Robust optimization for emergency logistics planning: Risk mitigation in humanitarian relief supply chains

Aharon Ben-Tal, Byung Do Chung, Supreet Reddy Mandala, Tao Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

166 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a methodology to generate a robust logistics plan that can mitigate demand uncertainty in humanitarian relief supply chains. More specifically, we apply robust optimization (RO) for dynamically assigning emergency response and evacuation traffic flow problems with time dependent demand uncertainty. This paper studies a Cell Transmission Model (CTM) based system optimum dynamic traffic assignment model. We adopt a min-max criterion and apply an extension of the RO method adjusted to dynamic optimization problems, an affinely adjustable robust counterpart (AARC) approach. Simulation experiments show that the AARC solution provides excellent results when compared to deterministic solution and sampling based stochastic programming solution. General insights of RO and transportation that may have wider applicability in humanitarian relief supply chains are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1189
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation

Cite this