Distributed supply chain management using ant colony optimization
Sá da Costa, J.M.G.
Successful supply chain management requires a cooperative integration between all the partners in the network. At the operational level, the partners individual behavior should be optimal and therefore their activities have to be planned using sophisticated optimization tools. However, these tools should take into account the planning of the remaining partners, through the exchange of information, in order to allow some kind of cooperation between the elements of the chain. This paper introduces a new supply chain management technique, based on modeling a generic supply chain with suppliers, logistics and distributers, as a distributed optimization problem. The different operational activities are solved by the optimization meta-heuristic called ant colony optimization, which allows the exchange of information between different optimization problems by means of a pheromone matrix. The simulation results show that the new methodology is more efficient than a simple decentralized methodology for different instances of a supply chain.
Ant colony optimization Distributed optimization Supply chain management Logistics and operations management
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