Achieving high robustness in supply distribution networks by rewiring

Kang Zhao, Akhil Kumar, John Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a new rewiring approach for distribution networks called randomized local rewiring (RLR). We evaluate the robustness of original and rewired distribution networks using new metrics and show that the choice of a network topology can affect its robustness considerably. Some supply and distribution networks exhibit characteristics similar to those of scale-free networks. Simulation results show that applying RLR to such distribution networks can improve the network robustness on the supply availability and network connectivity metrics when both random and targeted disruptions are likely to occur. A unique feature of our model is a tunable rewiring parameter, which makes it possible to design networks with the same performance on the supply availability, network connectivity, and average delivery efficiency metrics in the presence of both types of disruptions. This paper will describe the robustness metrics and the new approach, illustrate the experimental results in the context of a military logistic and a retailers distribution network, and discuss the insights gained about choosing the right topology for achieving higher robustness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5677481
Pages (from-to)347-362
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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