An Agent-based Model for Supplier Selection in Digital Manufacturing Market
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Manufacturing supply chain is increasingly becoming agile to keep up with the rapid changes in the market. Agility should be imparted to all aspect of supply chain operation including the formation of supply chain. Ability to assess and select new suppliers quickly is a necessity for rapid formation of supply chains. The Digital Manufacturing Market (DMM) is a virtual market for trading manufacturing services in which buyers and sellers are represented by intelligent software agents. The DMM enables rapid and autonomous deployment of service-oriented supply chains from a pool of suppliers that are distributed geographically. Customer agents in DMM can employ different strategies for selecting the qualified suppliers who possess the required capabilities and capacities. The objective of this research is to compare different decision-making scenarios that customer agents may follow for selecting appropriate suppliers. The metrics used for evaluating different supplier selection scenarios include overall customer wait time and utilization rate of the suppliers in the system. In this work, the agent-based model of DMM is implemented in AnyLogic simulation software in small and large scale. The results show that by having Dynamic Capacity (DC) in the large- scale market, customers find their desired services with less average time while the suppliers are not overloaded.