated using time-consuming simulation taking about a week and often involving trial-and-error.Originality/valueThis research provides new methods to solve an important logistics problem. The heuristic presented in this paper was recently used to provide operational insights about ground vehicle requirements to support a geographic combatant command and to inform decisions for railcar recapitalization within the US Army.

Journal

Journal of Defense Analytics and LogisticsEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 11, 2021

Keywords: Logistics; Heuristics; Fleet sizing; Integer program; Military transportation

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