When an unreliable supplier serves multiple retailers, the retailers may compete with each other by inflating their order quantities in order to obtain their desired allocation from the supplier, a behavior known as the rationing game. We introduce capacity information sharing and a capacity reservation mechanism in the rationing game and show that a Nash equilibrium always exists. Moreover, we provide conditions guaranteeing the existence of the *reverse bullwhip effect* upstream, a consequence of the disruption caused by the supplier. In contrast, we also provide conditions under which the bullwhip effect does not exist. In addition, we show that a smaller unit reservation payment leads to more bullwhip and reverse bullwhip effects, while a large unit underage cost results in a more severe bullwhip effect.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

A transit vessel traffic scheduling algorithm has been developed to limit the negative effects on cargo volume throughput in two-way waterways where separation distances between transiting vessels must be maintained and passage restrictions may hold. It runs in time that is polynomial in the number of ships involved in the computation and finds schedules which increase the utilization of waterways. Three examples illustrate its use. The first example is situated in the Sunda Strait where the algorithm is used to enhance the safety of merchant shipping against a terrorist threat. It illustrates important features of the algorithm and demonstrates how it can be used with cross traffic. The second example is situated in the Strait of Istanbul and offers a comparison between the developed algorithm and the transit vessel scheduling algorithm of Ulusçu et al., *J Navig* 62 (2009), 59–77. This was done using a plausible model of the Strait of Istanbul. The third and last example shows how the algorithm can be used to schedule transit vessel traffic in two-way waterways with junctions. This feature is especially useful in congested waters with a high risk of collisions like the Inland Sea of Japan. An extreme test case proves that the developed algorithm is a practical algorithm ready for such use.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

We study a parallel machine scheduling problem, where a job *j* can only be processed on a specific subset of machines *M*_{j}, and the *M*_{j} subsets of the *n* jobs are nested. We develop a two-phase heuristic for minimizing the total weighted tardiness subject to the machine eligibility constraints. In the first phase, we compute the factors and statistics that characterize a problem instance. In the second phase, we propose a new composite dispatching rule, the *Apparent Tardiness Cost with Flexibility considerations (ATCF)* rule, which is governed by several scaling parameters of which the values are determined by the factors obtained in the first phase. The *ATCF* rule is a generalization of the well-known *ATC* rule which is very widely used in practice. We further discuss how to improve the dispatching rule using some simple but powerful properties without requiring additional computation time, and the improvement is quite satisfactory. We apply the *Sequential Uniform Design Method* to design our experiments and conduct an extensive computational study, and we perform tests on the performance of the *ATCF* rule using a real data set from a large hospital in China. We further compare its performance with that of the classical *ATC* rule. We also compare the schedules improved by the *ATCF* rule with what we believe are *Near Optimal* schedules generated by a general search procedure. The computational results show that especially with a low due date tightness, the *ATCF* rule performs significantly better than the well-known *ATC* rule generating much improved schedules that are close to the *Near Optimal* schedules.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

This article provides conditions under which total-cost and average-cost Markov decision processes (MDPs) can be reduced to discounted ones. Results are given for transient total-cost MDPs with transition rates whose values may be greater than one, as well as for average-cost MDPs with transition probabilities satisfying the condition that there is a state such that the expected time to reach it is uniformly bounded for all initial states and stationary policies. In particular, these reductions imply sufficient conditions for the validity of optimality equations and the existence of stationary optimal policies for MDPs with undiscounted total cost and average-cost criteria. When the state and action sets are finite, these reductions lead to linear programming formulations and complexity estimates for MDPs under the aforementioned criteria.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

This article proposes an approximation for the blocking probability in a many-server loss model with a non-Poisson time-varying arrival process and flexible staffing (number of servers) and shows that it can be used to set staffing levels to stabilize the time-varying blocking probability at a target level. Because the blocking probabilities necessarily change dramatically after each staffing change, we randomize the time of each staffing change about the planned time. We apply simulation to show that (i) the blocking probabilities cannot be stabilized without some form of randomization, (ii) the new staffing algorithm with randomiation can stabilize blocking probabilities at target levels and (iii) the required staffing can be quite different when the Poisson assumption is dropped.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

