QBWL Workshop

30th QBWL Workshop took place online (2021)

von QBWL Team am 15.03.2021, 13:10

This year’s QBWL workshop was hosted on 8 March 2021 by the Chair of Supply and Value Chain Management at TUM Campus Straubing. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop was hosted in a virtual format.

116 participants from 18 universities joined the workshop which consisted of a large number of presentations and discussions. In three streams on “Last Mile Delivery, Routing & Logistics”, “ Revenue Management & Supply Planning”, and “Sequencing & Scheduling”, 20 researchers presented their current or future research projects. The presentations were complemented by vivid discussions.The agenda can be found below.

QBWL is a gathering of German research groups working on quantitative topics in business and economics. It was established about 3 decades ago and has continuously grown to a group of more than 25 chairs. The workshop is hosted once a year by one of the participating chairs, usually as a 3-day in-person workshop.

Next year’s workshop is planned for March 28-31, 2022 in Kloster Drübeck, hosted by Prof. Sven Müller from the University of Magdeburg.


30th QBWL Workshop online (2021)

von QBWL Team am 29.10.2020, 14:35

The 30. QBWL Workshop takes place March 8. - 9. 2021. The format will be online.


For further information, see the "Workshop" section.

Aus der Forschung

Trading decisions of wind power plants

von QBWL Team am 04.06.2021, 09:18

Benedikt Finnah und Prof. Dr. Jochen Gönsch (Universität Duisburg-Essen) entwickeln Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) für mehr erneuerbare Energie. Der neue Artikel erscheint im August 2021 im Journal of Production Economics.

Optimizing trading decisions of wind power plants with hybrid energy storage systems using backwards approximate dynamic programming

On most modern energy markets, electricity is traded in advance and a power producer has to commit to deliver a certain amount of electricity some time before the actual delivery. This is especially difficult for power producers with renewable energy sources that are stochastic (like wind and solar). Thus, short-term electricity storages like batteries are used to increase flexibility. By contrast, long-term storages allow to exploit price fluctuations over time, but have a comparably bad efficiency over short periods of time.
In this paper, we consider the decision problem of a power producer who sells electricity from wind turbines on the continuous intraday market and possesses two storage devices: a battery and a hydrogen based storage system. The problem is solved with a backwards approximate dynamic programming algorithm with optimal computing budget allocation. Numerical results show the algorithm's high solution quality. Furthermore, tests on real-world data demonstrate the value of using both storage types and investigate the effect of the storage parameters on profit.


Benedikt Finnah, Jochen Gönsch,
Optimizing trading decisions of wind power plants with hybrid energy storage systems using backwards approximate dynamic programming,
International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 238,2021,108155,ISSN 0925-5273,
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2021.108155


Robust crane scheduling

von QBWL Team am 04.06.2021, 09:11

Ein neuer Artikel ist am Lehrstuhl von Prof. Dr. Stefan Voß (Universität Hamburg) entstanden und im May 2021 in der Zeitschrift Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence publiziert worden.

A robust multiobjective model for the integrated berth and quay crane scheduling problem at seaside container terminals

The ever increasing demand for container transportation has led to the congestion of maritime container terminals in the world. In this work, the two interrelated problems of berth and quay crane scheduling are considered in an integrated multiobjective mathematical model. A special character of this model is that the arrival times of vessels and the failure (working) times of quay cranes are not deterministic and can vary based on some scenarios. Hence, a robust model is devised for the problem having three objectives of minimising the deviations from target berthing locations and times as well as departure delays of all vessels. This robust optimisation seeks to minimise the value of the objectives regarding all the scenarios. An exact solution approach based on the 𝜖-constraint method by the Gurobi software is applied. Moreover, regarding the complexity of the problem, two Simulated Annealing (SA) based metaheuristics, namely a Multi-Objective Simulated Annealing (MOSA) and a Pareto Simulated Annealing (PSA) approach are adapted with a novel solution encoding scheme. The three methods are compared based on some multiobjective metrics and a statistical test. The advantage of the integration of berth and quay crane scheduling is examined as well.


