For several decades, planning and management of logistics systems have been the object of several studies and researches. However, the increasing complexity of these systems and the availability of widespread technologies allowing interaction between the different decision makers and the acquisition of information, require the development of models and the identification of innovative issues compared to those generally found in traditional literature.
The main objective of the project was to state to what extent the architectural framework of information (sets of information used by decision-makers, the flow of information exchanged, etc.) influences the decisional architectural framework of the decision-making system (characterized by a variety of heterogeneous decision-makers, different kind of interactions and hierarchical relationships between the various actors, etc.).
The other important objective of this study is to define global performance indicators of a logistic system in relation to information and decisional architecture.
The innovative aspect of the project is the creation of a network of contacts between research units and external entities (public administrations, private subjects, infrastructure managers, etc.) in order to facilitate the knowledge transfer of modelling and methodological skills in different contexts of applications and to raise awareness in researchers more focused on methodological aspects towards advanced architectural frameworks and issue.
Project results had a significant value not only in terms of applicability, but also in relation to methodological aspects of interest for the scientific community interested in the so-called "decision sciences" (Science Systems, Operational Research, Control Theory, Game Theory). The field of logistics systems is, in fact, perhaps even more than that of manufacturing systems, a field of application that presents difficulties very important, not only for the definition of the dynamic models of the systems, but also as regards the development of control schemes (multi –Agent) satisfactory.
According to the different project phases the results were:
- Phase 1 – reference meta-model as a conceptual basis for further project phases but also for the development of a “general purpose” simulator for the specific logistics systems category considered.
- Phase 2 and 3 – methodological results were produced in these phases (specific models, control strategies definition, multi-agent framework strategies)
- Phase 4 – ad hoc solutions were developed in relation to the management of logistic flows and to the definition of decision-makers strategies.
- In phase 5 suggestions and recommendations on how to define a decisional and informative architectural framework were developed.