Solving a Novel Multi-Objective Inventory Location Problem by Means of a Local Search Algorithm


Problems in operations research are usually modelled as single objective ones even though there exist several goals that should be attained. Multiple reasons of why inherently multi-objective problems are modelled as single objective can be identified: better understanding of the problem features, simplification of the mathematical formulation of the problem, among others. However, summarising (usually conflicting) objectives into one objective function can be a sign of over-simplification in the problem modelling process. In this paper we extend a single objective inventory location problem formulation to a multi-objective one. We consider two conflicting objectives, namely, location cost and inventory cost. As a result, we obtain a complex multi-objective non-linear integer programming problem. Like its single objective formulation, this multi-objective problem cannot be solved by exact methods as the number of decision variables increases. Thus, a simple yet effective multi-objective local search algorithm is implemented in this paper.