Quotation Fikar, Christian, Gronalt, Manfred, Hirsch, Patrick. 2016. A decision support system for coordinated disaster relief distribution. Expert Systems with Applications, 57, 104-116.




This paper presents a simulation and optimization based decision-support system (DSS) to facilitate disaster relief coordination between private and relief organizations. The DSS simulates disasters and plans shipments of relief goods via transfer points to demand points in the affected area. This enables decision-makers to analyze the last-mile distribution of goods by scheduling and routing trucks, off-road as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. Roads which are closed or opened during a disaster are considered allowing a dynamic adaptation to real world conditions and a comprehensive analysis over a rolling time-horizon. A mixed-integer problem formulation, an agent-based simulation, a heuristic-based scheduling and routing procedure as well as a Tabu Search metaheuristic are applied to analyze the given decision problem. Coordination between private and relief organization shows to be especially beneficial if time-losses resulting from closed roads are high and substantial unexpected demand occurs. Furthermore, results highlight the importance of selecting suitable transfer points and the potential of simulation and optimization based DSSs to improve disaster relief distribution.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Expert Systems with Applications
Citation Index SCI
WU-Journal-Rating new INF-A, WH-B
Language English
Title A decision support system for coordinated disaster relief distribution
Volume 57
Year 2016
Page from 104
Page to 116
Reviewed? Y
URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2016.03.039
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2016.03.039
Open Access N


Fikar, Christian (Details)
Gronalt, Manfred (Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria)
Hirsch, Patrick (Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
1112 Logistics (Details)
5347 Operations research (Details)
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