Deployment planning: a linear programming model with variable reduction
Collier, K. Steven
Rosenthal, Richard E.
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The United States Armed Forces must be capable of deploying to areas of operations anywhere is the world. Planning for these deployments is the responsibility of the Joint Deployment Agency, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida. Deployment plans are large and complex. A straightforward linear programming model of a deployment plan could easily exceed 700 million decision variables. This study outlines the development of a system used to assist planners in determining deployment plan feasibility and in selecting modes of transportation. The system consists of a data input array, an algorithm to eliminate all unusable variables, and a linear programming model. The largest scenario in this study is a 90-day deployment plan with 80 movement requirements, 9 types of lift assets, traveling between 22 ports. This corresponds to a linear programming model with 35 million decision variables. The variable reduction algorithm reduced the number of variables to 11,100, and an optimal solution was found in a total computation time (input, reduction, optimization, output) time of 6.5 minutes.
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