Mathematical Programming basics

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In January 29th, 2018 Associate Prof. David Perez, from Centro de Investigación en Gestión e Ingeniería de Producción (CIGIP) from Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) conducted one teaching session as part of his teaching agenda in the secondment that took place in Bretagne Développement Innovation (BDI).

This session was specially aimed at staff from BDI. The topic was “Introduction to Mathematical Programming”. It was shown the advantages of using some of the technics of Operations Research, an more particularly, Mathematical Programming, in Suppy Chain Management. Then one basic example was approached. The final goal was to get started in the field of Mathematical programming and get new insights to cope with the specific characteristics of agri-food Supply Chains and how decisions are taken.
Regarding SCM, two basic types of decisions were pointed out:

  1. SC Design: They are related to long Term Decisions (strategical), for example the location and sizing of the different nodes, connection possibilities among the nodes and sizing of them…
  2. SC Operations Planning; They are related to Medium/Short Term Decisions (tactical and operational), for example the planning of physical activities (Production, Storage and Transport) and non-physical activities (Purchase and Sales), distinguishing between those taken tactically and thefore capacity-based decisions and those taken operationally, more focused on their execution.

Centralized and Decentralized-based decisions among the different partners of a SC as well as different degrees collaboration schemes were also briefly approached.

Regarding, Operations Research tools, some of them were identified such as: inventory management theory, graphs theory, simulation, and finally mathematical programming. This latest one was chosen as the most appropiate one to cope with SC decision-making and to characterize the different decisions along Agrifood SC: planting, harvesting, processing, distributing…

The presentation used during the teaching sessions is available for download here