This research, much of it in collaboration with John J. Batholdi, III, explores how to induce desirable global behavior spontaneously, from the local interactions of agents. There have been a number of applications and implementations:
BUCKET BRIGADES, a self-organizing protocol for sharing work on an assembly-line. (This has been especially successful in organizing order-pickers in warehouses.)
- A scheme by which BUSES spontaneously coordinate themselves on a route to equalize headways. It has been implemented on the Georgia Tech Trolley System.
- A scheme to recover cyclic schedules after a disruption is described in this paper.
Public Sector Logistics
Here are a couple of papers with Ananth. V. Iyer describing our work for the city of Chicago.
In this paper we describe a model and implementation of improving the logistics of the central Chicago Public School warehousing operation.
- In this paper we describe a statistical model and Markov decision model of the garbage collection for the city of Chicago.
Email me for a copy of our working paper that describes how a hospital administrator should allocate bed capacity into wings, where each wing is allotted a set of care types and an allocation of beds. Our optimization model makes the trade-off between pooling of bed capacity, and the advantages of focusing care.
Warehousing and Distribution
I have taught a PhD course in the area using journal papers and the book Warehouse & Distribution Science by Bartholdi and Hackman that is freely available to download. Here is a paper of mine in this area on the design and analysis of an order picking system.