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An Open Source Java Code For Visualizing Supply Chain Problems


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In this paper, we decribe an open source Java class library for visualizing supply chain problems within a geographical context. The highly competitive markets and recent technological advances make the use of such supply chain network visualizations critical in both strategic and tactical levels. The most important characteristic of our work is its easy integration with any Java
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Yamaner, Y., Yamaner, Y., Akçay, A. E., Ertek, G. (2008) “An open source Java code for
visualizing supply chain problems” . CELS 2008, Jönköping, Sweeden. (presented by Yekta
Yamaner, Yalçın Yamaner and Alp Eren Akçay).
Note: This is the final draft version of this paper. Please cite this paper (or this final draft) as
above. You can download this final draft from
An Open Source Java Code For Visualizing
Supply Chain Problems
Yekta Yamaner, Yalcin Yamaner, Alp Eren Akcay, Gurdal Ertek
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Sabanci University, Orhanli, Tuzla, 34956, Istanbul, Turkey
Abstract In this paper, we decribe an open source Java class library for visualizing
supply chain problems within a geographical context. The highly competitive
markets and recent technological advances make the use of such supply chain
network visualizations critical in both strategic and tactical levels. The most
important characteristic of our work is its easy integration with any Java
application. Our software differs from any other commercial and open source
supply chain visualization tool by its simple structure, easy adoption and
implementation and high compatibility. The main motivation of our study was to
develop a simple – yet effective – library that would not require to learn and apply
complicated visualization tools and data structures such as Geographical
Information Systems (GIS). In this study, we illustrate the use of our visualization
tool through maps of Turkey, Europe, North and South America, the United States
and the NAFTA. We believe that ease of visualization offered by our open source
tool will contribute to a multitude of projects in supply chain design, as well as
increasing productive communication among practitioners, especially involved in
strategic level decision making processes. We foresee that our supply chain
visualization tool will fill a gap in this area with its simple but effective structure.
Keywords Supply Chain Visualization, Information Visualization in Logistics,
Open Source Network Visualization Library
The visualization of the supply chain networks plays an effective role in the interpretation of the
supply chain activities. Such visualizations facilitate the perception of both the extend and the
volume of the transportation within the network. They virtually increase the level of
communication between various stages of decision making in a company as well. The boom in
the number of commercial and open source software tools and libraries for supply chain
visualization indicates the significance of the subject.
In this study, we initially posed the following design question: Is it possible to represent and
visualize supply chain problem solutions in a simple manner, focusing on supply chain context
and without getting lost in the details of geographical features? The open source Java class
library we present in this paper for visualizing supply chain problems is the outcome of this
question. The fundamental characteristic of our visualization tool is its easy integration with any
Java application. It differs from any other commercial and open source visualization tools by
this simple utilization. In addition, high compatibility and easy implementation distinguishes
our visualization tool from its counterparts. In our study, we constructed a text database of only
essential geographical information for supply chain planning rather than storing every type of
geographical information. Specifically, we collected data on regions, city names and city
coordinates. The Java class library automatically reads the data for a specified geographical
region and plots the map on which the supply chain is visualized. The database, including the
geographical information can be easily extended to cover any region of the world. We believe
that our current library satisfies the initial design goals: It is lightweight, crossplatform, simple
and extremely easy to use, and effective for the specific domain that we are interested in.
The Problems to be Visualized
In this study, we propose a simple but effective visualization of the given network flows within a
supply chain. Thus, we believe that our work can be a complementary part of innumerable
studies which are conducted to solve the widely known Supply Chain Network Design problems
and the combinatorial optimization problems of Traveling Salesman Problems (TSP) and
Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP).
In TSP, each node of the network has to be visited exactly once on a single tour, with the
objective of minimizing the tour’s length. In VRP, the goal is to construct a number of vehicle
routes which start and end at the depot such that the total travel distance is minimum. The
number of routes can be set by the user apriori or can be a decision variable. Again, each node in
the network has to be visited once and additional constraints may be present in the problem.
