Analysis of oil-pipeline distribution of multiple products subject to delivery time-windows
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This dissertation defines the operational problems of, and develops solution methodologies for, a distribution of multiple products into oil pipeline subject to delivery time-windows constraints. A multiple-product oil pipeline is a pipeline system composing of pipes, pumps, valves and storage facilities used to transport different types of liquids. Typically, products delivered by pipelines are petroleum of different grades moving either from production facilities to refineries or from refineries to distributors. Time-windows, which are generally used in logistics and scheduling areas, are incorporated in this study. The distribution of multiple products into oil pipeline subject to delivery time-windows is modeled as multicommodity network flow structure and mathematically formulated. The main focus of this dissertation is the investigation of operating issues and problem complexity of single-source pipeline problems and also providing solution methodology to compute input schedule that yields minimum total time violation from due delivery time-windows. The problem is proved to be NP-complete. The heuristic approach, a reversed-flow algorithm, is developed based on pipeline flow reversibility to compute input schedule for the pipeline problem. This algorithm is implemented in no longer than O(T*E) time. This dissertation also extends the study to examine some operating attributes and problem complexity of multiple-source pipelines. The multiple-source pipeline problem is also NP-complete. A heuristic algorithm modified from the one used in single-source pipeline problems is introduced. This algorithm can also be implemented in no longer than O(T*E) time. Computational results are presented for both methodologies on randomly generated problem sets. The computational experience indicates that reversed-flow algorithms provide good solutions in comparison with the optimal solutions. Only 25% of the problems tested were more than 30% greater than optimal values and approximately 40% of the tested problems were solved optimally by the algorithms.
Jittamai, Phongchai (2004). Analysis of oil-pipeline distribution of multiple products subject to delivery time-windows. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from