On the Value of Multistage Risk-Averse Stochastic Facility Location With or Without Prioritization

We consider a multiperiod stochastic capacitated facility location problem under uncertain demand and budget in each period. Using a scenario tree representation of the uncertainties, we formulate a multistage stochastic integer program to dynamically locate facilities in each period and compare it with a two-stage approach that determines the facility locations up front. In the multistage model, in each stage, a decision maker optimizes facility locations and recourse flows from open facilities to demand sites, to minimize certain risk measures of the cost associated with current facility location and shipment decisions. When the budget is also uncertain, a popular modeling framework is to prioritize the candidate sites. In the two-stage model, the priority list is decided in advance and fixed through all periods, while in the multistage model, the priority list can change adaptively. In each period, the decision maker follows the priority list to open facilities according to the realized budget, and optimizes recourse flows given the realized demand. Using expected conditional risk measures (ECRMs), we derive tight lower bounds for the gaps between the optimal objective values of risk-averse multistage models and their two-stage counterparts in both settings with and without prioritization. Moreover, we propose two approximation algorithms to efficiently solve risk-averse two-stage and multistage models without prioritization, which are asymptotically optimal under an expanding market assumption. We also design a set of super-valid inequalities for risk-averse two-stage and multistage stochastic programs with prioritization to reduce the computational time. We conduct numerical studies using both randomly generated and real-world instances with diverse sizes, to demonstrate the tightness of the analytical bounds and efficacy of the approximation algorithms and prioritization cuts. We find that the gaps between risk-averse multistage and two-stage models increase as the variations of the uncertain parameters increase, and stagewise dependent scenario trees attain much higher gaps than the stagewise independent ones.



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