Considering the need for more effective decision support in the context of distributed manufacturing, this paper develops an advanced analytics framework for configuring supply chain networks. The proposed framework utilizes a distributed multi-agent system architecture to deploy fuzzy rough sets-based algorithms for knowledge elicitation and representation. A set of historical sales data, including network node-related information, is used together with the relevant details of product families to predict supply chain configurations capable of fulfilling desired customer orders. Multiple agents such as data retrieval agent, knowledge acquisition agent, knowledge representation agent, configuration predictor agent, evaluator agent and dispatching agent are used to help execute a broad spectrum of supply chain configuration decisions. The proposed framework considers multiple product variants and sourcing options at each network node, as well as multiple performance objectives. It also captures decisions that span the entire supply chain simultaneously and, by implication, represents multiple network links. Using an industry test case, the paper demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed framework in terms of fulfilling customer orders with lower production and emissions costs, compared to the results generated using existing tools.
Available for download on Wednesday, February 22, 2017