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Grzegorz Bocewicz, Zbigniew Banaszak and Izabela Nielsen

Abstract

The problems of designing supply networks and traffic flow routing and scheduling are the subject of intensive research. The problems encompass the management of the supply of a variety of goods using multi-modal transportation. This research also takes into account the various constraints related to route topology, the parameters of the available fleet of vehicles, order values, delivery due dates, etc. Assuming that the structure of a supply network, constrained by a transport network topology that determines its behavior, we develop a declarative model which would enable the analysis of the relationships between the structure of a supply network and its potential behavior resulting in a set of desired delivery-flows. The problem in question can be reduced to determining sufficient conditions that ensure smooth flow in a transport network with a fractal structure. The proposed approach, which assumes a recursive, fractal network structure, enables the assessment of alternative delivery routes and associated schedules in polynomial time. An illustrative example showing the quantitative and qualitative relationships between the morphological characteristics of the investigated supply networks and the functional parameters of the assumed delivery-flows is provided.