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Constant approximation algorithms for the one warehouse multiple retailers problem with backlog or lost-sales


  • Gayon, J.-P.
  • Massonnet, G.
  • Rapine, C.
  • Stauffer, G.


We consider the One Warehouse Multi-Retailer (OWMR) problem with deterministic time-varying demand in the case where shortages are allowed. Demand may be either backlogged or lost. We present a simple combinatorial algorithm to build an approximate solution from a decomposition of the system into single-echelon subproblems. We establish that the algorithm has a performance guarantee of 3 for the OWMR with backlog under mild assumptions on the cost structure. In addition, we improve this guarantee to 2 in the special case of the Joint-Replenishment Problem (JRP) with backlog. As a by-product of our approach, we show that our decomposition provides a new lower bound of the optimal cost. A similar technique also leads to a 2-approximation for the OWMR problem with lost-sales. In all cases, the complexity of the algorithm is linear in the number of retailers and quadratic in the number of time periods, which makes it a valuable tool for practical applications. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first constant approximations for the OWMR with shortages.

Suggested Citation

  • Gayon, J.-P. & Massonnet, G. & Rapine, C. & Stauffer, G., 2016. "Constant approximation algorithms for the one warehouse multiple retailers problem with backlog or lost-sales," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 155-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:250:y:2016:i:1:p:155-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2015.10.054

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Absi, Nabil & Kedad-Sidhoum, Safia, 2008. "The multi-item capacitated lot-sizing problem with setup times and shortage costs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 185(3), pages 1351-1374, March.
    2. Retsef Levi & Robin Roundy & David Shmoys & Maxim Sviridenko, 2008. "A Constant Approximation Algorithm for the One-Warehouse Multiretailer Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(4), pages 763-776, April.
    3. Aksen, Deniz & Altinkemer, Kemal & Chand, Suresh, 2003. "The single-item lot-sizing problem with immediate lost sales," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 558-566, June.
    4. Willard I. Zangwill, 1966. "A Deterministic Multi-Period Production Scheduling Model with Backlogging," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 105-119, September.
    5. Harvey M. Wagner & Thomson M. Whitin, 1958. "Dynamic Version of the Economic Lot Size Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(1), pages 89-96, October.
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    1. repec:spr:mathme:v:88:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00186-018-0642-4 is not listed on IDEAS


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