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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2011

C.Y. Lam and W.H. Ip

Scheduling needs to be concise and well‐determined but able to respond to the ever‐changing and uncertain market or environment against the constraints of production…

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1152

Abstract

Purpose

Scheduling needs to be concise and well‐determined but able to respond to the ever‐changing and uncertain market or environment against the constraints of production capacity, resources, time frame, etc. The purpose of this paper is to model and solve a scheduling problem with another domain perspective that adopts the concept of agent, and an agent‐based scheduling environment is proposed for solving the scheduling problem, in which three agents are developed, i.e. a sales agent, a scheduling agent, and a production agent.

Design/methodology/approach

The modeling and development of the proposed agent‐based scheduling environment and its agents under constraints are discussed. Constraint priority scheduling concepts are applied to the environment and its agents, and the feature of responding to customer change orders is included in the model. The proposed agent‐based scheduling environment with three agents is applied to a lamp‐manufacturing company in China as a case study, and the integrated agent‐based approach is also illustrated in the case study.

Findings

Throughout the autonomous communication between agents in the proposed model, a constraint‐prioritized schedule is generated to fulfill customer orders and customer change orders, as well as to achieve a better scheduling performance result. From the simulation results and analysis in the case study, satisfactory results show that the proposed model can generate a constraint‐prioritized schedule for the studied company that can completely fulfill customer orders, adjust and fulfill customer change orders, and achieve a better scheduling result.

Originality/value

In this paper, the scheduling problem is modeled and solved by using the domain perspective of agent‐based approach. By using an agent‐based approach, the agents can be implemented to represent manufacturing resources or aggregations of resources. Under the proposed modeling approach, the collaboration across the entire scheduling activities can be enhanced, and the efficiency and effectiveness in the scheduling activities can also be increased.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 111 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Javad Rouzafzoon and Petri Helo

Agent-based computer simulation gives new possibilities to model service supply chains which combine flow of people, geographical elements, demand patterns and service…

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1807

Abstract

Purpose

Agent-based computer simulation gives new possibilities to model service supply chains which combine flow of people, geographical elements, demand patterns and service rates. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate by using an example how agent-based modeling can be used for health service supply chain design.

Design/methodology/approach

Generic structure of agent-based service supply chain modeling is described. The presented example is healthcare supply chain with service distribution and service location problem. Main focus in presentation on model building, actual case data are not discussed.

Findings

In context of service supply chain, agent-based modeling has advantages compared to traditional discrete event approach. Agent-based simulation allows modeling of interactions of autonomous agents.

Practical implications

Reach of service for each geographical area may be used as a constraint for building service distribution network. Service supply chains consist of service providers and flow of customers with given geographical locations. Key performance indicators can be assessed in combination with service footprint.

Originality/value

Availability of geographical population data and agent-based simulation gives new possibility for service supply chain models.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 116 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Ling Wang, Hong Xu, Jinjin Wu, Xiai Chen and Wenbo Na

The purpose of this paper is to propose an availability modeling method of complex multiple units system (CMUS) based on the multi-agent technique.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an availability modeling method of complex multiple units system (CMUS) based on the multi-agent technique.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the multi-agent technique, this paper describes the availability model structure for CMUS and develops agent-based models of components, maintenance policies, maintenance tools, maintenance fields, and maintenance staff, as well as the communication method among the different agents. On the basis of the agent-based availability modeling theory, the availability simulation scheme of CMUS is given using MATLAB. Thus, the availability modeling theory of CMUS and its simulation method are developed. To demonstrate the applicability of the proposed availability modeling method, a numerical example is given.

Findings

The proposed agent-based modeling method is applicable to availability modeling of CMUS, including the modeling of component failure, maintenance tools/fields/staff, maintenance policy, and structural/economic dependence among components.

Practical implications

As a bottom-top, modular, expandable, and reusable modeling theory, the agent-based modeling method might be useful for availability modeling of different CMUSs in reality.

Originality/value

The multi-agent technique is introduced into availability modeling of multi-component systems in this paper. Thus, it is possible to model failure of many components, maintenance policies, maintenance tools, maintenance fields, and maintenance staff together for availability analysis of complex systems of equipment.