Vehicle capacity, route length restriction and time windows in demands are some of these
important constraints which make VRP more complicated. A thorough review about VRP can be
found in La Porte et al. (2000). In addition, a detailed analysis of TSP and VRP is available in
many classic operations research books such as Aarts and Lenstra (1997), Bramel and Simchi-
Levi (1997), Korte and Vygen (2005), Gutin and Punnen (2002), Toth and Vigo (2001).
Historical notes, various formulations and solution algorithms for such combinatorial
optimization problems can be found in these resources.
TSP and VRP are heavily studied in the literature but the visualization has not been the primary
focus of existing software libraries. An effective visualization of the solutions proposed by any
algorithm can be very helpful to understand the mechanics of that algorithm, to compare the
algorithm with benchmark instances and to grasp the practical implementation of the solution.
We believe that the following characteristics are vital in an effective visualization software:
The visualization software should be lightweight, yet sufficient for the selected domain.
(ex: the domain of supply chain planning)
The software should be simple and easy to use.
The software should effectively visualize the domain – specific data.
The background on which the supply chain design is visualized should be similar to the
real network region. Thus, a real geographical map of the region is highly useful.
The use of the visualization tool should be simple so that it is compatible with other
applications developed in the same language and other developers can easily alter the
tool for their own use.
The amount of flow between each pair of nodes should be illustrated visually for an
effective visualization, and should be scalable with respect to the range of values.
Especially in the strategic level, the visualization should focus on the representation of
the information related with the supply chain planning and the details in the
geographical structures (i.e. highways, mountains, city borders etc.) can be omitted to
keep the attention on domain specific data (ex: supply chain entities and flows).
Related Work
Integration of the geographical data with advanced visualization techniques urges supply chain
planners to show their work in a descriptive and visual manner. In that sense, Geographical
Information Systems (GIS) are widely used in the state of the art software tools that visualize the
attributes of various regions on the world. In this section, firstly, we will explain GIS briefly and
discuss some of the important open source GIS software. Next, the integration of supply chain
design with geographical information and some commercial and open source supply chain
visualization tools will be examined.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are an organized collection of computer hardware,
software, geographic data, and personal design to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate,
analyze, and display all forms of geographic and geologic information.” (ESRI, 1995) A thorough
history and evolution of GIS can be found in Foresman (1998). Applications of GIS range from
environmental protection, meteorology, transportation and military operations to business
planning and marketing. In other words, it is possible to benefit from GIS applications to better
understand the earth and the interactions of the human with the earth. For example, for
transportation research and management late 1980s are the golden ages in terms of widespread
use of the GIS (Thill, 2000). Web-based traffic information systems and trip planning engines,
in-vehicle navigation systems and real-time congestion management and accident detection are
some of them.
The development and widespread use of open source GIS software in recent years has brought
cost-effective and customized alternatives. Some of the renowned open source GIS software
need to be highlighted. Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) is the most
widely known open source GIS software, and operates on various platforms through a graphical
user interface (GUI). It is possible to state that GRASS is the largest, most powerful and reliable
open source GIS project. GRASS has a detailed documentation and the users can easily write
their own modules even with a basic C programming language skill (Smotritsky, 2004). Another
popular open source GIS application is Quantum GIS (QuantumGIS), which is often abbreviated
as QGIS. It is a multi-platform application and is compatible with different operating systems
while supporting vector, raster and database formats. Figure 1 gives a routing visualization
example using QNav software, which creates the visualizations in QGIS. MapServer
(MapServer) is one of the widely used web-based mapping editors. Spatially-enabled web
mapping applications and services can be developed in this development environment, which
was originally created by the University of Minnesota. Some other important open source GIS
software are MapWindow GIS, GeoTools, NRDB Pro, OpenGeoDB (listed under the References
section). There are also some open source tools to generate GIS data according to the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards. Some of the important ones are
MIG Editor and GeoCatalogo.
