Cooperative game theory and optimization in collaborative logistics : a study of coalition structures and cost allocation methods
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- Master Thesis 
Collaboration among different agents is an effective way t o improve logistic operations. When companies transport items of similar assortments with in the same regions, the re are high potential of efficiency improvements. Large volumes and long distances, in comb in ation with in creas in g fuel prices and environmental concern, enhance the importance of exploit in g synergies between companies. In the context of collaboration, two essential questions arise: (1) W hich coalition s can be expected to form? (2) How should the companies a llocate t he achieved benefits? We aim to f in d optimal solutions for both questions by formulat in g l in ear programm in g models us in g Operation s Research. We address the first question by f in d in g how the companies should group in order to achieve the highest sav in gs, both from a social planner po in t of view and from the in dividual company’s po in t of view. Assum in g that optimal coalition structures are identified, the next question concerns how the members in a coalition should distribute the cost savings . The re are numerous of acknowledged allocation methods aim in g to f in d a fair solution to this question. We in vestigate five different methods, and f in d strik in g results in terms of disparities between the allocation s. For one company , the relative sav in g achie ved ranges from 2.96 % to 18.75 % depend in g on which method we implement. We also discuss fundamental questions consider in g the aspect of fairness in the different allocation methods. When approaching the question from the perspective of each c ompany, we combine concepts of the different allocation methods and construct a new model to find optimal coalition structures. Based on different assumptions regarding the behavior of companies, t he model provides two set s of coalition structures .