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Physarum solver: a bio-inspired method for sustainable supply chain network design problem

Xiaoge Zhang, Andrew Adamatzky, Felix T. S. Chan, Sankaran Mahadevan and Yong Deng ()
Additional contact information
Xiaoge Zhang: Southwest University
Andrew Adamatzky: University of the West of England
Felix T. S. Chan: Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Sankaran Mahadevan: Southwest University
Yong Deng: Southwest University

Annals of Operations Research, 2017, vol. 254, issue 1, No 24, 533-552

Abstract: Abstract A supplier of products and services aims to minimize the capacity investment cost and the operational cost incurred by unwanted byproducts, e.g. carbon dioxide emission. In this paper, we consider a sustainable supply chain network design problem, where the capacity and the product flow along each link are design variables. We formulate it as a multi-criteria optimization problem. A bio-inspired algorithm is developed to tackle this problem. We illustrate how to design a sustainable supply chain network in three steps. First, we develop a generalized model inspired by the foraging behaviour of slime mould Physarum polycephalum to handle the network optimization with multiple sinks. Second, we propose a strategy to update the link cost iteratively, thus making the Physarum model to converge to a user equilibrium. Third, we perform an equivalent operation to transform a system optimum problem into a corresponding user equilibrium problem so that it is solvable in the Physarum model. The efficiency of the proposed algorithm is illustrated with numerical examples.

Keywords: Supply chain; Physarum; Sustainability; Network design; Decision making (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s10479-017-2410-x

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