An approximation for kanban controlled assembly systems

Engin Topan, Zeynep Müge Avsar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


An approximation is proposed to evaluate the steady-state performance of kanban controlled two-stage assembly systems. The development of the approximation is as follows. The considered continuous-time Markov chain is aggregated keeping the model exact, and this aggregate model is approximated replacing some state-dependent transition rates with constant rates. The approximate aggregate model is, then, decomposed into submodels and a product-form steady-state distribution is obtained for each submodel. Finally, the submodels are combined in such a way that the size of the problem becomes independent of the number of kanbans. This leads to the computational advantage in solving the combined model using numerical matrix-geometric solution algorithms. Numerical comparisons of the combined model with simulation, exact model, approximate aggregate model and an approximation in the literature show that the proposed approximation performs well in terms of accuracy and computational burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-162
Number of pages30
JournalAnnals of operations research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Approximation
  • Assembly systems
  • Kanban control
  • Matrix geometric solution
  • Performance evaluation
  • Steady-state behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'An approximation for kanban controlled assembly systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this