Recent research results in operations research specifically emphasize the critical role of delays in the functionality of supply networks. Delays arise due to the time needed for material deliveries, information flow and human perception towards adjusting to new decisions. Delays contaminate decision-making and lead to poor performance, synchronization problems and fluctuations in inventory levels resulting in major economical losses. This paper surveys continuous time deterministic mathematical models developed at system-level for supply network dynamics along with standard delay models pertaining to material deliveries, information flows and human perception. Next, the analogy between such delay models arising in supply networks and other real-life applications is pointed out. It is foreseen that complexity of the problem requires multi-disciplinary research bridging operations research, business, systems and control engineering, and mathematics. The paper concludes with an illustrative example and discussions of specific challenges anticipated in future research.
systems with time-delays, infinite-dimensional systems, complex systems
Copyright © 2008 IFAC
Sipahi, Rifat and Delice, Ismail Ilker, "Supply network dynamics and delays; performance, synchronization, stability" (2008). Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Faculty Publications. Paper 50.
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