The aim of the research program is to further the study and development of mathematical models and solution algorithms for three important families of decision problems arising in logistics and transportation:
- facility location and network design;
- vehicle routing and scheduling;
- terminal management.
Location and network design decisions are strategic by nature and constitute long-term commitments having profound impacts on cost and performance; vehicle routing and scheduling and terminal management concern medium and short-term planning horizons and involve a large number of tactical and operational decisions. The program will focus on problems of high practical relevance that either have not been studied or cannot be solved efficiently given the current state of the art. In each case, the general objectives of the program are 1) to gain a better understanding of the basic structure of the problems studied, 2) to develop appropriate formulations of these problems, and 3) to design efficient algorithms capable of solving large-scale instances within short computing times. A distinguishing aspect of the program is its focus on incorporating uncertainty within decision models and on integrating problems that have traditionally been studied individually despite their interactions.