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Prescribing Tactical Response for Oil Spill Clean Up Operations


  • W. E. Wilhelm

    (Department of Industrial Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3131)

  • A. V. Srinivasa

    (Management Science Division, Bonner and Moore Associates, 2727 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019)


The Tactical Decision Problem (TDP) associated with oil spill clean up operations prescribes the time-phased allocation of available components over the planning horizon so that the clean up requirement at each critical time point is met. The objective is to minimize response time to allow for the most effective clean up possible. In this paper, we formulate the TDP as a general integer program. We devise a method based on graph theory to efficiently generate response system types (RSTs), including constituent components, the locations from which each of the component types is obtained, and the staging area at which that RST is composed. We present several pre-processing methods and derive expressions for bounds on decision variables to facilitate solution. We then develop two heuristics to obtain approximate solutions to the TDP. The first heuristic is an LP-based method, while the second uses a combination of LP relaxation and branch and bound. The two heuristics are compared on problems that are based on realistic scenarios representing application in the Galveston Bay Area.

Suggested Citation

  • W. E. Wilhelm & A. V. Srinivasa, 1997. "Prescribing Tactical Response for Oil Spill Clean Up Operations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(3), pages 386-402, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:43:y:1997:i:3:p:386-402
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.43.3.386

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    Cited by:

    1. Caunhye, Aakil M. & Nie, Xiaofeng & Pokharel, Shaligram, 2012. "Optimization models in emergency logistics: A literature review," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 4-13.
    2. P. Daniel Wright & Matthew J. Liberatore & Robert L. Nydick, 2006. "A Survey of Operations Research Models and Applications in Homeland Security," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 514-529, December.
    3. Garrett, Richard A. & Sharkey, Thomas C. & Grabowski, Martha & Wallace, William A., 2017. "Dynamic resource allocation to support oil spill response planning for energy exploration in the Arctic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(1), pages 272-286.
    4. Altay, Nezih & Green III, Walter G., 2006. "OR/MS research in disaster operations management," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 475-493, November.
    5. Verma, Manish & Gendreau, Michel & Laporte, Gilbert, 2013. "Optimal location and capability of oil-spill response facilities for the south coast of Newfoundland," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 856-867.


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