Solving an ammunition distribution network design problem using multi-objective mathematical modeling, combined AHP-TOPSIS, and GIS

COMPUTERS & INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING, vol.129, pp.512-528, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI)  • Publication Type: Article / Article
• Volume: 129
• Publication Date: 2019
• Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cie.2019.02.004
• Title of Journal : COMPUTERS & INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING
• Page Numbers: pp.512-528

Abstract

We study a strategic-level ammunution distribution network design problem (ADNDP) where the purpose is to determine the locations and the service assignments of main, regional, and local depots in order to meet the ammunition needs of military units considering several factors, e.g., stock levels at the depots, costs, and risk levels of depot locations. ADNDP is a real-world and large-scale problem for which scientific decision making methods do not exist. We propose a methodology that uses multi-objective mathematical modeling, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), and Geographic Information System (GIS) to solve the problem. The multi-objective mathematical model determines the locations and the service assignments of depots considering two objectives, namely, to minimize transportation costs and to minimize risk scores of main depot locations. The risk score of a depot location indicates how vulnerable the location is to disruptions and is determined by a combined AHP-TOPSIS analysis where TOPSIS is used to compute the risk scores and AHP is used to compute the weights needed by TOPSIS for the identified risk attributes. The GIS analysis is conducted to determine the potential depot locations using map layers based on spatial criteria.

We have applied the proposed methodology in designing and evaluating a real ammunition distribution network under different scenarios in collaboration and cooperation with the area experts. We have employed the weighted-sum method to find non-dominated solutions for each scenario and discussed their tradeoffs with the area experts. The purpose of this paper is to present the proposed methodology, findings, and insights.

We study a strategic-level ammunution distribution network design problem (ADNDP) where the purpose is to determine the locations and the service assignments of main, regional, and local depots in order to meet the ammunition needs of military units considering several factors, e.g., stock levels at the depots, costs, and risk levels of depot locations. ADNDP is a real-world and large-scale problem for which scientific decision making methods do not exist. We propose a methodology that uses multi-objective mathematical modeling, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS), and Geographic Information System (GIS) to solve the problem. The multi-objective mathematical model determines the locations and the service assignments of depots considering two objectives, namely, to minimize transportation costs and to minimize risk scores of main depot locations. The risk score of a depot location indicates how vulnerable the location is to disruptions and is determined by a combined AHP-TOPSIS analysis where TOPSIS is used to compute the risk scores and AHP is used to compute the weights needed by TOPSIS for the identified risk attributes. The GIS analysis is conducted to determine the potential depot locations using map layers based on spatial criteria.