Battini, Daria (2008) Dynamic modeling of networks and logistic complex systems. [Ph.D. thesis]
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Modern supply chains usually provide very complex inter- correlations between various actors: suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, customers, etc. Such inter-correlations are not only based on material flows but also on data and financial flows.
Discussions about alternatives for traditional goods and services distribution in the company are becoming more frequent, as the constantly increasing demands and requirements of the market put pressure on suppliers and manufacturers logistics. Therefore, this need is emphasized by the growing of industrial systems complexity and its indirect and drown costs, increasing day by day.
The terms Supply Network and Business Web are now interchangeable in the way they are used to summarise flow in supply chains (Tapscott, 2000).
Distribution Webs and Supply Networks are urgently demanding new effective management strategies to preserve competitiveness, increase organization and control the complexity level increment.
This dissertation touches upon the fundamental theories of Distribution Network Optimization and Supply Network Complexity Analysis, it proposes new techniques to characterize peculiar Supply Network aspects and underline the importance of adequate systemic approaches and software support in the development of this particular discipline.
This work has four main goals:
1. Show how Goods Delivery Distribution Optimization is feasible and critical to creates efficient networks
2. Investigate how the issue of Distribution Network Design is crucial in order to increase efficiency and competitiveness
3. Assess the performance of new algorithms for industrial network complexity control and computation;
4. Develop new quantitative measurements of complexity for supply networks based on Network Analysis, which is often used to study natural ecosystems, focusing in particular on the concept of entropy of information (derived by Shannon, 1948).
All these accomplishment are associated with appropriate software applications.
The dissertation is divided in three Parts (1. Theoretical framework, 2. New network analysis methodologies development, 3. Three published papers collection).
This work, conducted with a profitable interdisciplinary collaboration with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Michigan University (Ann Arbour), is devoted to investigate alternatives for goods distribution in Supply Networks and develop advances in both theories on Supply Network Design problem and on its application to industrial contexts.
The new interdisciplinary approaches developed exploit new performances indexes to map the exchange of goods and information between different actors in a complex supply chain and show how Network Analysis and systemic approaches are relevant tools in providing a new perspective in defining supply network organization and complexity.
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