A network approach to modeling the multi-echelon spare-part inventory system with backorders and interval-valued demand

Eugene Levner, Yael Perlman, Edwin Tai Chiu Cheng, Ilya Levner

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A multi-echelon inventory system implies the existence of a hierarchy of stocking locations, and the dependence and interaction between them. We consider a multi-echelon, spare-part inventory management problem with outsourcing and backordering. The problem is characterized by deterministic repair time/cost, and supply and demand that lie within prescribed intervals and that vary over time. The objective is to minimize the total inventory and transportation costs. We develop a network model for problem analysis and present a network flow algorithm for solving the problem. We prove that the WagnerWhitin property, known for the lot-sizing problem, can be extended to the spare-part inventory management problem under study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


  • Backorders
  • Multi-suppliers
  • Network flow algorithm
  • Network model
  • Spare-part inventory management
  • WagnerWhitin property

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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