Figure 1. Routing in supply chain using QNav software
Ramsey (2007) evaluates the current state of open source GIS software in detail. The author
examines almost all open source GIS software in accordance with their implementation
languages and platforms such as C, Java and .NET. Shared libraries and applications for each
class are exemplified. In addition, a survey of open source GIS web projects is provided. Nasr
(2007) also investigates the use of open source GIS software and its impact on organizations. It
involves a comparative analysis between a leading open source web GIS tool, MapServer, and
three of the leading commercial web GIS software, namely ESRI’s ArcIMS, Intergraph’s
GeoMedia WebMap and MapInfo’s MapXtreme. It concludes that the open source MapServer is
technically equivalent to its commercial counterparts and lack of awareness in the open source
concepts is the main reason behind the poor adoption of open source GIS software in business
in contrast to academia. Camara et al. (2007) investigates the publicly available open source GIS
software in terms of their maturity, support and functionality as well as the developers’
organization structure (i.e. individual based, network team and corporation-based).
The Integration of Supply Chain Design with Geographical Information
The visualization of the solution of a supply chain design optimization problem significantly
improves the effectiveness of the solution by conveying the results in a more descriptive and
explanatory way. There are a number of visualization tools integreted with an optimization
engine available in the literature. LogicTools is a proprietary division of ILOG, world’s leading
optimization software developer. Network visualization is available in the LogicTools software in
addition to other supply chain planning and scheduling activities. Transport Powerops is
another proprietary software developed by ILOG. It also provides supply chain design
visualization for professionals and researchers working on supply chain design. Llamasoft is
another proprietary software for supply chain optimization. Network simulation is also
available in this software in addition to an effective visualization. A screenshot from this
commercial GIS software is given in Figure 2.
Figure 2. A supply chain design with llamasoft software
(used with permission from LlamaSoft)
ESRI, one of the leading commercial GIS software, also provides a tool integrating the benefits
of GIS with logistics and supply chain problems. A network-based spatial analysis can be
fulfilled by the extension, ArcGIS Network Analyst in ESRI. Nardi et al. (2007) discusses the
development and implementation of a GIS-based constrained linear programming model about
the minimization of transportation and storage costs for soybeans and associated products.
General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) is used to solve for the model and ArcMap, a
component of ESRIs ArcGIS, is used to map geographical data before and after the linear
programming optimization in GAMS. A supply chain planning system which is enhanced with
visualization modules is discussed by Camm et al. (1997). The system described in their study
visualizes the results of an optimization algorithm that eventually saved the giant consumer
products firm Procter & Gamble more than $200 million. A detailed list of the proprietary
software which can be used in supply chain and logistics problems can be found in the web site
Different features of the various supply chain visualization software play a significant role as
selection criteria of practitioners or supply chain design researchers. They include:
Pricing of the software license and the license terms,
Ease of the installation,
Compatibility with any other already existing tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning
(ERP) or Customer Relations Management (CRP) software,
Service quality of the provider,
The ease and convenience in learning and practicing the software even by a person
without deep technical knowledge.
In the further parts of the paper, a detailed analysis of our proposed visualization tool is given in
terms of these criteria.
The Developed Software
We devised and developed a Java code library for the visualization of the flows within a supply
chain residing in a bounded geographic region. We used the Eclipse as the IDE (Integrated
Development Environment) for developing our Java code. There are a number of reasons
behind our decision to choose Java as the programming language for our supply chain
visualization tool:
1. The cross-platform character of the Eclipse allows us to build and deploy our software
across multiple platforms. For instance, our cross-platform application may be run on
Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
2. Open source characteristic of Java appeals to us in terms of its availability, accessibility of
detailed documentation free of charge and large developer communities sharing common
goals and interests.
3. Parallel to this large Java community, we also consider the extensive libraries and
packages that can boost the development process of any application written in Java.
