A Software Agent-Component Based Framework for Multi-Agent Supply Chain Modelling and Simulation

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Multi-agent system, supply chain modelling, Java Agent Development framework (JADE), supply chain ontology, multi-agent simulation, supply chain dynamics

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Multi-agent systems (MASs) have emerged as the most natural intrinsic paradigm for modelling complex systems, such as supply chains (SCs). However, their development process remains quite involved and extremely time consuming, hindering wide-spread adoption in industrial-strength applications. A software agent-component based framework is proposed to simplify and speedup multi-agent (MA) modelling and simulation for SC applications. With the help of pre-developed libraries of reusable components—organizational agents (OAs), SC agents (SCAs), behaviour and policy objects; the framework allows model developers to quickly configure a MAS to simulate SC dynamics and study control and coordination issues. Being generic, flexible, and scalable; it supports development of either pseudo-centralized models by a single model developer, or distributed models by either a single or group of enterprises constituting a SC. The framework is unique; based on requirements it allows for representing different segments of SC network at either aggregated or detailed levels resulting in models of hybrid resolution. It facilitates studies involving intra- and inter-organizational dynamics (either independently or collectively), considering information asymmetry explicitly. The framework is validated through MA-simulation of Tamagotchi SC. Its results are presented, and the research extensions outlined.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Modelling and Simulation, v. 30, issue 2, p. 155-171

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