Transportation Problem
 Stepping Stone Method 
Stepping Stone Method
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES 6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Z = 4x10+6x30+6x50+7x10+5x10+8x40 = 960
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
1. Starting at an unused/empty cell, trace a closed path or loop back
to the original cell via cells that are currently being used and/or
occupied.
Note: A closed path or loop is a sequence of cells in the
transportation table such that the first cell is unused/empty
and all the other cells are used/occupied with the following
conditions:
a. Each pair of consecutive used/occupied cells lies in either the
same row or column
b. No three consecutive used/occupied cells lie in the same row
or column
c. The first and last cells of a sequence lies in the same row or
column
d. No cell appears more than once in a sequence (i.e. no
duplication)
e. Only horizontal and vertical moves allowed and can only
change directions at used/occupied cells
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Example: At Cell A3, A3>B3>B4>C4>C1>A1>A3
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Example: At Cell A4, A4>C4>C1>A1>A4
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Example: At Cell B1, B1>B4>C4>C1>B1
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
SOURCES 10 30
6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Example: At Cell B2, B2>B4>C4>C1>A1>A2>B2
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Example: At Cell C2, C2>C1>A1>A2>C2
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Example: At Cell C3, C3>B3>B4>C4>C3
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
50 10
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
2. For every traced path or loop, begin with a plus (+) sign at the
starting unused cell and alternately place a minus () and plus (+)
sign at each used cell
Example: At Cell A3, A3>B3>B4>C4>C1>A1>A3
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY

A
4 6 8 + 8
40
10 30
6 8 6  7
SOURCES B 60
+
50 10
5 7 6 8
+
C  50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
3. Calculate an Improvement Index by first adding the unitcost
figures found in each cell containing a plus sign and subtracting
the unit costs in each square containing a minus sign.
Example: At Cell A3, A3>B3>B4>C4>C1>A1>A3
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY

A
4
4 6 88 + 8
40
10 30
6 8 6
6  +7
7
SOURCES B 60
+
50 10
+5
5 7 6 8
8
+
C
10 40
 50
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
IA3 = =2
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
B
6 8 6  7
+ 60
50 10
+
C
5
10
7 6 8
40
 50
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
To further improve the current solution, select the “smallest” number found
in the path/loop C3>B3>B4>C4 containing minus() signs. This number is
added to all cells on the closed path/loop with plus(+) signs and subtracted
from all cells on the path assigned with minus() signs.
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
B
6 8 6 
5050 40
7
10 10
+
+ 40
60
+
C
5
10
7 6
40
8

4040 40
50
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
5. Then, we have a new basic feasible solution…
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
10 50
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Since the results of all indices calculated are greater than or equal to
zero, then, an optimal solution had been reached.
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
…and computing the objective function Z:
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
10 30
SOURCES 6 8 6 7
B 60
10 50
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Z = 4x10+6x30+6x10+7x50+5x10+6x40 = 920
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
However, in checking the calculation in Iteration #2, there is an
improvement index equal to zero. This means that there is an
ALTERNATE optimum solution:
In Iteration #2 :
At A3, A3>C3>C1>A1; IA3 = +86+54 = 3
At A4, A4>B4>B3>C3>C1>A1; IA4 = +87+66+54 = 2
At B1, B1>B3>C3>C1; IB1 = +66+65 = 1
At B2, B2>B3>C3>C1>A1>A2; IB2 = +86+65+46 = 1
At C2, C2>C1>A1>A2; IC2 = +75+46 = 0
At C4, C3>B3>B4; IC3 = +86+67 = 1
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
To calculate for the alternate optimum solution, again select the “smallest”
number found in this path/loop containing minus() signs. This number is
added to all cells on the closed path/loop with plus(+) signs and subtracted
from all cells on the path assigned with minus() signs.
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
A
4
+
1010
+ 10
6
3030 10
 8 8
40
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
10 50
C
5

1010 10
7
10
+ 6
40
8
50
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
Then the alternate optimum solution with objective function Z:
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
20 20
SOURCES 6 8 6 7
B 60
10 50
5 7 6 8
C 50
10 40
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Z = 4x20+6x20+6x10+7x50+7x10+6x40 = 920
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
DEGENERACY
When the number of empty/occupied cells in any solution (either
initial or later) of the transportation table is not equal to the number
of rows plus the number of columns minus 1 (i.e. m+n1) the
solution is called DEGENERATE
Example: m + n 1 = 3 + 4 1 = 6
DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
SOURCES
20 20
6 8 6 7
B 60
10 50
5 7 6 8
C 50
50
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
DEGENERACY
To handle degenerate problems, artificially create an occupied cell by
placing a zero (representing a fake shipment) in one of the unused
cells. Treating this cell as if it were occupied, it must be chosen in such
a position as to allow all steppingstone paths to be traced. Then, all
steppingstone paths can be closed and improvement indices
computed.
Example: DESTINATIONS
1 2 3 4 SUPPLY
4 6 8 8
A 40
20 20
SOURCES
6 8 6 7
B 60
10 50 0
5 7 6 8
C 50
50
DEMAND 20 30 50 50 150
Optimum Solution:
SteppingStone Method
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