Details

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2511

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Liqun Xiang, Yongtao Tan, Geoffrey Shen and Xin Jin

The applications of multi-agent systems (MASs) are considered to be among the most promising paradigms for detailed investigations and reliable problem-solving methods…

Abstract

Purpose

The applications of multi-agent systems (MASs) are considered to be among the most promising paradigms for detailed investigations and reliable problem-solving methods, and MAS applications make it possible for researchers and practitioners to better understand complex systems. Although a number of prior studies have been conducted to address complex issues that arise from construction projects, few studies have summarised the applications and discussed the capacity of MASs from the perspective of construction management. To fill the gap, this paper provides a comprehensive literature review of MAS applications from the perspective of construction management.

Design/methodology/approach

Web of Science and Scopus are the most commonly used international databases in conducting the literature reviews. A total of 86 relevant papers published in SCI-Expanded, SSCI and Ei Compendex journals related to the application of MASs from the perspective of construction management are selected to be analysed and discussed in this paper.

Findings

Based on the 86 collected publications, the utilisations of MASs to support the management of the supply chain and the improvement of project performance are identified from the perspective of construction management, the characteristics and barriers of current MAS applications are analysed, a framework for developing agent-based models to address complex problems is proposed, and future research directions of MAS applications are discussed.

Originality/value

This review can serve as a useful reference for scholars to enhance their understanding of the current research and guide future research on MASs. The proposed framework can help build agent-based models to address complex problems in construction management.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Taehyon Choi and Shinae Park

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of agent-based modeling as an alternative method for public administration research. It is focused on encouraging…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of agent-based modeling as an alternative method for public administration research. It is focused on encouraging public administration scholars to come to better understanding of the method.

Design/methodology/approach

This article performed a comprehensive review of methodological issues relative to agent-based modeling.

Findings

After reviewing the current research themes in public administration and the methodological nature of agent-based modeling, we found that agent-based modeling can help researchers to advance theories by means of sophisticated thought experiment which is not possible by formal modeling and verbal reasoning. We also pointed out that agent-based modeling does not substitute empirical research, but can add much value through being part of a mixed-method and multidisciplinary research.

Practical implications

We suggested that interested researchers may need to take a strategic approach in developing and describing a pertinent model and reporting its results.

Originality/value

Agent-based modeling has rarely been used in public administration research. The article provides an introductory overview for researchers not familiar with ABM and suggests to the academic community future venues that would unfold from agent-based modeling.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Sungjoo Hwang, Seungjun Ahn and SangHyun Lee

Both system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modeling (ABM) have been used in simulation-based group dynamics research. To combine the advantages of both simulation…

Abstract

Purpose

Both system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modeling (ABM) have been used in simulation-based group dynamics research. To combine the advantages of both simulation approaches, the concept of SD-ABM hybrid simulation has been proposed. However, research efforts to compare the effectiveness of modeling approaches between the hybrid and non-hybrid models in the context of group dynamics study are rare. Against this background, this study aims to propose an agent-embedded SD (aeSD) modeling approach and demonstrate its advantages when compared to pure SD or ABM modeling approaches, based on a research case on construction workers’ social absenteeism.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors introduce an aeSD modeling approach to incorporate individual attributes and interactions among individuals in an SD model. An aeSD model is developed to replicate the behavior of an agent-based model previously developed by the authors to study construction workers’ group behavior regarding absenteeism. Then, the characteristics of the aeSD model in comparison with a pure ABM or SD model are demonstrated through various simulation experiments.

Findings

It is demonstrated that an aeSD model can capture the diversity of individuals and simulate emergent system behaviors arising from interactions among heterogeneous agents while holding the strengths of an SD model in identifying causal feedback loops and policy testing. Specifically, the effectiveness of the aeSD approach in policy testing is demonstrated through examples of simulation experiments designed to test various group-level and individual-level interventions to control social absence behavior of workers (e.g. changing work groupings, influencing workgroup networks and communication channels) under the consideration of the context of construction projects.

