Modelling and analysis of hub-and-spoke networks under stochastic demand and congestion
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Motivated by the strategic importance of congestion management, in this paper we present a model to design hub-and-spoke networks under stochastic demand and congestion. The proposed model determines the location and capacity of the hub nodes and allocate non-hub nodes to these hubs while minimizing the sum of the fixed cost, transportation cost and the congestion cost. In our approach, hubs are modelled as spatially distributed M/G/1 queues and congestion is captured using the expected queue lengths at hub facilities. A simple transformation and a piecewise linear approximation technique are used to linearize the resulting nonlinear model. We present two solution approaches: an exact method that uses a cutting plane approach and a novel genetic algorithm based heuristic. The numerical experiments are conducted using CAB and TR datasets. Analysing the results obtained from a number of problem instances, we illustrate the impact of congestion cost on the network topology and show that substantial reduction in congestion can be achieved with a small increase in total cost if congestion at hub facilities is considered at the design stage. The computational results further confirm the stability and efficiency of both exact and heuristic approaches.
KeywordsHub-and-spoke Congestion Cutting plane approach Genetic algorithm
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