4. A prospective integration of our visualization tool into professional ERP software is
another reason for the selection of Java. As a result of a close relationship with a leading
ERP software developer of Turkey, the project team plans to embed the proposed
visualization tool into the distribution module of a widely-known ERP software in
5. The existence of very effective, high quality and freely available IDEs to develop
applications in Java (i.e. Eclipse, Netbeans…etc.).
6. The expertise of the project team in Java is the last important factor.
The structure of the geographic data related to any geographic region is very simple to gather
and use. Within the framework of a previously completed project by some of the freshmen
students at Sabanci University, we collected x-y coordinates for the region border and cities for
Europe and Turkey in the form of a text file in the UTF-8 format (which allows characters from
the Turkish alphabet). For storing the supply chain specific data, another text file is necessary
with three data fields for each flow: the city from where the flow emanates, the city into where
the flow enters and the amount of flow.
We constructed four Java classes (i.e. , , )
to build the structure of our software. Figure 3 shows the UML class diagram of our software
library, representing the collection of classes and the detailed system design. is the
main class of the program. It gets two input text files as the inputs and creates an object from
the class. The class uses and classes to
read the text files and get the necessary geographical and supply chain design information,
respectively. and classes are both constructed to read text file
content line by line. They include two split methods, namely and , in
order to split the data in each line. The data is then saved into one dimensional array. The
reads the map information in terms of border line coordinates, city names and city
coordinates. The reads the solution text file that includes the specific city
names where through which transportation takes place and the flow rate information. Examples
of the supply chain design text files are provided in the Appendix A1 and A2 for two different
After obtaining the arrays that include the information stored in the text files, class
calls the method. This method detects the maximum and minimum coordinates of the
given map and scales all coordinates up to a numeric value as defined by the user. An algorithm
is developed to make the appropriate scaling. The algorithm works by finding the ratio between
the maximum x and y coordinates. So two different scale factors are calculated to scale x and y
coordinates of the overall map independently. We design and implement the code of our
program in such a way that all information is accessible and the user can change some specific
parameters such as object colors, line thicknesses, window sizes, and scale factors conveniently.
Figure 3. UML Class Diagram of the Software
The UML sequence diagram illustrating how objects interact with each other during a program
run is given in Figure 4. The UML sequence diagram facilitates the understanding of how our
system actually works and how we design the relationship of objects with one another. The
rectangular boxes represent the object instances. The dashed lines, called life lines, indicate the
object’s life during interaction. An interaction between two objects is performed when a message
is sent from one object to another. A message is represented by an arrow between the life lines
of two objects. The flow of objects’ operation calls in Figure 4 gives the flow of object interaction.
For instance, object is created by the object. object
interacts with the database (i.e. text file) and it returns a object of its class. Similarly,
object is created and it returns object after the text file is read. These two
objects, and are used by the object and the map of the region and the specified
supply chain are drawn by using the data obtained from these objects.
Figure 4. UML Sequence Diagram
It is also possible to follow the order of behavior shown in the system by using a UML activity
diagram (Figure 5), which is similar to the flow chart. We give each step in the visualization of a
supply chain network as an action in the activity diagram. For instance, the user has to collect
map data or get the supply chain design solution at the first place. These two actions can be
handled simultaneously and they can be completed independently. However, the subsequent
action (i.e. forming the text files storing map and solution data) cannot be started before these
two actions are completed. In a similar manner, the flow of all actions necessary to visualize a
supply chain design problem is given in the activity diagram.
In order to illustrate the contributions of our software to supply chain visualization, we describe
the use and the output graphs of three different supply chain scenarios.
Visualization 1: Tire cord exports from Turkey
The first visualization shows the export of tire cord from Istanbul (where the Sabanci Group
headquarters are located) to some European countries and is given in Figure 6. In this case, we
were motivated by an earlier study completed in Sabanci University, where a spreadsheet
optimization model was developed to find the optimal material handling policy at the KordSA
production facility. KordSA, founded in 1972 by the Sabanci Group of Turkey, as a manufacturer
of yarn and tire cord, currently operates in seven countries with nine manufacturing facilities.
