Real-time supply chain management in a rapidly changing environment requires reactive and dynamic collaboration among participating entities. In this work, we model supply chain as a multi-agent system where agents are subject to an adjustable autonomy. The autonomy of an agent refers to its capability to make and influence decisions within a multi-agent system. Adjustable autonomy means changing the autonomy of the agents during runtime as a response to changes in the environment. In the context of a supply chain, different entities will have different autonomy levels and objective functions as the environment changes, and the goal is to design a real-time control technique to maintain global consistency and optimality. We propose a centralized fuzzy framework for sensing and translating environmental changes to the changes in autonomy levels and objectives of the agents. In response to the changes, a coalition-formation algorithm will be executed to allow agents to negotiate and re-establish global consistency and optimality. We apply our proposed framework to two supply chain control problems with drastic changes in the environment: one in controlling a military hazardous material storage facility under peace-to-war transition, and the other in supply management during a crisis (such as bird-flu or terrorist attacks). Experimental results show that by adjusting autonomy in response to environmental changes, the behavior of the supply chain system can be controlled accordingly.
Crisis management, Fuzzy controller, Military warehouse, Multi-agent system, Real-time control
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Management Information Systems | Operations and Supply Chain Management
Intelligent Systems and Decision Analytics
Computers and Operations Research
LAU, Hoong Chuin; Agussurja, Lucas; and Thangarajoo, Ramesh.
Real-Time Supply Chain Control via Multi-Agent Adjustable Autonomy. (2007). Computers and Operations Research. 35, (11), 3452-3464. Research Collection School Of Information Systems.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sis_research/1194
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