Critical Number Policies for Inventory Models with Periodic Data

Journal Article

We consider an infinite-horizon in problem with stochastic demands where the data vary periodically. Karlin (Karlin, S. 1960a. Dynamic inventory policy with varying stochastic demands. Management Sci. 6 231–258; Karlin, S. 1960b. Optimal policy for dynamic inventory process with stochastic demands subject to seasonal variations. J. SIAM 8 611–629.) shows that a periodic critical-number policy is optimal and presents an algorithm for computing the critical numbers, assuming discounted costs. Here we develop an alternative, conceptually simpler approach to these problems. The results include a proof of the optimality of such policies for the average-cost case, and a qualitative description of the behavior of the optimal policy as “smoothing” fluctuations in the data.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zipkin, P

Published Date

  • January 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 71 - 80

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-5501

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-1909

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/mnsc.35.1.71


  • en