A sharp bound for the ergodic distribution of an inventory control model under the assumption that demands and inter-arrival times are dependent
© Hanalioğlu (Khaniyev) and Aksop; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 15 October 2013
Accepted: 17 January 2014
Published: 13 February 2014
In this study, a stochastic process which represents a single-item inventory control model with -type policy is constructed when the demands of a costumer are dependent on the inter-arrival times between consecutive arrivals. Under the assumption that the demands can be expressed as a monotone convex function of the inter-arrival times, it is proved that this process is ergodic, and closed form of the ergodic distribution is given. Moreover, a sharp lower bound for this distribution is obtained.
Here is a pre-defined control level. We will assume that no product is returned or defective and the supplier of this depot is reliable so that the replenishment is not delayed. This model is known as -type policy inventory control model and it has been extensively studied under various assumptions in the literature (see Scarf , Rabta and Aissani , Chen and Yang , Khaniyev and Atalay , Khaniyev and Aksop ).
The classical inventory model assumes that the inter-arrival times of the customers and the amounts of the demands are mutually independent random variables. However, real life problems are generally too complex so the assumptions of classical inventory control theory are not valid. This situation shows itself mainly on the structure of the amounts of the demands and the inter-arrival times between consecutive costumers.
In most cases, these demands cannot be modeled by independent random variables. For example, demands can depend on the day of the week so that at the weekends there can be a high demand while at weekdays there can be low demand, or there can be seasonal demand for that item (see Sethi and Cheng ). Also the amount of the demand can depend on the inventory level: if the supplier can offer a wide selection of his/her items, then he/she can increase the probability of making a sale (see Urban ).
The model investigated in this study assumes that the demands are dependent on the inter-arrival times. This assumption makes sense especially in the situations when the demands can be met only by one supplier and reaching that supplier is not easy for the customers. In this case, if a customer did not make a demand for a long time, then he or she will probably have a need for more items. This is the situation occurring at rural districts or regions which are difficult to access.
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the ergodicity of an inventory control model with -policy under the assumption that the amount of demands is dependent on inter-arrival times. Next section gives a mathematical construction of the studied stochastic process . Section 3 gives some notations used in this study, and Section 4 gives the main results. In the last section, some discussion is given.
2 Mathematical construction of the process
Moreover, let be absolutely continuous random variables.
and , , .
where, and are defined similar to and , respectively.
4 Main results
In Theorem 4.2 below, the ergodicity of the constructed stochastic process is obtained under the assumption that the demands can be expressed as a monotone increasing function of the inter-arrival times by utilizing a theorem from Gihman and Skorohod . Then with an additional assumption of convexity, we obtained an upper bound for the first period’s distribution function (that is, for the distribution function of , ). An explicit expression for the ergodic characteristics of the process is given in Corollary 4.1. In Theorem 4.4 a lower bound for the ergodic distribution is obtained.
Proposition 4.1 (see Feller )
Definition 4.1 (Lehmann )
Proposition 4.2 (Lehmann )
Theorem 4.1 Let and . If and are positively quadrant dependent, then .
If , then the process is ergodic.
- (B)If , then, additionally, let
Then the process is ergodic.
For a sequence of random variables such that , the process must form an ergodic Markov chain.
Observe that form an ergodic Markov chain because for each .
- (A)Let us assume that there exists such that holds. Then let us denote the infimum of such numbers with (<∞); that is,Then we get
- (B)If for all , then
Now, put in 1. and 2. to see that the process is ergodic. □
The following theorem can be obtained by an application of Theorem 4.2, Lemma 4.1 and Corollary 4.1.
Remark Since is ergodic and , distribution in Theorem 4.3 is the ergodic distribution of the process .
Here, if , we take . The inequality in (7) will be ≥, when h is a concave function.
Remark Note that the series in (7) is convergent.
Proposition 4.3 The inequality in Theorem 4.4 is sharp; that is, there exists a convex function such that (9) is satisfied with equality.
Therefore, (7) is satisfied with equality. Moreover, note that in this case the assumptions of Theorem 4.2 are satisfied. Therefore the process is ergodic and is finite. The proof of this proposition follows by substituting (11) in (10). □
In this study, a stochastic model is constructed for an inventory where the customers’ demands are dependent on their arrival times. This assumption is important for modeling real life problems such as the models for the supply chain of items to researchers at poles or space. In Theorem 4.2, under some assumptions, it is proved that the stochastic process is ergodic. Moreover, an explicit expression for the ergodic characteristics of the process is obtained. A bound for the ergodic distribution is given in Theorem 4.4 which is sharp.
This study was partially supported by TÜBİTAK 110T559 coded project.
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