Theses and Dissertations


Hossein Parsa

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Jin, Mingzhou

Committee Member

Eksioglu, Burak

Committee Member

Kutanoglu, Erhan

Committee Member

Eksioglu, Sandra D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


This research considers a single-item two-echelon supply chain facing a sequence of stochastic bulky customer demand with random order inter-arrival time and random demand size. The demand process is a general renewal process and the cost functions for both parties involve the renewal function and its integral. The complexity of the general renewal function causes the computational intractability in deciding the optimal order quantities, so approximations for the renewal function and its integral are introduced to address the computational complexity. Asymptotic expansions are commonly used in the literature to approximate the renewal function and its integral when the optimal decisions are relatively large compared to the mean of the inter-renewal time. However, the optimal policies do not necessarily fall in the asymptotic region. So the use of asymptotic expansions to approximate the renewal function and its integral in the cost functions may cause significant errors in decision making. To overcome the inaccuracy of the asymptotic approximation, this research proposes a modified approximation. The proposed approximation provides closed form functions for the renewal function and its integral which could be applied to various optimization problems such as inventory planning, supply chain management, reliability and maintenance. The proposed approximations are tested with commonly used distributions and applied to an application in the literature, yielding good performance. By applying the proposed approximation method to the supply chain cost functions, this research obtains the optimal policies for the decentralized and the centralized cases. The numerical results provide insights into the cost savings realized by the centralization of the supply chain compared to the decentralized case. Furthermore, this research investigates coordination schemes for the decentralized case to improve the utilities of parties. A cost sharing mechanism in which the vendor offers the retailer a contract as a compensation of implementing vendordesired inventory policy is investigated. The sharing could be realized by bearing part of the retailer’s inventory holding cost or fixed cost. The contract is designed to minimize the vendors cost while satisfying the individual rationality of the retailer. Other forms of coordination mechanisms, such as the side payment and delayed payment, are also discussed.