Nourmohammadzadeh, A., Voß, S.
A robust multiobjective model for the integrated berth and quay crane scheduling problem at seaside container terminals.
Ann Math Artif Intell (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s10472-021-09743-5


Flying Warehouses

von QBWL Team am 31.05.2021, 15:45

Neuer Artikel im European Journal of Operational Research u.a. von Prof. Dr. Erwin Pesch (Universität Siegen) und Prof. Dr. Dominik Kress (Helmut Schmidt Universität Hamburg):

The Piggyback Transportation Problem: Transporting drones launched from a flying warehouse

This paper treats the Piggyback Transportation Problem: A large vehicle moves successive batches of small vehicles from a depot to a single launching point. Here, the small vehicles depart toward assigned customers, supply shipments, and return to the depot. Once the large vehicle has returned and another batch of small vehicles has been loaded at the depot, the process repeats until all customers are serviced. With autonomous driving on the verge of practical application, this general setting occurs whenever small autonomous delivery vehicles with limited operating range, e.g., unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) or delivery robots, need to be brought in the proximity of the customers by a larger vehicle, e.g., a truck. We aim at the most elementary decision problem in this context, which is inspired by Amazon’s novel last-mile concept, the flying warehouse. According to this concept, drones are launched from a flying warehouse and – after their return to an earthbound depot – are resupplied to the flying warehouse by an air shuttle. We formulate the Piggyback Transportation Problem, investigate its computational complexity, and derive suited solution procedures. From a theoretical perspective, we prove different important structural problem properties. From a practical point of view, we explore the impact of the two main cost drivers, the capacity of the large vehicle and the fleet size of small vehicles, on service quality.


Kai Wang, Erwin Pesch, Dominik Kress, Ilia Fridman, Nils Boysen,
The Piggyback Transportation Problem: Transporting drones launched from a flying warehouse,
European Journal of Operational Research,
2021,ISSN 0377-2217, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2021.03.064


Online verfügbar seit April 2021

Wertschöpfungsketten und Produktdesign

von QBWL Team am 28.05.2021, 11:31

Prof. Dr. Martin Grunow (TU München) und Prof. Dr. Renzo Akkerman (Wageningen University) veröffentlichen einen Artikel im International Journal of Production Research:

Concurrent design of product and supply chain architectures for modularity and flexibility: process, methods, and application

Product design and supply chain design are two key determinants of company competitiveness. However, they follow different design objectives and thus require a systematic trade-off. Although methodologies for product design and supply chain design are well established within each domain in research and industry, an integrated methodology that bridges both design domains is still lacking. Based on a recently introduced concurrent product and supply chain design process, we contribute to this underdeveloped research area with a generic approach towards exploring design tradespace. We introduce a detailed operational process for the concurrent design of product and supply chain architectures. To apply this generic process to the specific trade-off between the product-related objective of modularity and the supply-chain-related objective of sourcing flexibility, we also develop new methods for key steps of the process. We demonstrate the application of the process and the developed methods using an industrial case study of a new product (electric-vehicle battery module). The case shows that our methodology was able to structure the concurrent design process. It hereby ensured an efficient trade-off and led to high-quality designs.


Thiam-Soon Gan, Moritz Steffan, Martin Grunow & Renzo Akkerman (2021)
Concurrent design of product and supply chain architectures for modularity and flexibility: process, methods, and application,
International Journal of Production Research, DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2021.1886370


Erschienen im März 2021


Patientenzuordnung: Provision-after-Wait

von QBWL Team am 28.05.2021, 11:25

Neuer Artikel im European Journal of Operational Research von Prof. Dr. Erwin Pesch (Universität Siegen):

Provision-after-wait with preferences ordered by difference: Tighter complexity and better approximation

Braverman et al. [Math. Oper. Res. 41(1), (2016), pp. 352–376], introduce the problem Provision-after-Wait which is to find a stable (envy free) assignment of n patients to m hospitals, and their waiting times before admission, such that the social welfare is maximized, subject to a limited budget. Chan et al. [ACM Trans. Econ. Comput. 5(2), (2017), Article 12, pp. 12:1–12:36] focus on a natural case of d-ordered preferences, in which patients are ordered according to the differences of their values between consecutive hospitals. For this case, they provide a sophisticated proof of ordinary NP-hardness, reduce it to the problem called Ordered Knapsack, and develop a fully polynomial time approximation scheme for Ordered Knapsack. We present a simple proof that Ordered Knapsack is NP-hard, which implies NP-hardness of a more restrictive case of the original problem, and present an alternative fully polynomial time approximation scheme with a reduced run time by a quadratic factor of n, for a fixed m. A similar algorithm is developed to find a solution for which the social welfare is as high as for the optimal solution of Ordered Knapsack, and the budget limit can be exceeded by at most  1+eps times. We also present polynomial algorithms for the cases of Ordered Knapsack, in which the number of distinct input parameters is fixed.


Mikhail Y. Kovalyov, Erwin Pesch, Alain Quilliot,
Provision-after-wait with preferences ordered by difference: Tighter complexity and better approximation,
European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 289, Issue 3, 2021, Pages 1008-1012, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2019.07.047.


Erschienen im März 2021