Dispositive Supply Web Coordination

Traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems strongly focus on planning internal production and logistics disregarding external effects of upstream and downstream contractors in the value chain. The DISPOWEB-project addresses exactly these questions of optimal timing for services in bi- and multilateral negotiations. To meet this goal, software agents and dispositive protocols are developed and implemented. This design should help economic agents - either acting in competition to each other or cooperatively - to achieve good results via completely decentralized coordination of the logistics network. We are trying to get as close as possible to a pareto efficient solution. To achieve this objective DISPOWEB takes a game-theoretic approach to design multi-agent coordination protocols for supply chain scheduling: The individual agents are autonomously solving weighted job interval scheduling problems (WJISP), which are coupled by delivery contracts. Consequently the suppliers’ WJISPs due dates interrelate with the release times of the customers’ WJISPs. Apart from allocative efficiency – of different negotiation protocols and agents' (re-) contracting strategies – appropriate incentives for participation in a given mechanism are analysed. The successor project P2P-DISPOWEB relaxes the assumption of a fixed network structure, i.e. the supply web agents – in addition to negotiating price and time of delivery – have to reason about selecting alternative suppliers, too.

DISPOWEB is a project of the Institut of Information Systems at the Frankfurt University in cooperation with the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Labor of the Technical University Berlin. The project is part of the German Priority Research Program Intelligent Agents and Supply Chain Scenarios.