Prof. Michal Tzur

Industrial Engineering department, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

December 09, 2016, 12:15, Room GC A3 31 (click here for the map)

Effectiveness and Equity in Pickup and Distribution Problems

We study the logistic challenges of a food bank that, on a daily basis, uses vehicles of limited capacity to collect donated food from suppliers in the food industry and distribute it to welfare agencies. We model this problem as a routing- resource allocation problem, with the aim of maintaining equitable allocations to the different agencies, while delivering overall as much food as possible. We introduce an innovative objective function that satisfies desired properties of the allocation, that is easy to compute and implement within a mathematical formulation, and that balances effectiveness and equity acceptably. We present an exact solution method, upper bounds, and a heuristic approach. Numerical experiments on several real-life and randomly generated datasets confirm that high-quality solutions may be obtained. Some implementation issues will be discussed, concerning the integration of our solution method into the information systems of the Israeli food bank with whom we cooperate (Joint work with Ohad Eisenhandler).


Michal Tzur is a professor in the Industrial Engineering Department of the Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Israel. She received her Ph.D. in Management Science from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University in the city of New York. She was a faculty member in the business school of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School) and a visiting faculty member in the department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences (IEMS) at Northwestern University. Her main research interests are in the areas of humanitarian logistics, vehicle sharing systems, vehicle routing and supply chain management. Since 2015 she serves as the president of the Operations Research Society of Israel (ORSIS).