A method for distribution network design and models for option-contracting strategy with buyers' learning
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This dissertation contains two topics in operations research. The first topic is to design a distribution network to facilitate the repeated movement of shipments from many origins to many destinations. A method is developed to estimate transportation costs as a function of the number of terminals and moreover to determine the best number of terminals. The second topic is to study dynamics of a buyer's behavior when the buyer can buy goods through both option contracts and a spot market and the buyer attempts to learn the probability distribution of the spot price. The buyer estimates the spot price distribution as though it is exogenous. However, the spot price distribution is not exogenous but is endogenous because it is affected by the buyer's decision regarding option purchases.