Figure 5. UML Activity Diagram
The most of the finished tire cord products export from Turkey to European countries is
achieved by KordSA and the deep understanding of extent and volume of these exports is
important for strategic level supply chain design and planning in the company. That is why we
decided to visualize the tire cord exports from Turkey to the European countries, which is a
significant part of Turkey’s global tire cord exports. The dataset is compiled from the Comtrade
web portal of United Nations (Comtrade), which lists trade data between countries of the world.
The visualized data is given in Appendix A1. In this visualization scheme, each country is
represented by its capital city (except Turkey) and the flow between two countries is represented
with solid lines with the thickness varying according to the amount of the associated flow. For
example, the supply chain visualization in Figure 6 clearly illustrates that the largest amount of
tire cord export from Turkey to Europe is realized to Germany and then to Italy, while the
exports to the other countries are at similar levels.
Figure 6. Tire cord exports of Turkey to some European countries
Borders of the European map are created depending on an origin point; distances between each
point in the border lines to the origin point are measured and included in the “europe_map.txt”.
City coordinates are also measured according to that origin point. In the algorithm the user can
also scale the map by setting a scaling constant a priori. That is, the user can decide size of the
map by choosing an appropriate value for this coefficient.
Visualization 2: Delivery routes of vehicles
In addition to the visualization of a supply chain network on the European map shown in Figure
6, we also illustrate the output of our software by visualizing delivery routes in Turkey. The
geographical data related to Turkey were collected in a similar manner with the European map.
The border lines were examined in very small segments such that these short straight lines
would constitute the whole borderline for Turkey. The x and y coordinates for the start and end
points of the each line segment are again stored in a text file. Different from the European map
data, the x and y coordinates for all provinces and administrative districts were retrieved and
are also stored for Turkey. Thus, more extensive information can be visualized for any region
within Turkey. The visualization of the solution of a fictitous traveling salesman problem in
Turkey is given in Figure 7. In this solution, the delivery tour begins and ends at the
Southeastern megacity of Diyarbakir. The corresponding data is available in Appendix A2.
Consistent with the requirements imposed by a traveling salesman problem, each of the ten
cities in the model is visited exactly once and the tour ends at the initial node. The varying
thickness for the flow values implies that the amount of flow entering and exiting a city is not
the same. This is consistent with each flow value given in the input file, which is given in
Appendix A2. In this sample solution, a large percent of the truck’s load is delivered at Istanbul
and the truck travels the return trip from Istanbul to Diyarbakir almost empty. A new
visualization can be easily generated by simply changing the names of cities in the supply chain
design solution text file.
Figure 7. Visualization of a fictitious traveling salesman problem solution in Turkey.
Figure 8 gives the visualization of the solution of a fictitious vehicle routing problem, again
referencing certain Turkish cities. The corresponding data is available in Appendix A3.
Consistent with the requirements imposed by a vehicle routing problem, each of the cities in the
model is visited exactly once and each tour ends at the same node it starts (i.e. the depot located
in Istanbul). In this specific scenario, the graph presents two different routes from Istanbul
passing through several cities and going back to Istanbul with the objective of minimizing total
travel distance subject to constraints. The same thickness for all flow values implies that the
amount of flow entering and exiting a city is the same. This tells us that for this VRP, the amount
of demand at each city was either zero, or was not visualized.
Figure 8. Visualization of a fictitious vehicle routing problem solution in Turkey.
Visualization 3: Supply chain networks in America
In order to extend the applicability of the visualization tool, geographical data for South and
North America are also collected. The visualization of a fictitious supply chain network is shown
for the whole continent in Figure 9. Similar to the previous visualizations, the geographical data
includes city names for each state. Supply chain networks can be illustrated efficiently using the
software facilitating strategic and tactical level decision making.
