Balancing multiple objectives with anarchic manufacturing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Balancing multiple conflicting objectives is a problem faced by all manufacturers, with on-time performance and cash position as two important examples. This study compares the effect of changing demand and priority of conflicting objectives within conventional, centralised, hierarchical systems and anarchic distributed systems, via agent-based simulation and modelling. The anarchic manufacturing system, based on free-market principles, delegates decision making authority and autonomy to the lowest possible level. Its proposed inherent flexibility and self-healing characteristics can accommodate complex scenarios. Decision-makers within the hierarchical system selected an appropriate dispatch rule to improve performance against objectives within its span of control. The anarchic system is shown to trade-off on-time and cash performance as respective objectives change priority, while the hierarchical systems do not. This warrants further investigation for distributed and anarchic systems as a system able to flexibly deal with complexity that also reacts to balance multiple objectives is highly desirable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-1460
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event29th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2019 - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 24 Jun 201928 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


  • Distributed systems
  • Multiple objectives
  • Simulation


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