Barrett Thomas of The University of Iowa will be speaking on same-day delivery with equity. Same-Day Delivery with Equity The demand for same-day delivery (SDD) has increased rapidly in the last few
Barrett Thomas of The University of Iowa will be speaking on same-day delivery with equity.
Same-Day Delivery with Equity
The demand for same-day delivery (SDD) has increased rapidly in the last few years and has particularly boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing literature on the problem has focused on maximizing the utility, represented by the total number of served customers. However, a utility-driven solution results in unequal opportunities for customers to receive delivery service, raising questions about equity. In this paper, we study the problem of achieving equal SDD-service availability for customers, i.e., SDD with equity.
We construct a regional-level equity constraint that ensures customers from different regions have an equal chance of receiving service. We develop a reinforcement learning approach to learn policies that focus on both overall utility and equity. Experimental results demonstrate the ability of our approach to mitigate the inequity caused by geographic differences and constraints of resources, at both coarser and finer-grained levels and with a small cost to utility. We also provide an analysis that shows the effectiveness of our method in achieving equity at any reasonable depot location. In addition, we simulate a real-world situation where the system is suddenly overwhelmed by a surge of requests, mimicking the COVID-19 scenario. Our approach is robust to the systematic pressure and is able to maintain equity with little compromise to the utility.
About Barrett Thomas
Barry Thomas is the Senior Associate Dean, Interim Departmental Executive Officer (Department Head) of the Department of Economics, and the Gary C. Fethke Research Professor of Business Analytics in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. He has a PhD and MS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and BA degrees in mathematics and economics from Grinnell College. Barry’s research focuses on transportation science and logistics with a specialization in dynamic routing. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and has had his research funded by NSF and private industry. Barry is an Area Editor in the Routing & Logistics area of the journal Transportation Science.
He was previously the Departmental Executive Officer of the Department of Business Analytics at the University of Iowa and holds a complimentary appointment in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences. He has served as the President of the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society and recently served as the General Chair of the Second Triennial Conference of the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society. He has also served as the Vice President of Sections/Societies for INFORMS and served for 15 years as a Trustee of Grinnell College
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