Drones for Medical Delivery Considering Different Demands Classes: A Markov Decision Process Approach for Managing Health Centers Dispatching Medical Products

by   Amin Asadi, et al.

We consider the problem of optimizing the distribution operations of a hub using drones to deliver medical supplies to different geographic regions. Drones are an innovative method with many benefits including low-contact delivery thereby reducing the spread of pandemic and vaccine-preventable diseases. While we focus on medical supply delivery for this work, it is applicable to drone delivery for many other applications, including food, postal items, and e-commerce delivery. In this paper, our goal is to address drone delivery challenges by optimizing the distribution operations at a drone hub that dispatch drones to different geographic locations generating stochastic demands for medical supplies. By considering different geographic locations, we consider different classes of demand that require different flight ranges, which is directly related to the amount of charge held in a drone battery. We classify the stochastic demands based on their distance from the drone hub, use a Markov decision process to model the problem, and perform computational tests using realistic data representing a prominent drone delivery company. We solve the problem using a reinforcement learning method and show its high performance compared with the exact solution found using dynamic programming. Finally, we analyze the results and provide insights for managing the drone hub operations.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Shipper Cooperation in Stochastic Drone Delivery: A Dynamic Bayesian Game Approach

With the recent technological innovation, unmanned aerial vehicles, know...

Some Optimization Solutions for Relief Distribution

Humanitarian logistics remain a challenging area of application for oper...

Towards edible drones for rescue missions: design and flight of nutritional wings

Drones have shown to be useful aerial vehicles for unmanned transport mi...

Dynamic Resource Management for Providing QoS in Drone Delivery Systems

Drones have been considered as an alternative means of package delivery ...

Learning Periodic Human Behaviour Models from Sparse Data for Crowdsourcing Aid Delivery in Developing Countries

In many developing countries, half the population lives in rural locatio...

An Integrated Framework for Sensing Radio Frequency Spectrum Attacks on Medical Delivery Drones

Drone susceptibility to jamming or spoofing attacks of GPS, RF, Wi-Fi, a...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset