Application of the cross-entropy method to the buffer allocation problem in a simulation-based environment

G. Alon, D. P. Kroese, T. Raviv, R. Y. Rubinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The buffer allocation problem (BAP) is a well-known difficult problem in the design of production lines. We present a stochastic algorithm for solving the BAP, based on the cross-entropy method, a new paradigm for stochastic optimization. The algorithm involves the following iterative steps: (a) the generation of buffer allocations according to a certain random mechanism, followed by (b) the modification of this mechanism on the basis of cross-entropy minimization. Through various numerical experiments we demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm and show that the method can quickly generate (near-)optimal buffer allocations for fairly large production lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Volume134
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Buffer allocation
  • Cross-entropy method
  • Production lines
  • Stochastic optimization

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