Reliability evaluation of a stochastic-flow distribution network with delivery spoilage

Yi-Kuei Lin*, Cheng Ta Yeh, Cheng Fu Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


From the supply chain management perspective, this paper focuses on evaluating network reliability of a stochastic-flow distribution network (SFDN) under the delivery spoilage consideration. An SFDN is composed of nodes and routes, where each node denotes a supplier, a transfer center, or a market, and each route connects a pair of nodes. Along each route, there is a carrier whose available capacity is stochastic. Moreover, goods may rot or be spoilt during delivery due to traffic accidents, collisions, natural disasters, weather, time, etc., and thus the intact goods may not satisfy the market demand. Network reliability is defined as the probability that the SFDN can satisfy the market demand under the delivery spoilage consideration and the delivery budget constraint, and can be regarded as a performance index for distribution activity in supply chain management. An algorithm is developed in terms of minimal paths to evaluate network reliability. A numerical example is given to illustrate the solution procedure. Then a practical case of fruit distribution is presented to emphasize the management implication of network reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Available capacity
  • Delivery spoilage
  • Fruit distribution
  • Network reliability
  • Stochastic-flow distribution network (SFDN)

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