A Branch-and-Cut Algorithm for a Multi-item Inventory Distribution Problem

  • Agostinho Agra
  • Adelaide CerveiraEmail author
  • Cristina Requejo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10122)


This paper considers a multi-item inventory distribution problem motivated by a practical case occurring in the logistic operations of an hospital. There, a single warehouse supplies several nursing wards. The goal is to define a weekly distribution plan of medical products that minimizes the visits to wards, while respecting inventory capacities and safety stock levels. A mathematical formulation is introduced and several improvements such as tightening constraints, valid inequalities and an extended reformulation are discussed. In order to deal with real size instances, an hybrid heuristic based on mathematical models is introduced and the improvements are discussed. A branch-and-cut algorithm using all the discussed improvements is proposed.

Finally, a computational experimentation is reported to show the relevance of the model improvements and the quality of the heuristic scheme.


Multi-item inventory Hospital logistics Branch-and-cut Supply chain management 



The research of the first and third authors was partially supported through CIDMA and FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, within project UID/MAT/ 04106/2013. The research of the second author is financed by the ERDF - European Regional Development Fund through the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation - COMPETE 2020 Programme within project “POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006961”, and by National Funds through the FCT as part of project UID/EEA/50014/2013.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agostinho Agra
    • 1
  • Adelaide Cerveira
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Cristina Requejo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Aveiro and CIDMAAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto-DouroVila RealPortugal
  3. 3.INESC TECPortoPortugal

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