Agent-based framework for pre-contractual evaluation of participants in project-delivery supply-chains

Elisabeth Ilie-Zudor, László Monostori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to introduce an agent-based model for partners' selection in inter-organizational supply-chains. Screening activities undertaken by the main contracting organization for the case of large project deliveries and parameters to be considered are identified, a multi-level quantitative framework to support the decision-making process in effectively selecting an efficient and a compatible set of partners is proposed. Different agent behaviours are introduced and modelled; their impact on the results of the bidding processes is analysed through a simulation model specifically developed for this purpose. Design/methodology/approach - Among the biggest challenges, companies confront with is the finding of appropriate action lines, methods or IT tools to overcome problems introduced by the saturation of the market, fierce competition and downfall of entry-barriers. The paper uses a paradigm that is seen as one of the most promising in responding to the needs of modern companies: the agent-based paradigm. Findings - Designing an efficient supply network greatly influences the level of uncertainty that a company is encountering. An agent-based model may efficiently help the inter-organizational networks partners' selection process. To operate effectively in open environments such as supply chains, agents must be adaptive. System/agents performance can be improved by doing what-if simulation runs. Research limitations/implications - A further possible work direction, considering that nowadays a society must find a compromise between being internationally competitive and having a healthy environment, would be the introduction in the model of a special type of agent, namely the project delivery waste management agent. Practical implications - In addition to contributing to the scientific literature, this research also aims at supporting practical business situations in the industry by creating a normative decision-making model based on an agent-based approach. The simulation model developed supports the tuning of parameters used in the evaluation process and makes possible analyzing the effect of different agent behaviours. Originality/value - Research that identifies means to constrain the pre-contracting selection problem for specific delivery chains as bridge constructions is needed. The paper details the particularities of such chains, and makes a presentment of roles of actors with impact on the assessment process. One specific of the approach is that in addition to participants as suppliers and main contracting organization also issues (goals) relevant in the supplier's appraisal process are represented by independent agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-153
Number of pages17
JournalAssembly Automation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2009



  • Project management
  • Supply chain management
  • Value chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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