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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 246578, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/246578
Research Article

Order Batching in Warehouses by Minimizing Total Tardiness: A Hybrid Approach of Weighted Association Rule Mining and Genetic Algorithms

1Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, 81310 UTM Skudai, Malaysia
2Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Computer Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, 81310 UTM Skudai, Malaysia
3Enterprise Research Centre, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Received 17 April 2013; Accepted 23 May 2013

Academic Editors: Y.-P. Huang and P. Melin

Copyright © 2013 Amir Hossein Azadnia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

One of the cost-intensive issues in managing warehouses is the order picking problem which deals with the retrieval of items from their storage locations in order to meet customer requests. Many solution approaches have been proposed in order to minimize traveling distance in the process of order picking. However, in practice, customer orders have to be completed by certain due dates in order to avoid tardiness which is neglected in most of the related scientific papers. Consequently, we proposed a novel solution approach in order to minimize tardiness which consists of four phases. First of all, weighted association rule mining has been used to calculate associations between orders with respect to their due date. Next, a batching model based on binary integer programming has been formulated to maximize the associations between orders within each batch. Subsequently, the order picking phase will come up which used a Genetic Algorithm integrated with the Traveling Salesman Problem in order to identify the most suitable travel path. Finally, the Genetic Algorithm has been applied for sequencing the constructed batches in order to minimize tardiness. Illustrative examples and comparisons are presented to demonstrate the proficiency and solution quality of the proposed approach.