Scalable decentralized supply chain formation through binarized belief propagation

Jesús Cerquides


Date: 27th March 2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Venue: North N104B

Supply Chain Formation (SCF) is the process of determining the participants
in a supply chain, who will exchange what with whom, and the terms of the
exchanges. Decentralized SCF appears as a highly intricate task because
agents only possess local information, have limited knowledge about the ca-
pabilities of other agents, and prefer to preserve privacy. Very recently, the
decentralized SCF problem has been cast as an optimization problem that
can be efficiently approximated using max-sum loopy belief propagation. Un-
fortunately, the memory and communication requirements of this approach
largely hinder its scalability. This paper presents a novel encoding of the
problem into a binary factor graph (containing only binary variables) along
with an alternative algorithm. These allow to scale up to form supply chains
in markets with higher degrees of competition.