Figure 9. Visualization of a supply chain design problem in North and South America
In Figure 10, the supply chain visualization is performed for the United States. Considering the
trade volume of the United States with nearby countries, the visualization of the Canada,
Mexico, and the United States is provided to represent the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) countries (Figure 11). Since NAFTA eliminates the majority of tariffs in
product flows between United States, Canada and Mexico, a huge volume of trade is observed
within the region. It is apparent that focus on supply chain design for this trade zone can
significantly improve the efficiency of the supply chain operations, which is the motivation for
our focus on the visualization of the geographical data for NAFTA.
Figure 10. Visualization of a supply chain design problem in the United States
Figure 11. Visualization of a supply chain design problem within NAFTA
Conclusion and Future Research
In this study, we present a simple yet effective software library for supply chain visualization
mapped to geographical regions of Europe and North and South America. Turkey is visualized
separately providing more detail in the geographical data such as all city and district names. In
other words, the visualization tool addresses the users who are involved with supply chain
design within America and Europe regions. Considering the economic development level, the
demographic structure of the region (i.e. cultural interactions, historical background) and
current level of product flows within these regions, it is possible to conclude that our
visualization software can be an important tool for supply chain researchers and practitioners.
Conveying the ideas in logistics, sharing the solutions of supply chain design problems and
interpreting these solutions will be more efficient in terms of quality and time. There is no doubt
that a supply chain network solution will have more impact compared to the one which has only
a list of numbers.
In the implementation of our supply chain visualization tool, the main idea was to devise a
system that is both useful and easy-to-learn. We investigated a significant number of open
source and commercial software tools in this domain and find out that many of them require
command of fairly complex geographical data structures to learn and implement. In order to
devise and develop a simple and easy-to-understand geographical visualization tool, border
lines for a region are divided into small pieces and the starting and end points of each of these
small pieces are determined. Having stored this relevant yet extremely simple geographical data
for the solutions of supply chain problems is visualized on a geographical map.
Although our visualization tool combines simplicity and ease-of-use in a single framework, there
is still significant room for improvement without scarifying these two goals. Future research can
focus on the addition of further characteristics to the software. The further contributions to this
study can evolve around the topics given below:
It is possible to extend the visual performance and appearance of the software by adding
interactive zooming, panning and selection.
The test of the visualization tool with the real world data can provide valuable insights in
the strategic and tactical levels for a company.
The integration of the visualization tool into a well known ERP software in Turkey is an
important goal of the project team. The visualization tool is fully compatible with the
considered ERP software since both are written in the Java programming language.
An extensive documentation is essential for the wide-spread adoption of the visualization
library by large audiences. In order to reach a large group of professionals and
researchers in supply chain area, authors plan to post the software and its extended
documentation in several languages on the project web site .
Information visualization is a growing research area with advances in information
systems and hardware technology. It is possible to find studies in the information
visualization literature, combining the temporal and spatial data. For example, Kapler
and Wright et al. (2004) analyzes observations over time and geography. The spatial
interconnectedness of information over time and geography is achieved with an
interactive and three-dimensional view. In this aspect, our software is open to any
improvement in terms of information visualization.
An earlier report on our study has been awarded with the 3
place from among approximately
25 groups in the Industrial Engineering Student Symposium (İTÜ EMÖS) organized at Istanbul
Technical University (2007). The project is based on the PROJ 102 projects of undergraduate
students Yener Kızılin, Talha Boz, Emre Adnan Işık, Hüseyin Çağlar Su and Funda Şentürk who
created the geographical datasets. Authors would like to thank Dr. Burcin Bozkaya for his
contributions in the supply chain visualization literature survey and to Ahmet Demirelli for his
support in coding the Java program.
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Mathematics ,1
The structure of used solution files were shown in this section. All .txt files are generated
from MS Excel by using tab eliminated save method.
