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ARC Discovery Project

Risky business: using biological systems to mitigate risk in supply chains and transportation networks

Prof Michael Bell; Prof Michiel Bliemer; Dr Tanya Latty; Assistant Prof Simon Garnier

Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies

Project Summary

In an uncertain world, resilient supply chains are crucial for getting products and services to consumers. However, the algorithms used to design and manage supply chains are inadequate to deal with the increasingly complex and self-organised nature of modern supply chains. This project will look to nature for new solutions to supply chain design and management problems. Natural systems are highly resilient against perturbations and damage. They have had millions of years to evolve efficient solutions to the same problems currently facing supply chains. Using experiments on ants and slime moulds. This project will uncover the secrets of biological resilience, and use this insight to develop new algorithms for supply chain design and management.