Robust scenario formulations for strategic supply chain optimization under uncertainty

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McLean, Kyle
Stochastic programming , Robust optimization , Scenario Formulation , Robust Scenario Formulation , Supply Chain Optimization , Uncertainty
Strategic supply chain optimization (SCO) problems are often modelled as a two-stage optimization problem, in which the first-stage variables represent decisions on the development of the supply chain and the second-stage variables represent decisions on the operations of the supply chain. When uncertainty is explicitly considered, the problem becomes an intractable infinite-dimensional optimization problem, which is usually solved approximately via a scenario or a robust approach. This paper proposes a novel synergy of the scenario and robust approaches for strategic SCO under uncertainty. Two formulations are developed, namely, naïve robust scenario formulation and affinely adjustable robust scenario formulation. It is shown that both formulations can be reformulated into tractable deterministic optimization problems if the uncertainty is bounded with the infinity-norm, and the uncertain equality constraints can be reformulated into deterministic constraints without assumption of the uncertainty region. Case studies of a classical farm planning problem and an energy and bioproduct SCO problem demonstrate the advantages of the proposed formulations over the classical scenario formulation. The proposed formulations not only can generate solutions with guaranteed feasibility or indicate infeasibility of a problem, but also can achieve optimal expected economic performance with smaller numbers of scenarios.
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