Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair

Heragu, Sunderesh S.

Author's Keywords

Material handling; Automated warehouse; AS/RS; AVS/RS; MGM; Stochastic process




In this dissertation, we study the performance evaluation of two automated warehouse material handling (MH) technologies - automated storage/retrieval system (AS/RS) and autonomous vehicle storage/retrieval system (AVS/RS). AS/RS is a traditional automated warehouse MH technology and has been used for more than five decades. AVS/RS is a relatively new automated warehouse MH technology and an alternative to AS/RS. There are two possible configurations of AVS/RS: AVS/RS with tier-captive vehicles and AVS/RS with tier-to-tier vehicles. We model the AS/RS and both configurations of the AVS/RS as queueing networks. We analyze and develop approximate algorithms for these network models and use them to estimate performance of the two automated warehouse MH technologies. Chapter 2 contains two parts. The first part is a brief review of existing papers about AS/RS and AVS/RS. The second part is a methodological review of queueing network theory, which serves as a building block for our study. In Chapter 3, we model AS/RSs and AVS/RSs with tier-captive vehicles as open queueing networks (OQNs). We show how to analyze OQNs and estimate related performance measures. We then apply an existing OQN analyzer to compare the two MH technologies and answer various design questions. In Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, we present some efficient algorithms to solve SOQN. We show how to model AVS/RSs with tier-to-tier vehicles as SOQNs and evaluate performance of these designs in Chapter 6. AVS/RS is a relatively new automated warehouse design technology. Hence, there are few efficient analytical tools to evaluate performance measures of this technology. We developed some efficient algorithms based on SOQN to quickly and effectively evaluate performance of AVS/RS. Additionally, we present a tool that helps a warehouse designer during the concepting stage to determine the type of MH technology to use, analyze numerous alternate warehouse configurations and select one of these for final implementation.