Dissecting and Understanding Supply Chains Through Simulation: An Agent-Based Approach
1st International Symposium on Applied Research in Technologies of Information and Communication (ARcTIC), Bologna, December 2012 (Forthcoming)
11 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2012
Date Written: October 20, 2012
The increasing interest about sustainability in supply chains highlights the influence of economic, social and environmental factors. The interaction of these factors generates an emerging complexity that is far beyond the 'sum of the parts'. This is why new tools are required to deeper understand and manage this complexity.
In this ongoing work, we focus on supply chain; in particular, as our ultimate goal, we focus on food mass purchasing consortium (MPC) market because of the availability of literature and data on this specific topic.
The main need of chain actors is to maintain competitive advantage. In this scenario, the typical questions arising in this environment are the following. What are the market opportunities for each actor position? Could we improve the chain performance by a more clever exploitation of the available information? How much information should be shared among actors?
We propose an agent based modeling (ABM) approach to study and identify the supply chain weaknesses by modeling its structural evolution over time. Our approach can provide answers to the previous questions. We believe this approach is promising since it could represent a valuable tool in (i) understanding supply chain processes and (ii) in testing social, economical and political strategies in order to achieve better sustainability models.
Keywords: supply chain, agent-based simulation, complex systems
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