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Fuel Panics - insights from spatial agent-based simulation

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  • Eben Upton
  • William J. Nuttall

Abstract

The United Kingdom has twice suffered major disruption as a result of fuel panics first in September 2000 coincident with a wave of fuel protests and more recently in March 2012 following politcal warnings of possible future supply chain disruption. In each case the disruption and economic consequences were serious. Fuel distribution is an example of a supply chain. Approaches to supply-chain planning based on linear programming are poorly suited to modelling non-equilibrium effects, while coarse-grained system dynamics models often fail to capture local phenomena which contribute to the evolution of global demand. In this Paper, we demonstrate that agent-based techniques offer a powerful framework for cosimulation of supply chains and consumers under conditions of transient demand. In the case of fuel panic crisis, we show that even a highly abstract model can reproduce a range of transient phenomena seen in the real world, and present a set of practical recommendations for policymakers faced with panic-buying.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1309.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1309

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

Related research

Keywords: Fuel Panics; Agent Based Simulation; Supply Chain;

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  1. Herbert Simon, 2000. "Bounded rationality in social science: Today and tomorrow," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 1(1), pages 25-39, March.
  2. Zhang, T. & Nuttall, W.J., 2007. "An Agent Based Simulation Of Smart Metering Technology Adoption," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0760, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Boctor, Fayez F. & Renaud, Jacques & Cornillier, Fabien, 2011. "Trip packing in petrol stations replenishment," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 86-98, January.
  4. Anderson, Edward, 2011. "A new model for cycles in retail petrol prices," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 436-447, April.
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