Seminar Series | Match, Batch, and Dispatch: Analysis of Order Fulfilment Policies

All dates for this event occur in the past.

002 Lazenby
1827 Neil Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Seminar by Natarajan Gautam   

Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Syracuse University


In this research we consider orders that arrive one by one over time to a fulfilment center. Each order is associated with a product that needs to be delivered expeditiously to nearby locations using vehicles. However, each vehicle could batch multiple orders and deliver them in a single trip. Benefits of batching include higher capacity, fewer vehicles, and lower environmental impact. The main drawbacks of batching is the reduced quality of service due to delay in delivery. To address this trade off, our objective is to formulate an optimal control problem and develop a policy for batching and dispatching that would minimize the long-run average cost per unit time. For the optimal policy, our state variable not only includes the number of orders but also incorporates when they arrived, and the delivery locations. We model the stochastic dynamics of the state using partial differential equations. Using that we evaluate the performance of a threshold policy and obtain the threshold that minimizes the long-run average cost per unit time which we compute using a renewal reward approach. We also evaluate delivery mechanisms such as first come first served and shortest Hamiltonian path. In addition, we evaluate the effectiveness of including all the information for our decisions, as opposed to just the number in the system or time since the last dispatch.

N. Gautam is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University since January 2022. Prior to that, he was a faculty member in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at Texas A&M for over 16 years, and in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering department at Penn State for 8 years. In addition, Gautam has been an Amazon Scholar since Fall 2019. His research focuses on optimization and control of stochastic systems with applications in computer-communication networks, renewable energy systems, real-time logistics, and smart manufacturing. Gautam is a Fellow of the Institute for Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). He is a department editor for IISE Transactions and, was an associate editor for the INFORMS Journal on Computing. He has written a book “Analysis of Queues” and has authored several publications in IEEE, ACM, INFORMS, and IISE journals. Both government and industry have funded his research projects. Gautam teaches courses in the stochastic operations research area and has received numerous teaching awards. He served as the chief editor of IISE’s Industrial Engineering Body of Knowledge, and also was the president of the computer and information systems division of IISE.

Category: Seminars