OR Spectrum

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 815–841 | Cite as

An enterprise modelling approach for better optimisation modelling: application to the humanitarian relief chain coordination problem

  • Aurelie Charles
  • Matthieu Lauras
Regular Article


Humanitarian supply chains (HSC) can be considered a new research area. The number of applied scientific publications has considerably increased over the past 15 years. About half of this research work uses quantitative techniques as optimisation decision-support systems. But due to the recentness of this academic area, researchers are finding it difficult to develop accurate, and above all, reliable mathematical models to support their steps towards improvement. This is particularly true concerning the crucial problems of coordination in HSCs. This paper tackles the issue by developing an original quantitative modelling support method. Based on enterprise modelling methodologies, we propose a business process modelling approach that helps in understanding, analysing, evaluating and then developing the formal expression of an HSC. Such a model, therefore, clearly has an added value for practitioners and should enable relevant quantitative models to be produced. Finally, an application on the emergency response processes of the International Federation of Red Cross is detailed in order to validate the relevance and the applicability of our proposal. This experiment allows all the variables and parameters that should be useful for improving the efficiency of the network to be identified.


Optimisation modelling Humanitarian supply chains Enterprise modelling Coordination Relief chains 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universite Toulouse, Mines AlbiAlbiFrance
  2. 2.Universite Toulouse, Toulouse Business SchoolToulouseFrance

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