Title: An extensible object-oriented and agent-based framework for modelling and simulating supply chains

Authors: Li Tan; Shenghan Xu; Benjamin Meyer; Brock Erwin

Addresses: School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, Richland, WA 99354, USA. ' College of Business and Economics, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83843, USA. ' School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, Richland, WA 99354, USA. ' School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University, Richland, WA 99354, USA

Abstract: We propose an extensible object-oriented agent-based framework for modelling and simulating supply chains. A problem with existing supply-chain analysis tools is that most of them are designed only for specific configurations of supply chains. The primary goal of this work is to provide an open and extensible framework for analysing supply chains with heterogeneous elements and structures. Our framework incorporates the following features: 1) It adopts an agent-based approach to handle interactions among elements of a supply chain, and an analyst can introduce new types of elements for a specific application; 2) To promote the design reusability, we propose an object-oriented type system that supports behaviour inheritance; 3) The framework formally defines a meta-model for elements of a supply chain; 4) The framework includes a discrete-event simulation algorithm, which defines interactions among elements via messages and deliveries. We also discuss SIMRISK, our Java implementation of the framework.

Keywords: agent-based modelling; agent-based simulation; design extensibility; formal semantics; supply chain management; SCM; agent-based systems; multi-agent systems; MAS; object-oriented modelling; OOM; supply chain modelling; design reuse; metamodelling; discrete-event simulation; supply chains.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIDS.2012.047075

International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences, 2012 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.251 - 267

Available online: 26 May 2012 *

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