In this article, we consider a single machine scheduling problem, in which identical jobs are split into batches of bounded sizes. For each batch, it is allowed to produce less jobs than a given upper bound, that is, some jobs in a batch can be rejected, in which case a penalty is paid for each rejected job. The objective function is the sum of several components, including the sum of the completion times, total delivery cost, and total rejection cost. We reduce this problem to a min-cost flow problem with a convex quadratic function and adapt Tamir's algorithm for its solution.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

We study a single-product fluid-inventory model in which the procurement price of the product fluctuates according to a continuous time Markov chain. We assume that a fixed order price, in addition to state-dependent holding costs are incurred, and that the depletion rate of inventory is determined by the sell price of the product. Hence, at any time the controller has to simultaneously decide on the selling price of the product and whether to order or not, taking into account the current procurement price and the inventory level. In particular, the controller is faced with the question of how to best exploit the random time windows in which the procurement price is low. We consider two policies, derive the associated steady-state distributions and cost functionals, and apply those cost functionals to study the two policies.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2017

This article analyzes a class of stochastic contests among multiple players under risk-averse exponential utility. In these contests, players compete over the completion of a task by simultaneously deciding on their investment, which determines how fast they complete the task. The completion time of the task for each player is assumed to be an exponentially distributed random variable with rate linear in the player's investment and the completion times of different players are assumed to be stochastically independent. The player that completes the task first earns a prize whereas the remaining players earn nothing. The article establishes a one-to-one correspondence between the Nash equilibrium of this contest with respect to risk-averse exponential utilities and the nonnegative solution of a nonlinear equation. Using the properties of the latter, it proves the existence and the uniqueness of the Nash equilibrium, and provides an efficient method to compute it. It exploits the resulting representation of the equilibrium investments to determine the effects of risk aversion and the differences between the outcome of the Nash equilibrium and that of a centralized version.© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2016

In this article, we consider shortest path problems in a directed graph where the transitions between nodes are subject to uncertainty. We use a minimax formulation, where the objective is to guarantee that a special destination state is reached with a minimum cost path under the worst possible instance of the uncertainty. Problems of this type arise, among others, in planning and pursuit-evasion contexts, and in model predictive control. Our analysis makes use of the recently developed theory of abstract semicontractive dynamic programming models. We investigate questions of existence and uniqueness of solution of the optimality equation, existence of optimal paths, and the validity of various algorithms patterned after the classical methods of value and policy iteration, as well as a Dijkstra-like algorithm for problems with nonnegative arc lengths.© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2016

A Markov population decision chain concerns the control of a population of individuals in different states by assigning an action to each individual in the system in each period. This article solves the problem of finding policies that maximize expected system utility over a finite horizon in Markov population decision chains with finite state-action space under the following assumptions: (1) The utility function exhibits constant risk posture, (2) the progeny vectors of distinct individuals are independent, and (3) the progeny vectors of individuals in a state who take the same action are identically distributed. The main result is that it is possible to solve the problem with the original state-action space without augmenting it to include information about the population in each state or any other aspect of the system history. In particular, there exists an optimal policy that assigns the same action to all individuals in a given state and period, independently of the population in that period and such a policy can be computed efficiently. The optimal utility operators that find the maximum of a finite collection of polynomials (rather than affine functions) yield an optimal solution with effort linear in the number of periods.© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2016

In this article, we study a class of Quasi-Skipfree (QSF) processes where the transition rate submatrices in the skipfree direction have a column times row structure. Under homogeneity and irreducibility assumptions we show that the stationary distributions of these processes have a product form as a function of the level. For an application, we will discuss the -queue that can be modeled as a QSF process on a two-dimensional state space. In addition, we study the properties of the stationary distribution and derive monotonicity of the mean number of the customers in the queue, their mean sojourn time and the variance as a function of for fixed mean arrival rate. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2016

We consider a dynamic pricing model in which the instantaneous rate of the demand arrival process is dependent on not only the current price charged by the concerned firm, but also the present state of the world. While reflecting the current economic condition, the state evolves in a Markovian fashion. This model represents the real-life situation in which the sales season is relatively long compared to the fast pace at which the outside environment changes. We establish the value of being better informed on the state of the world. When reasonable monotonicity conditions are met, we show that better present economic conditions will lead to higher prices. Our computational study is partially calibrated with real data. It demonstrates that the benefit of heeding varying economic conditions is on par with the value of embracing randomness in the demand process. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics, 2015

