Solving a new multi-objective inventory-routing problem by an imperialist competitive algorithm

Document Type: Research Paper


1 School of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 University of Tehran


This paper considers a multi-period, multi-product inventory-routing problem in a two-level supply chain consisting of a distributor and a set of customers. This problem is modeled with the aim of minimizing bi-objectives, namely the total system cost (including startup, distribution and maintenance costs) and risk-based transportation. Products are delivered to customers by some heterogeneous vehicles with specific capacities through a direct delivery strategy. Additionally, storage capacities are limited and the shortage is assumed to be impermissible. To validate this bi-objective model, the ε-constraint method is used for solving the problem. Since problems without distribution planning are very complex to solve optimally, the problem considered in this paper also belongs to a class of NP-hard ones. Therefore, a multi-objective imperialist competitive algorithm (MOICA) as a well-known multi-objective evolutionary algorithm is used and developed to solve a number of test problems. Furthermore, the computational results are compared to show the performance of the proposed MOICA.