Dr. Nikolopoulos Awarded Research Grant from Caterpillar, Inc.

October 16, 2013

Dr. Christos Nikolopoulos was awarded a new external research grant on "Supply Chain Network Modeling and Optimization, phase 2" from Caterpillar, Inc. The duration of the grant is for one year (August 2013 to August 2014) and the total amount of the grant is $ 75,000.

Graduate students Rakhi Gupta, Pradnya Jambhulkar, Dylan Britt and Adam Byerly, and two undergraduate students, Ethan Hill and Brendan Kelly, are employed as research assistants working under Dr. Nikolopoulos on this grant.

This project continues our research activities of last year of using techniques from artificial intelligence, including heuristic tree search techniques to solve the supply chain optimization problem. Supply chains operate in a multi-echelon network that links suppliers, manufacturers and warehouses, transportation nodes such as ports, and end customers into a continuous web of commercial activity. We intend to develop algorithms and implement models to enable handling of multiple, often contradictory optimization objectives such as profit, time and resilience, instead of just an individual objective. Also, to address the vast size and complexity of the networks, we will parallelize our processes to improve algorithmic speed and will incorporate stochastic inventory costs in the model. Finally, we will extend our models to handle extensions of the traditional four-layer network and enable variable depths of global supply chains.