J. Gondzio and A. Grothey
A real-life distribution planning problem is dealt with in this paper. Modelling of this problem combines the use of graphs to describe the topology of the distribution network, dynamics to capture multi-periodicity of the planning, and uncertainty of the future demands. The combination of these factors causes the (overall) problem to be non-trivial and defy standard optimization software. The problem is an example of Operations Research application which needs a dedicated solution approach. In this paper the problem has been modelled in such a way that its complicated structure can be exploited by a specialised optimization tool: its main difficulty has been converted into an advantage. The use of structure-exploiting modelling and solution methodology has enabled solving larger instances of the problem and has shed new light on the interpretation of results. The use of OOPS (Object-Oriented Parallel Solver) was crucial in achieving these goals.
Key words: Distribution Planning Problems, Interior Point Methods, Exploiting Structure.