A Voronoi-Based Heuristic Algorithm for Locating Distribution Centers in Disasters

Wilfredo F. Yushimito, Miguel Jaller, Satish Ukkusuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


This paper provides insights to locate a finite number of distribution centers to provide a quick response time for disaster relief incorporating social costs within the modeling framework. We explore theoretical aspects of the problem formulation and propose a model that maximizes coverage of affected regions while minimizing human suffering through the use of a social cost function. Our results show that the social cost function is minimized within the area enclosed by the Voronoi region for a chosen facility. We also propose a heuristic algorithm to solve the problem of locating these facilities in a reasonable amount of time. Since the quality of the solution and the running time depends largely on the initial starting points for the heuristic, we provide recommendations to choose the initial starting points. The proposed approach has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of distributing critical supplies in disasters by optimizing the response time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalNetworks and Spatial Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Facility location
  • Humanitarian supply chains
  • Nelder-Mead
  • Voronoi diagrams
  • disasters


Dive into the research topics of 'A Voronoi-Based Heuristic Algorithm for Locating Distribution Centers in Disasters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this