A Two-Stage Interval-Stochastic Programming Model for Waste Management under Uncertainty
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This study introduces a two-stage interval-stochastic programming (TISP) model for the planning of solid-waste management systems under uncertainty. The model is derived by incorporating the concept of two-stage stochastic programming within an interval-parameter optimization framework. The approach has the advantage that policy determined by the authorities, and uncertain information expressed as intervals and probability distributions, can be effectively communicated into the optimization processes and resulting solutions. In the modeling formulation, penalties are imposed when policies expressed as allowable waste-loading levels are violated. In its solution algorithm, the TISP model is converted into two deterministic submodels, which correspond to the lower and upper bounds for the desired objective-function value. Interval solutions, which are stable in the given decision space with associated levels of system-failure risk, can then be obtained by solving the two submodels sequentially. Two special characteristics of the proposed approach make it unique compared with other optimization techniques that deal with uncertainties. First, the TISP model provides a linkage to predefined policies determined by authorities that have to be respected when a modeling effort is undertaken; second, it furnishes the reflection of uncertainties presented as both probabilities and intervals. The developed model is applied to a hypothetical case study of regional solid-waste management. The results indicate that reasonable solutions have been generated. They provide desired waste-flow patterns with minimized system costs and maximized system feasibility. The solutions present as stable interval solutions with different risk levels in violating the waste-loading criterion and can be used for generating decision alternatives.
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