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The Logistics Process Analysis Tool: Combining Agent-Based and Discrete Event Simulation for Improved Logistics Analysis

Charles Van Groningen, Mary Duffy Braun, Brian Craig, Kathy Lee Simunich and Charles Olson

The 2010 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC 10)
Ottawa, Canada, July 11-14, 2010


Summary

Simulation provides a great way to analyze complex logistics operations. In military domains especially, simulation is a critical and cost-effective tool for deployment planning and analysis. However, existing simulation tools often have a focus that is either too macroscopic or too microscopic to successfully model all the significant processes of a logistics system. These tools focus on simulating either the transportation of materials throughout an entire network or the processes within an installation, but not both. In this paper, we describe the marrying of two existing tools, one having a macro-level focus (ELIST – the Enhanced Logistics Intra-theater Support Tool) and one having a micro-level focus (PAT – Process Analysis Tool), into a single simulation system (LPAT – Logistics Process and Analysis Tool) that is used to simulate many levels of a logistics operation. We describe how the ELIST discrete event simulator is combined with the PAT agent-based simulator to create the new tool. We also provide a short case study as an example of how LPAT has been used effectively. While the original tools were designed for military applications, this case study shows that our new tool is suitable for analyzing logistics and process problems outside of the military domain.


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