The University of Southampton

Autonomic Supply Chains in Computational Economies

Agent Based Computing, Decentralised Information Systems, E-Business Technologies, Business Process Modelling, Artificial Intelligence

This project will develop techniques and methods that enable the automatic establishment, maintenance and operation of supply chains in highly dynamic, multi-stakeholder environments. It will also focus on the associated supply chain business models for such agile and dynamic environments. In more detail, the various actors within the system, each with their own aims and objectives, will be represented as autonomous software agents that interact in a number of on-line markets in order to procure the goods and services they require in a timely fashion. The markets will also be represented as autonomous agents and so will adapt their offerings and their terms and conditions in order to attract traders and better differentiate themselves from similar competing markets. Given this, the ensuing supply chains will need to be autonomic – self-organizing, self-healing, and self-optimizing – in order to cope with the high degrees of dynamism and uncertainty that are present in the system. Moreover, through its continual adaptation in response to change, the resulting computational economy will offer significant advantages to all its participants in terms of agility, lead-times, and profitability. To provide a specific illustration of this vision, this feasibility study will examine the supply chain associated with engine aircraft repair and overhaul in conjunction with end-users at Rolls-Royce.

Primary investigator

Secondary investigators


  • Rolls-Royce

Associated research group

  • Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group
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