A Simulation Architecture for Data Exchange in a Supply Chain Context

Y. Ouzrout, S. Elkosantini, A. Bouras, and O. Lopez Ortega (France)


Simulation Tools and Techniques, Multi-Agent Systems, Supply Chain, Scheduling.


With the ever increasingly competitive and changing markets, the dependencies and relationships between market components are becoming more and more important. More enterprises now consider the entire supply chain structure while taking business decisions. They try to identify and manage all critical relationships both upstream and downstream in their supply chains. Some impediments to this are that the necessary information usually resides across a multitude of resources, is ever changing. Most supply chain decision support systems (DSSs) are specific to an enterprise and its supply chain, and cannot be easily modified to assist other similar enterprises and industries. This contribution describes an on-going effort about developing an integrated framework to simulate supply chain management of manufacturing industries. Retailers, warehouses, plants and raw material suppliers are modelled as a network of co-operative agents. The architecture is composed of a multi-agent system for the decisional organization, a discrete-even simulation tool (Arena) for the workshop simulation, an Advanced Planning System (Finmatica/Ortems) for the production scheduling, and a data-base for the storage of the technical data. This framework helps to analyze the business policies with respect to different situations arising in the supply chain. We illustrate this framework by means of a case study.

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