Modeling supply-chain networks by a multi-agent system

Fu Ren Lin, Gek Woo Tan, Michael J. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This article proposes a multi-agent information system (MAIS) approach to model the order fulfillment process (OFP) in supply chain networks (SCNs). An order fulfillment process starts with receiving orders from customers and ends with delivery of the finished goods. As manufacturing practice is shifting toward the out-sourcing paradigm, the OFP is more likely to be executed throughout SCNs. It becomes imperative to integrate the OFP into SCNs to improve the OFP. The proposed multi-agent information system (MAIS) approach is used for modeling the OFP in SCNs, and evaluating OFP performance by applying the proposed strategies. The objective of reengineering the OFP is to achieve agility of the process in terms of efficiency, flexibility, robustness and adaptability. A multi-agent simulation platform, called Swarm, is enhanced and applied for modeling the MAIS, and experiments are conducted to simulate the OFP in SCNs in a multi-agent environment. Based on the Swarm simulation platform, we model the OFP in SCNs, simulate the OFP, and then evaluate the potential OFP improvement strategies to identify useful strategies for improving the OFP. The results shed lights on identifying the main effects of various strategies on OFP performance. The insights of utilizing various strategies in different SCNs help redesign the OFP in SCNs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1998 31st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Part 1 (of 7) - Big Island, HI, USA
Duration: Jan 6 1998Jan 9 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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