Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



Despite the conceptual simplicity of warehousing, the development of integrated computational tools for warehouse design has remained an elusive goal. In recent years, there has been some progress toward this goal, with a growing body of research addressing topics as diverse as the design process itself, decision support for specific design decisions, warehouse representation, integrating warehouse representation and analysis, and conceptual approaches for developing integrated warehouse design tool chains. Until now, however, there has not been a suitable warehouse design theory that would provide an integrating framework for all these disparate efforts. This paper presents an object-oriented and axiomatic warehouse design theory. Key assumptions about the warehouse to be designed are stated as axioms, with appropriate formalisms. Using the axioms and the associated notation, a formal specification of warehouse requirements can be stated, a formal description for a warehouse design can be given, and methods can be developed for testing the warehouse design against the requirements. Moreover, the axioms provide the foundation for identifying essential warehouse design decisions, and formally stating both the criteria for evaluating those decisions and the constraints limiting those decisions. The paper provides a conceptual and rigorous bridge between the process-oriented research on warehouse design process or workflow, and the mathematically oriented approach to warehouse design reflected in the vast literature on mathematical models and algorithms for specific warehouse design and/or operating decisions


Paper 21

Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research: 2012