A Hybrid Electromagnetism-Like Algorithm for Supplier Selection in Make-to-Order Planning


1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Yazd University, Yazd, P.O. Box 89195-741, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, P.O. Box 15916-34311, Iran

3 Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineer- ing, University of Tehran, Tehran, P.O. Box 14395-515, Iran


An electromagnetism algorithm is a meta-heuristic proposed to derive approximate solutions
for computationally hard problems. In the literature, several successful applications have been
reported for graph-based optimization problems, such as scheduling problems. This paper presents an
application of the electromagnetism algorithm to supplier selection in a production planning process
where there are multiple products and multiple customers and also capacity constraints. We consider
a situation where the demand quantity of multiple discrete products is known over a planning horizon.
The required raw material for each of these products can be purchased from a set of approved suppliers.
Also, a demand-dependent delivery time (due date) and maximum delivery time (deadline) apply for each
demand. Problems containing all these assumptions have not been addressed previously in the literature.
A decision needs to be made regarding what raw material to order and in what quantities, which suppliers
and, nally, at which periods. Numerical results indicate that the electromagnetism algorithm exhibits
impressive performances with small error ratios. The results support the success of the electromagnetism
algorithm application to the supplier selection problem of interest.