Journal of Combinatorial Optimization

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 319–329 | Cite as

Two-stage medical supply chain scheduling with an assignable common due window and shelf life

  • Long Zhang
  • Yuzhong ZhangEmail author
  • Qingguo Bai


This paper considers a two-stage medical supply chain scheduling problem from the perspective of the medicine manufacturer in which jobs have an assignable common due window and shelf life. Each job will incur an early (tardy) penalty if it is early (tardy) with respect to the common due window under a given schedule. The job’s holding time, which is the time interval that passes from the completion time of the job to the delivery date of the job in the batch, must be no more than its shelf life. The objective is to minimize the total cost comprising earliness, weighted number of tardy jobs, holding time, due window starting time, window size, and batch delivery. We first show that the problem is NP-hard and then provide a pseudo-polynomial-time algorithm. We also prove that a special case of the problem can be optimally solved in polynomial time.


Medical supply chain scheduling Shelf life Due window assignment NP-hard Pseudo-polynomial-time algorithm 



The authors would like to thank the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Ding-Zhu Du, his Editorial Board, and the two anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions which have significantly improved the quality of the paper. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China under Grants 11771251 and 71771138, and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province of China under grants ZR2015GZ009 and ZR2017MG009).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Operations Research, School of ManagementQufu Normal UniversityRizhaoChina

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