Optimal buffer inventories for multistage production systems with failures

Paul A. Jensen, Ramakrishnan Pakath, James R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recently, several procedures have been developed to solve the problem of optimal location and sizing for buffer inventories in a serial production system that is subject to random variations in the magnitude or timing of stage failures, repair times, and demands for finished goods. To handle production systems of realistic complexity, we have developed a simplified mathematical modek and an efficient solution procedure based on dynamic programming. The solution procedire has been implemented in a portable, public-domain computer program which can also be applied to nonserial systems with diverging branches. We illustrate the procedure using a hypothetical diverging-branch system with 15 stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-326
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Ramakrishnan Pakath's research is partially supported by a Special Summer Faculty Research Fellowship awarded to Dr. Pakath from the President's Fund for Excellence, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. James R. Wilson's research is partially based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMS-8717799. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this material.


  • Inventory
  • dynamic programming
  • production
  • systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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