https://www.dagstuhl.de/10102

March 7 – 12 , 2010, Dagstuhl Seminar 10102

Grand Challenges for Discrete Event Logistics Systems

Organizers

Peter Lendermann (D-SIMLAB – Singapore, SG)
Leon F. McGinnis (Georgia Institute of Technology, US)
Lars Mönch (FernUniversität in Hagen, DE)
Arnd Schirrmann (EADS – Hamburg, DE)


The Dagstuhl Foundation gratefully acknowledges the donation from:

  •   European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company

For support, please contact

Dagstuhl Service Team

Documents

List of Participants
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]

Summary

Discrete Event Logistics Systems (DELS) are networks of resources through which material flows. Each node of the network corresponds to some resource (or set of resources) by which the materials are either converted in some way (refined, shaped, assembled, disassembled, etc.), moved (transported within one facility or between facilities), or simply held for some period of time (as work-in-process or stored in a warehouse). Material handling and transportation are key components of DELS. DELS are “discrete” in part because they move material in discrete quantities, and in part because their behavior can be characterized effectively in terms of events happening at discrete points of time, i.e., the start or end of some conversion, transport, or storage process. A DEL system may take the form of a single warehouse, a portion of a factory, a complete factory, or a global supply network.

DELS have been the subject of a large body of analytic research. A huge variety of specic models exists that generally require application by model and/or solver experts to answer narrowly-dened logistics questions about inventory, sourcing, scheduling, routing, etc. It has proven dicult to integrate these models in any comprehensive way into information systems like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) or Supply Chain Management (SCM)systems, because of the lack of conceptual alignment between the models produced by researchers and the information systems deployed in practice with which they should be integrated.

This diculty is magnied enormously by four factors: (1) the scale and scope of global supply networks, such as those developed to support airplane, automobile or telecommunications systems manufacturing, and service, which may involve literally thousands of individual enterprises; (2) the dynamic behavior of these networks, which are constantly changing as rms enter and leave, products change, markets change, etc.; (3) the broad range of information and communication systems deployed; and (4) the very high density of decisions, partially enabled by software systems but in many of not most cases to be made by humans, often near real-time. Today, although the literature on individual, narrow problems is vast, there is little base of theory or methodology for addressing decision problems that have scope, scale, and complexity of all four factors.

This difficulty is magnified enormously by four factors: (1) the scale and scope of global supply networks, such as those developed to support airplane, automobile or telecommunications systems manufacturing, and service systems, which may involve literally thousands of individual enterprises; (2) the dynamics of these networks, which are constantly changing as firms enter and leave, products change, markets change, etc.; (3) the broad range of information and communication systems deployed; and (4) the very high density of real-time decision making. Today, there is little base of theory or methodology for addressing decision problems of this scope, scale, and complexity.

It seems clear that methods from computer science, industrial engineering, information systems, and operations research must be used together to address critical issues in architecting, conguring, planning, managing, and controlling DELS. In the past, researchers in industrial engineering and operations research have quite actively investigated DELS problems, but there has been less direct engagement from computer science and information systems. However, there is an ongoing trend also in computer science towards more business-related application domains, and as a consequence, the main slogan of the 'Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI)', the German Chapter of the ACM, 2007 annual meeting was 'Computer Science meets Logistics'.

Recognizing this, the authors of this report sought to bring together a group of researchers from Europe, North America, and Asia spanning the spectrum of industrial engineering, operations research, and computer science, to consider the following question: What are the grand challenges (for their combined research communities) in supporting decision making in the DELS environment. These efforts were generously supported by the Leibniz Center for Informatics, resulting in a Dagstuhl seminar held March 7-12, 2010, and attended by 28 participants representing universities, research centers, and companies in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Classification

  • Modeling/Simulation
  • Information Systems
  • Decision Support
  • Coordination/Planning/Scheduling

Keywords

  • Logistics Systems
  • Modeling
  • Simulation
  • Coordination
  • Design of Decision Support Systems

Documentation

In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.

 

Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Publications

Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.