Multi-criteria logistics modeling for military humanitarian assistance and disaster relief aerial delivery operations

Nathaniel D. Bastian, Paul M. Griffin, Eric Spero, Lawrence V. Fulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Given that it is not always feasible to reach an affected area via land or sea within the first week following a natural disaster, aerial delivery provides the primary means to rapidly supply the affected population. Further, it is often the case that high density delivery of humanitarian aid supplies are taken over by non-friendly groups within the affected population. By using direct airdrop systems to deliver large quantities of individually wrapped food and water items, dispersion among the affected disaster relief population will occur more quickly. In this paper, we proffer a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) framework to optimize the military humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) aerial delivery supply chain network. The model uses stochastic, mixed-integer, weighted goal programming to optimize network design, logistics costs, staging locations, procurement amounts, and inventory levels. The MCDA framework enables decision-makers to explore the trade-offs between military HA/DR aerial delivery supply chain efficiency and responsiveness, while optimizing across a wide range of real-world, probabilistic scenarios to account for the inherent uncertainty in the location of global humanitarian disasters as well as the amount of demand to be met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-953
Number of pages33
JournalOptimization Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Optimization


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