A.1 Supply_KordSA.txt
City1 City2
A.2 supply_turkey_tsp.txt
City1 City2
The recent proliferation of open source geospatial routing tools such as QGIS Road Graph Plugin (QRG), Open Street Routing Machine, Google Maps Engine, GraphHopper (GH), and OsmAnd has led to the need to provide a method for comparatively evaluating the strength and weakness of these routing tools. In this paper, comparative evaluation of these tools has been carried out using drive test survey and routing estimation. The primary objective of this paper is to demonstrate comparative advantage of using open source GIS routing tools to optimize vaccine delivery process such that there would be significant reduction in logistics, manpower and cost associated with routine vaccine delivery. The capacity of the selected open source GIS routing tools was evaluated against this backdrop. Hence drive test survey was used to define the benchmark for determining the best rank among these routing tools. The drive test survey was carried out on delivery routes connecting state cold store (depot for vaccine storage) to 10 health facilities and the results were compared with values derived from routing estimation. The overall outcome indicated QRG had the highest cumulative error margin of 67.52 km while the lowest was reported for GH (46.17 km). Drive test outcome may not be sufficient to determine best or otherwise routing tool, it may be appropriate to consider other valuable criteria for the purpose of ranking these tools. Based on these criteria, QRG has the highest ranking score and OsmAnd got the lowest. These ranking scores are subject to changes with new releases.
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This paper discusses the development and implementation of a GIS-based constrained linear programming model that minimizes transportation and storage costs for soybeans and its by-products in Argentina for 2006. Given the demand of Argentine soybeans at the crushing facilities and soybeans and its by-products at the exporting ports, this study identified the lowest-cost soybean producing and storage locations; grain transportation routes by truck, rail and barge; crushing facilities and exporting ports. The lowest-cost supply chains are optimized from the different rates charged and constrained by the capacities at each stage of the supply chain from up-stream to down-stream; this is, from the country elevator to the terminal elevator passing through crushing plants. General Algebraic Modeling System, GAMS, was used to optimize the linear programming cost-minimization model while ArcGIS Network Analyst was used to produce and map the Origin-Destination Cost Matrices for the supply chain analysis. ArcMap was used to map geographic data before and after the linear programming optimization in GAMS. ArcGIS ArcMap mapping possibilities and ArcGIS Network Analyst solving capabilities together with GAMS optimization capabilities can have a significant impact on agricultural supply chain management for trading firms as well as producers, elevators and crushers by providing detailed information and images of the lowest-cost producing regions, transportation modes, storage locations and exporting sites.
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In 1993, Procter & Gamble (P&G) began an effort entitled strengthening global effectiveness (SGE) to streamline work processes, drive out nonvalue-added costs, and eliminate duplication. A principal component of SGE was the North American product supply study, designed to reexamine and reengineer P&G's product-sourcing and distribution system for its North American operations. The methodology developed to solve this problem drew on OR/MS and information technology, merging integer programming, network optimization models, and a geographical information system (GIS). As a result of this study, P&G is reducing the number of North American plants by almost 20 percent, saving over $200 million in pretax costs per year and renewing its focus on OR/MS approaches.
From the Publisher:In the past three decades local search has grown from a simple heuristic idea into a mature field of research in combinatorial optimization. Local search is still the method of choice for NP-hard problems as it provides a robust approach for obtaining high-quality solutions to problems of a realistic size in a reasonable time. This area of discrete mathematics is of great practical use and is attracting ever increasing attention. The contributions to this book cover local search and its variants from both a theoretical and practical point of view, each with a chapter written by leading authorities on that particular aspect. This book is an important reference volume and an invaluable source of inspiration for advanced students and researchers in discrete mathematics, computer science, operations research, industrial engineering and management science.
The late 1980s saw the first widespread use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in transportation research and management. Due to the specific requirements of transportation applications and of the rather late adoption of this information technology in transportation, research has been directed toward enhancing existing GIS approaches to enable the full range of capabilities needed in transportation research and management. This paper places the concept of transportation GIS in the broader perspective of research in GIS and Geographic Information Science. The emphasis is placed on the requirements specific of the transportation domain of application of this emerging information technology as well as on core research challenges.