Originality/value

The proposed aeSD modeling method is a novel approach to how individual attributes of agents can be modeled into an SD model. Such an embedding-based approach is distinguished from the previous communication-based hybrid simulation approaches. The demonstration example presented in the paper shows that the aeSD modeling approach has advantages in studying group dynamic behavior, especially when the modeling of the interactions and networks between individuals is needed within an SD structure. The simulation experiments conducted in this study demonstrate the characteristics of the aeSD approach distinguishable from both ABM and SD. Based on the results, it is argued that the aeSD modeling approach would be useful in studying construction workers’ social behavior and investigating worker policies through computer simulation.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Christophe Schinckus

The term “agent-based modelling” (ABM) is a buzzword which is widely used in the scientific literature even though it refers to a variety of methodologies implemented in…

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3233

Abstract

Purpose

The term “agent-based modelling” (ABM) is a buzzword which is widely used in the scientific literature even though it refers to a variety of methodologies implemented in different disciplinary contexts. The numerous works dealing with ABM require a clarification to better understand the lines of thinking paved by this approach in economics. All modelling tasks are a means and a source of knowledge, and this epistemic function can vary depending on the methodology. this paper is to present four major ways (deductive, abductive, metaphorical and phenomenological) of implementing an agent-based framework to describe economic systems. ABM generates numerous debates in economics and opens the room for epistemological questions about the micro-foundations of macroeconomics; before dealing with this issue, the purpose of this paper is to identify the kind of ABM the author can find in economics.

Design/methodology/approach

The profusion of works dealing with ABM requires a clarification to understand better the lines of thinking paved by this approach in economics. This paper offers a conceptual classification outlining the major trends of ABM in economics.

Findings

There are four categories of ABM in economics.

Originality/value

This paper suggests a methodological categorization of ABM works in economics.

Details

Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2515-964X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Paul Twomey and Richard Cadman

Agent‐based modelling is a bottom‐up approach to understanding systems which provides a powerful tool for analysing complex, non‐linear markets. The method involves…

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1812

Abstract

Agent‐based modelling is a bottom‐up approach to understanding systems which provides a powerful tool for analysing complex, non‐linear markets. The method involves creating artificial agents designed to mimic the attributes and behaviours of their real‐world counterparts. The system’s macro‐observable properties emerge as a consequence of these attributes and behaviours and the interactions between them. The simulation output may be potentially used for explanatory, exploratory and predictive purposes. The aim of this paper is to introduce the reader to some of the basic concepts and methods behind agent‐based modelling and to present some recent business applications of these tools, including work in the telecoms and media markets.

Details

info, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Mohammad Raoufi, Nima Gerami Seresht, Nasir Bedewi Siraj and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Several different simulation techniques, such as discrete event simulation (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM), have been used to model complex…

Abstract

Several different simulation techniques, such as discrete event simulation (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM), have been used to model complex construction systems such as construction processes and project management practices; however, these techniques do not take into account the subjective uncertainties that exist in many construction systems. Integrating fuzzy logic with simulation techniques enhances the capabilities of those simulation techniques, and the resultant fuzzy simulation models are then capable of handling subjective uncertainties in complex construction systems. The objectives of this chapter are to show how to integrate fuzzy logic and simulation techniques in construction modelling and to provide methodologies for the development of fuzzy simulation models in construction. In this chapter, an overview of simulation techniques that are used in construction is presented. Next, the advancements that have been made by integrating fuzzy logic and simulation techniques are introduced. Methodologies for developing fuzzy simulation models are then proposed. Finally, the process of selecting a suitable simulation technique for each particular aspect of construction modelling is discussed.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Mohammad Raoufi and Aminah Robinson Fayek

This paper aims to cover the development of a methodology for hybrid fuzzy Monte Carlo agent-based simulation (FMCABS) and its implementation on a parametric study of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to cover the development of a methodology for hybrid fuzzy Monte Carlo agent-based simulation (FMCABS) and its implementation on a parametric study of construction crew performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed methodology uses fuzzy logic, Monte Carlo simulation and agent-based modeling to simulate the behavior of construction crews and predict their performance. Both random and subjective uncertainties are considered in model variables.

Findings

The developed methodology was implemented on a real case involving the parametric study of construction crew performance to assess its applicability and suitability for this context.

Research limitations/implications

This parametric study demonstrates a practical application for the hybrid FMCABS methodology. Though findings from this study are limited to the context of construction crew motivation and performance, the applicability of the developed methodology extends beyond the construction domain.

Practical implications

This paper will help construction practitioners to predict and improve crew performance by taking into account both random and subjective uncertainties.

Social implications

This paper will advance construction modeling by allowing for the assessment of social interactions among crews and their effects on crew performance.

Originality/value

The developed hybrid FMCABS methodology represents an original contribution, as it allows agent-based models to simultaneously process all types of variables (i.e. deterministic, random and subjective) in the same simulation experiment while accounting for interactions among different agents. In addition, the developed methodology is implemented in a novel and extensive parametric study of construction crew performance.

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