A generic analytical target cascading optimization system for decentralized supply chain configuration over supply chain grid
ABSTRACT While centralized supply chain configuration (SCC) adopts an integrated decision model solved by an all-in-one decision method, decentralized SCC normally allows constituent enterprises to employ distributed decision models which are coordinated through a decomposition method to achieve an overall solution. Decentralized SCC paradigm could offer various contemporary advantages such as individual suppliers’ decision right protection and overall decision efficiency enhancement. This paper proposes an optimization system, atcPortal, to practically enable such a decentralized SCC process. Individual suppliers convert their local decision support systems into decision web services to form a distributed open-standard SCC service platform, called supply chain grid (SCG) in this paper. As a decomposition-based optimization method, analytical target cascading (ATC) is the mechanism for atcPortal to coordinate these web services through three phases of service searching, service-based ATC problem definition, and service-oriented ATC execution. atcPortal is a generic and extensible web portal in the sense that ATC accommodates a variety of decentralized SCC decision structures without confining the local decision models of individual enterprises. Finally, the usage of atcPortal is demonstrated through a typical decentralized SCC problem.