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Metaheuristics for Logistics by Laurent Deroussi

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Introduction

General Eisenhower stated that: “You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics”. The military genius introduced the term “logistics” as the activity that allows supplying troops, temporally and spatially in order to maintain all of their operational abilities.

Logistics has progressively imposed itself in the industrial world ever since its revolution during the 19th Century, and nowadays it constitutes a means of pressure essential for the competitiveness of companies.

How can we exploit the full potential of logistics?

By bringing its flow under control and by structuring its logistic activity, which are the concerns of Supply Chain Management (SCM), several tools have been developed in various fields (manufacturing, inventory, supply and information management, etc.).

These tools can be of different kinds. They may be organizational (Lean Manufacturing, Kanban, Just-in-Time, etc.) or related to data management and use (Enterprise Resource Planning, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, Electronic Data Interchange, etc.). The scope of this work is limited to the latter category and, more specifically, to the field of decision-making tools and to the specialty they belong to, i.e. Operations Research (OR).

Robert Faure, one of the pioneers of Operations Research in France, qualified his discipline as “the set of rational methods and techniques for the analysis and the synthesis of organizational ...

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