Dr. Nikolopoulos awarded research grant from Caterpillar Inc.

December 7, 2012

Dr. Christos Nikolopoulos has been awarded a research grant on "Supply Chain Network Modeling and Optimization and Demand Strategy Collaboration" from Caterpillar Inc. The duration of the grant is for one year and the total amount of the award is $ 100,000. Three of our graduate students, John Griffith, Adam Byerly and Gita Narasimhan, and two of our undergraduates, Ethan Hill and Brendan Kelly are employed as research assistants working under Dr. Nikolopoulos on this grant.

Supply chain networks links suppliers, manufacturing and warehouses, transportation nodes such as ports, and end customers into a continuous web of commercial activity. Building an efficient supply chain network which optimizes cost, profit and resilience is of paramount importance to any corporate entity. The traditional linear and integer programming techniques for solving the supply network routing optimization problem leave a lot to be desired in terms of accuracy, especially in the case of "fuzzy" networks where, for example, the cost matrix is not constant but time variant. In this project, we will identify and validate new approaches for solving the supply network routing problem. Our primary approach will use techniques from Artificial Intelligence including heuristic tree search techniques, genetic algorithms and ant colony optimization techniques for addressing the current research problem. In addition, in an international research collaboration effort, our team will develop a stacking, multilayered, multi-model architecture model to solve the demand forecasting problem by combining the Bradley demand forecasting models which we developed under a research grant last year with models developed at Brunel University, London and Tsinghua University, Beijing.