Title: Aligning physical and virtual logistical spheres with radio-frequency identification and agent-based modelling

Authors: Rebecca Aggarwal; Ming K. Lim

Addresses: Engineering Systems and Management, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK ' Engineering Systems and Management, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Abstract: Today, companies endeavour to offer customisation pertaining to both the product and related services to increase competitiveness. Logistics is an essential service-based industry, which can have a significant positive impact on customer satisfaction when accomplished efficiently and with agility. Agility of services can be amplified through the availability of real-time data and adept decision-making tools. Agent-based modelling (ABM) can provide a platform to represent physical entities creating a virtual sphere. The decentralisation of decision-making can enhance scheduling and resource allocation on a local level whilst maintaining overall optimal requirements of the network. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology can offer full network visibility closing the gap of connectivity between the virtual sphere and physical objects such as pallets, goods and trucks. This paper explores the use of RFID and ABM to improve returnable transport equipment (RTE) practices by increasing network agility in order to invigorate customisation of logistical services.

Keywords: returnable transport equipment; RTE; radio frequency identification; RFID; agent-based modelling; agent-based systems; multi-agent systems; MAS; decentralisation; decision making; scheduling; resource allocation; physical logistics; virtual logistics; real-time data; network visibility; agile services; network agility; customer satisfaction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2013.052196

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.66 - 82

Received: 31 Aug 2011
Accepted: 24 Jun 2012

Published online: 19 Feb 2013 *

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