Point-of-Dispensing Location and Capacity Optimization via a Decision Support System

Adrian Ramirez-Nafarrate, Joshua D. Lyon, John W. Fowler, Ozgur M. Araz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Dispensing of mass prophylaxis can be critical to public health during emergency situations and involves complex decisions that must be made in a short period of time. This study presents a model and solution approach for optimizing point-of-dispensing (POD) location and capacity decisions. This approach is part of a decision support system designed to help officials prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. The model selects PODs from a candidate set and suggests how to staff each POD so that average travel and waiting times are minimized. A genetic algorithm (GA) quickly solves the problem based on travel and queuing approximations (QAs) and it has the ability to relax soft constraints when the dispensing goals cannot be met. We show that the proposed approach returns solutions comparable with other systems and it is able to evaluate alternative courses of action when the resources are not sufficient to meet the performance targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1328
Number of pages18
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • emergency response
  • facility location and resource allocation problems
  • genetic algorithms
  • point-of-Dispensing
  • queuing theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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