Monday, March 4, 2013

Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Supply Chain Networks

Today I gave a two hour presentation in the Optimization Series at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The talk was on Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Supply Chain Networks: From Analysis to Design.

I was really looking forward to giving this talk and, as I promised the audience,  it is now posted online on the Supernetworks Center website.

I enjoyed discussing the importance of decision-making behavior in network systems, from transportation to supply chains and how systems as disparate as electric power generation and distribution networks, the Internet, and financial networks can be reformulated and solved as user-optimized transportation networks.

I also overviewed the Braess paradox and had photos of Professor Braess' visit to the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst after we (Braess, Nagurney, and Wakolbinger) had translated his classical 1968 paper and it was published in Transportation Science. I then showed what happens as the demand varies over time.

I discussed variational inequality theory and how it can be used to formulate non-cooperative game theory problems under Nash equilibrium.

Then, since I am back in the land of H&M, I went deeply into a sustainable fast fashion supply chain model that I had developed with Min Yu and that had been published in the International Journal of Production Economics. This is a competitive supply chain network problem  under Nash equilibrium. I discussed our sensitivity analysis results and emphasized how one must bring the supply chain system into analysis to get a realistic picture and results.

The audience was terrific and I had great comments and questions.

Afterwards, I was taken out to lunch in a cafeteria called Einstein with his portrait as you enter and we ate in an area for faculty. We continued our conversations on the history of science from  network design to transportation to tolls. Gothenburg this year instituted tolls and it has been very interesting to see the impacts.

It was a great experience and I thank the Optimization Group at Chalmers for being such great hosts!

Now I am back in my office at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg and it is wonderful to see the staff and my colleagues here.

I promised to bring sunshine to Sweden and the days have been beautiful since I arrived this past Friday.