We examine capacity allocation mechanisms in a supply chain comprising a monopolistic supplier and two competing retailers with asymmetric market powers. The supplier allocates limited capacity to retailers according to uniform, proportional, or lexicographic mechanism. We study the impact of these allocation mechanisms on supplier pricing decisions and retailer ordering behavior. With individual order size no greater than supplier capacity, we show that all three mechanisms guarantee equilibrium ordering. We provide precise structures of retailer ordering decisions in Nash and dominant equilibria. Further, we compare the mechanisms from the perspective of the supplier, the retailers, and the supply chain. We show that regardless of whether retailer market powers are symmetric, lexicographic allocation with any priority sequence of retailers is better than the other two mechanisms for the supplier. Further, under lexicographic allocation, the supplier gains more profit by granting higher priority to the retailer with greater market power. We also extend our study to the case with multiple retailers. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 64: 85–107, 2017

In this article, we study how to derive bounds for the reliability and the expected lifetime of a coherent system with heterogeneous ordered components. These bounds can be used to compare the performance of the systems obtained by permuting the components at a given system structure, that is, to study where we should place the different components at a system structure to get the most reliable system. Moreover, a similar procedure is applied to get bounds for mixtures and for the generalized proportional hazard rate model when the baseline populations are ordered. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 64: 108–116, 2017

This article studies flexible capacity strategy (FCS) under oligopoly competition with uncertain demand. Each firm utilizes either the FCS or inflexible capacity strategy (IFCS). Flexible firms can postpone their productions until observing the actual demand, whereas inflexible firms cannot. We formulate a new asymmetrical oligopoly model for the problem, and obtain capacity and production decisions of the firms at Nash equilibrium. It is interesting to verify that cross-group competition determines the capacity allocation between the two groups of firms, while intergroup competition determines the market share within each group. Moreover, we show that the two strategies coexist among firms only when cost differentiation is medium. Counterintuitively, flexible firms benefit from increasing production cost when the inflexible competition intensity is sufficiently high. This is because of retreat of inflexible firms, flexibility effect, and the corresponding high price. We identify conditions under which FCS is superior than IFCS. We also demonstrate that flexible firms benefit from increasing demand uncertainty. However, when demand variance is not very large, flexible firms may be disadvantaged. We further investigate the effects of cross-group and intergroup competition on individual performance of the firms. We show that as flexible competition intensity increases, inflexible firms are mainly affected by the cross-group competition first and then by the intergroup competition, whereas flexible firms are mainly affected by the intergroup competition. Finally, we examine endogenous flexibility and identify its three drivers: cost parameters, cross-group competition, and intergroup competition. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 64: 117–138, 2017

A simultaneous non-zero-sum game is modeled to extend the classical network interdiction problem. In this model, an interdictor (e.g., an enforcement agent) decides how much of an inspection resource to spend along each arc in the network to capture a smuggler. The smuggler (randomly) selects a commodity to smuggle—a source and destination pair of nodes, and also a corresponding path for traveling between the given pair of nodes. This model is motivated by a terrorist organization that can mobilize its human, financial, or weapon resources to carry out an attack at one of several potential target destinations. The probability of evading each of the network arcs nonlinearly decreases in the amount of resource that the interdictor spends on its inspection. We show that under reasonable assumptions with respect to the evasion probability functions, (approximate) Nash equilibria of this game can be determined in polynomial time; depending on whether the evasion functions are exponential or general logarithmically-convex functions, exact Nash equilibria or approximate Nash equilibria, respectively, are computed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 64: 139–153, 2017

Stochastic network design is fundamental to transportation and logistic problems in practice, yet faces new modeling and computational challenges resulted from heterogeneous sources of uncertainties and their unknown distributions given limited data. In this article, we design arcs in a network to optimize the cost of single-commodity flows under random demand and arc disruptions. We minimize the network design cost plus cost associated with network performance under uncertainty evaluated by two schemes. The first scheme restricts demand and arc capacities in budgeted uncertainty sets and minimizes the worst-case cost of supply generation and network flows for any possible realizations. The second scheme generates a finite set of samples from statistical information (e.g., moments) of data and minimizes the expected cost of supplies and flows, for which we bound the worst-case cost using budgeted uncertainty sets. We develop cutting-plane algorithms for solving the mixed-integer nonlinear programming reformulations of the problem under the two schemes. We compare the computational efficacy of different approaches and analyze the results by testing diverse instances of random and real-world networks. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 64: 154–173, 2017