Modeling and simulation of supply network evolution based on complex adaptive system and fitness landscape

G. Li, Ping Ji, L. Y. Sun, Wing Bun Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


A supply network (SN) is a complex adaptive system, and its structure and collaboration mechanism evolves over time. However, most literature views SN as a static system and the study on the evolution of SNs is very limited. Based on complex adaptive system and fitness landscape theory, this paper first proposes an evolution model of SNs in order to understand the general principle of SN evolution. Then the paper conducts a multi-agent simulation on the evolution model, and discloses that the SN emerges and evolves from firms' dynamic interaction under the dynamic environment. Dominated by the environment and firms' internal mechanism, the evolution is highly sensitive to the initial condition, and it is path-dependent and difficult to predict precisely. Although the dynamics of environments is different, a SN enjoys the stable structure in different environments. Higher level of structure stability and fitness of the SN are achieved when the firms in the SN adopt the long-term collaboration strategy rather than the short-term strategy. Finally, a China case is explored which validates the self-organization evolution of SNs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-853
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • Case study
  • Operations management
  • Self-organization
  • Simulation
  • Supply networks
  • System modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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