University of Twente Student Theses


Continuous-time Markov decision process of a single-aisle warehouse

Doppenberg, D. (2018) Continuous-time Markov decision process of a single-aisle warehouse.

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Abstract:A common challenge in warehousing is to find a proper policy for storage assignment. Extensive research has been done on this subject; it provided the random storage policy, first open location storage policy and class-based storage policy using the cube-per-order index measure. A Markov decision process (MDP) has not yet been used to optimise the policy. Therefore, this study is designed to apply this technique. In this project, the storage challenge is modelled as a continuous-time Markov decision process (CTMDP) that minimises the expected waiting time with the average cost criterion. Due to an excessive state space, several assumptions will be made to obtain a tractable model. Next, the e-optimal policy provided by the CTMDP will be analysed to extract easy-toimplement storage rules and to construct a heuristic storage policy that is MDP-based. The performance of the e-optimal policy and heuristic policy as well as the performance of the policies from literature are compared by value iteration. Moreover, the performances of the MDP-based policies and the policies from literature are quantified for a case study using discrete-event simulation. The results suggest that the easy-to-implement heuristic policy extracted from the MDP improves the performance significantly compared to existing policies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:31 mathematics
Programme:Applied Mathematics MSc (60348)
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