To read this content please select one of the options below:

An auction‐based framework for resource allocation in disaster relief

Mustafa Alp Ertem (Department of Industrial Engineering, Çankaya University, Ankara, Turkey)
Nebil Buyurgan (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Article publication date: 21 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to address the inefficiency problems in procurement operations in disaster relief logistics which are mainly due to the lack of coordination among less organized suppliers and partnerships. Such problems lead to poor responsiveness and hinder timely procurement of required goods.


An auction‐based framework for procurement of goods, which is suitable for a single coordinating platform in disaster relief logistics, is proposed. Integer programming formulations are used in auctioning operations. A simulation model that generates problem instances is used to evaluate and tune system‐level design parameters.


Design parameters greatly affect the behaviour and responsiveness of the system and the performance of the auction‐based framework in different problem instances. Combinations of those parameters may allow suppliers with limited capacities to become more involved in the bidding process. In addition, the procurement shares of bidders may change substantially with different values of the parameters.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the presented framework is inspired from real‐life applications, it is not implemented in real‐life disaster relief operations. The goodness of fit for the framework would best be evaluated by a real disaster case. In addition, transportation scheduling and vehicle routing considerations and budgeting issues are not considered in the framework.


This paper presents an auction‐based framework for less organized suppliers of goods and their partnerships, such as local humanitarian organizations, private companies, and standby partners. The presented framework offers a background for coordination during disaster relief operations which provides opportunities to act as a set of organized entities. This background also helps those entities coordinate their efforts to enhance the capabilities of local governments and NGOs.



Alp Ertem, M. and Buyurgan, N. (2011), "An auction‐based framework for resource allocation in disaster relief", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 170-188.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles