Course – Quantitative Modelling and Analysis of Supply Chains

October 21, 2020 10.00 - 16.00 h

In this course students will:

  • learn to develop models of supply chains under different modelling assumptions;
  • understand the implications of alternative modelling assumptions;
  • be able to mathematically analyze supply chains under specific structural assumptions (serial, convergent, divergent);
  • get an appreciation of the open questions regarding optimal strategies for multi-item multi-echelon inventory systems.

The course starts with a description of supply chains as multi-item multi-echelon inventory systems. We discuss relevant performance characteristics and objective functions. We provide an overview of the most important results to date, thereby providing insight into optimal policy structures, relations between state variables at different echelons in the system and numerical methods to find optimal policies.

It is generally accepted that optimal policies for divergent and general multi-item multi-echelon systems are intractable due to the curses of dimensionality. This has led to the development of heuristics, i.e. non-optimal policies. The students should be aware that such non-optimal policies come in large variety based on many different analytical methods. Due to the structural complexity of real-world multi-item multi-echelon systems, the derivation of optimal parameters of the policies discussed during the course is a mathematical challenge by itself. We also pay attention to specific classes of approximation methods that have shown to deliver accurate results.

Please find more details on this course in the course description below.

Lecturer: Prof. Ton de Kok (TUE)

Course dates: 30 September, 21 & 28 October, 16 December 2020

Time: 10.00 -16.00 h.

Location:  Utrecht

Room: t.b.a.

ECTS: 1 (attendance) – 4 (attendance + assignment)

Participation: free for TRAIL/Beta/OML members and PhD students of participating faculties

Registration: via the GP-OML website – click here

TRAIL OML Course Quantative Modelling and Analysis of Supply Chains – Fall 2020

This course is part of the GP-OML program (

© 2020 Research School TRAIL