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Keynote

Meta-heuristics for Inventory Optimization in Supply Chains

Chandrasekharan Rajendran

Indian Institute Technology, Madras

Abstract: Inventory control or order policies play an important role in reducing costs in a supply chain. Typically a supply chain consists of entities or members such as retailers, distributors, a manufacturer and suppliers. In many real-life situations, these entities operate with base-stock levels (i.e., with order-up-to-S policy) and place orders to their respective upstream members every day or in some fixed periods, depending upon their local order costs, inventory holding costs and backlog costs. The objective is to determine the best base-stock levels and order periods for every member with the assumption of deterministic customer demands on a daily basis and over a finite time horizon. Integer linear programming models are first presented. This problem is computationally hard to solve and requires the use of heuristic or approximate algorithms to get good-quality policy parameters. For this purpose, we first present heuristic algorithms, and thereafter genetic algorithms and simulated annealing algorithms. The performance of these algorithms is evaluated by considering many supply chain lead-time and cost settings. Directions for future research are presented.

Short bio: Dr Chandrasekharan Rajendran is Professor and Head of the Department of Management Studies in Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. He holds BE(Honours) in Mechanical Engineering and ME in Industrial Engineering (both from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai) and PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management from IIT Madras. He has been on the faculty of IIT Madras since 1987. He is a recipient of Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship of Germany, and he has been collaborating with German Universities such as the University of Passau very closely. He has more than 100 publications in journals such as International Journal of Production Research, European Journal of Operational Research, Computers & Industrial Engineering, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Advanced Manufacuring Technology, International Journal of Operational Research, and Journal of the Operational Research Society. He also serves as a reviewer for many such journals. In survey papers reported in International Journal of Production Economics in 2009 and 2010, he was ranked within the top 20 h-index authors among Operations Management researchers all over the world and over the last fifty years.

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