Title: Performance evaluation of an auction-based job allocation model for small- and medium-sized enterprises

Authors: Govind Bajaj, Can Saygin, Scott E. Grasman, Ming C. Leu

Addresses: Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department, Integrated Systems Facility, University of Missouri – Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409, USA. ' Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department, Integrated Systems Facility, Intelligent Systems Center, University of Missouri – Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409, USA. ' Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department, University of Missouri – Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409, USA. ' Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Intelligent Systems Center University of Missouri – Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409, USA

Abstract: This paper extends the application scope of a previously developed auction-based shop floor control model to the enterprise level and evaluates its performance for the coordination and collaboration of spatially distributed Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The model uses the contract net protocol to facilitate the negotiation process among SMEs and consists of two main components: task proposal formulation and bid formulation. An agent-based simulation environment is developed in ProModel to evaluate the impact of two negotiation factors and due date slack of tasks on tardiness, earliness and absolute due date deviation of tasks. A mixed-level factorial Design of Experiments (DOE) is carried out by considering different levels of α, β and K, and the results of the simulation study are analysed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in Minitab. This study shows that the auction-based model is effective for the task allocation among SMEs, yet it is necessary to fine-tune the negotiation factors based on the due-date-related performance measures.

Keywords: small and medium enterprises; virtual enterprises; auction models; negotiation; distributed decision making; networked SMEs; performance evaluation; job allocation; coordination; collaboration; task proposal formulation; bid formulation; simulation; agent-based systems; multi-agent systems; DOE; design of experiments; due dates; information exchange; performance measures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2006.009535

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2006 Vol.3 No.2, pp.202 - 219

Published online: 19 Apr 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article