Supply Chain Network Simulator Using Cloud Computing

Project ID
FG-133
Project Categories
Non-Life Science
NSF Grant Number
0732686
NSF Grant URL
http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0732686
Completed
Abstract
Large-scale supply chains usually consist of thousands of stock keep units (SKUs) stocked at different locations within the supply chain. The purpose of this project is to develop a prototype software program that can allow the simulation of large-scale multi-echelon, multi-item supply networks using cloud-computing resources. These simulations are essentially compute-intensive Monte-Carlo experiments requiring multiple replications. Replications will be distributed across virtual machines within a cloud architecture.
Use of FutureSystems
In order to take advantage of cloud computing resources, the following execution scenario is being considered. A Java-based web service will be available to receive the input file from the user. A simple user interface will be available to permit the uploading of the file. The web service will package the workload associated with the simulation into jobs. Each job will represent one replication of the simulation. The web service will instantiate a cluster of virtual machines. Each virtual machine will be responsible for executing one or more replications of the simulation. The web service will coordinate with the virtual machines to schedule the execution of the simulation jobs and collect the results from each replication. After all replications are completed, the web service will package the results as a spreadsheet file and notify the user through email that the results are completed.
Scale of Use
Small sets of VMs will be needed (e.g. 5-10) for short durations (1-4 hours) in order to establish feasibility of prototype and be available for testing.