Hub and spoke networks are used to switch and transfer commodities between terminal nodes in distribution systems at minimum cost and/or time. The p-hub center allocation problem is to minimize maximum travel time in networks by locating p hubs from a set of candidate hub locations and allocating demand and supply nodes to hubs. The capacities of the hubs are given. In previous studies, authors usually considered only quantitative parameters such as cost and time to find the optimum location. But it seems not to be sufficient and often the critical role of qualitative parameters like quality of service, zone traffic, environmental issues, capability for development in the future and etc. that are critical for decision makers (DMs), have not been incorporated into models. In many real world situations qualitative parameters are as much important as quantitative ones. We present a hybrid approach to the p-hub center problem in which the location of hub facilities is determined by both parameters simultaneously. Dealing with qualitative and uncertain data, Fuzzy systems are used to cope with these conditions and they are used as the basis of this work. We use fuzzy VIKOR to model a hybrid solution to the hub location problem. Results are used by a genetic algorithm solution to successfully solve a number of problem instances. Furthermore, this method can be used to take into account more desired quantitative variables other than cost and time, like future market and potential customers easily.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/marcus_randall/44/