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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: 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.

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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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1784

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

Keywords

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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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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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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1149

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: 11 April 2016

Mohammad G. Nejad

This paper provides an overview of agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) and evaluates the questions that have been raised regarding the “assumptions and mechanisms…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides an overview of agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) and evaluates the questions that have been raised regarding the “assumptions and mechanisms used” by a well-cited paper that has used this methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

This work provides a review of agent-based simulation modeling and its capabilities to advance and test theory. The commentary then evaluates and addresses the raised questions and reservations.

Findings

Agent-based modeling offers unique capabilities that can be used to explore complex phenomena in business and marketing. Some of the raised reservations may be considered as directions for future research. However, the criticisms are for most part unsupported by existing research and do not undermine the contributions of the paper that is being discussed.

Practical implications

Given its relative novelty, reservations regarding agent-based simulation modeling are quite natural. Discussions like this one would bring together different points of view and lead to a better understanding of how using ABMS can benefit academia and industry.

Originality/value

This commentary is part of an intellectual dialogue that seeks to provide different points of view about agent-based simulation modeling using a specific paper as an example.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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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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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: 9 March 2015

Davide Secchi

– This paper aims at introducing agent-based models (ABMs) and reviews some of their features in an attempt to show why they can be useful for organizational behavior research.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at introducing agent-based models (ABMs) and reviews some of their features in an attempt to show why they can be useful for organizational behavior research.

Design/methodology/approach

The use of simulations has increased substantially in the past ten to fifteen years, but management seems to hold back to the agent-based “revolution”. The paper first describes the ABMs, and then discusses some of the issues that usually prevent management scholars from using simulations.

Findings

This paper indicates how an agent-based approach can help overcome the hesitations surrounding computer simulations because (a) it makes it relatively easy to model emergent and complex social phenomena, and (b) simulation is made easier by user-friendly software platforms that connect it to the existing research methods.

Originality/value

This article describes ABMs in a way that may be attractive to organization scholars, and it depicts the frontiers of a more flexible computational and mathematical approach to organizations, management and teams.

Details

Team Performance Management, vol. 21 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Bertha Maya Sopha, Risqika Edni Doni Achsan and Anna Maria Sri Asih

Uneven distribution and mistarget beneficiaries are among problems encountered during post-disaster relief operations in 2010 Mount Merapi eruption. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Uneven distribution and mistarget beneficiaries are among problems encountered during post-disaster relief operations in 2010 Mount Merapi eruption. The purpose of this paper is to develop an empirically founded agent-based simulation model addressing the evacuation dynamics and to explore coordination mechanism and other promising strategies during last-mile relief delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

An agent-based model which was specified and parameterized by empirical research (interviews and survey) was developed to understand the mechanism of individual decision making underlying the evacuation dynamics. A set of model testing was conducted to evaluate confidence level of the model in representing the evacuation dynamics during post-disaster of 2010 Mount Merapi eruption. Three scenarios of last-mile relief delivery at both strategic and operational levels were examined to evaluate quantitatively the effectiveness of the coordination mechanism and to explore other promising strategies.

Findings

Results indicate that the empirically founded agent-based modeling was able to reproduce the general pattern of observable Internal Displaced Persons based on government records, both at micro and macro levels, with a statistically non-significant difference. Low hazard perception and leader-following behavior which refuses to evacuate are the two factors responsible for late evacuation. Unsurprisingly, coordination through information sharing results in better performance than without coordination. To deal with both uneven distribution and long-term demand fulfillment, coordination among volunteers during aid distribution (at downstream operation) is not sufficient. The downstream coordination should also be accompanied with coordination between aid centers at the upstream operation. Furthermore, the coordination which is combined with other operational strategies, such as clustering strategy, using small-sized trucks and pre-positioning strategy, seems to be promising. It appears that the combined strategy of coordination and clustering strategy performs best among other combined strategies.

Practical implications

The significant role of early evacuation and self-evacuation behavior toward efficient evacuation indicates that human factor (i.e. hazard perception and cultural factor) should be considered in designing evacuation plan. Early warning system through both technology and community empowerment is necessary to support early evacuation. The early warning system should also be accompanied with at least 69 percent of the population performing self-evacuation behavior for the effective evacuation. As information sharing through coordination is necessary to avoid redundant efforts, uneven distribution and eventually to reduce unmet demand, the government can act as a coordinating actor to authorize the operation and mobilize the resources. The combination of coordination and another strategy reducing lead time such as clustering analysis, thus increasing responsiveness, is seemly strategy for efficient and effective last-mile relief distribution.

Originality/value

Literature on coordination is dominated by qualitative approach, which is difficult to evaluate its effectiveness quantitatively. Providing realistic setting of the evacuation dynamics in the course of the 2010 Mount Merapi eruption, the empirically founded agent-based model can be used to understand the factors influencing the evacuation dynamics and subsequently to quantitatively examine coordination mechanisms and other potential strategies toward efficient and effective last-mile relief distribution.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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