IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Using agents for solving a multi-commodity-flow problem


  • Weiskircher, Rene
  • Kontoleon, Nectarios
  • Garcia-Flores, Rodolfo
  • Dunstall, Simon


We investigate a commodity trading problem in a flow network with arbitrary topology where sinks combine commodities into bundles in order to generate profits. Our focus is the profit maximization problem for the trading network under both central and distributed control. We compute solutions for the central control problem using an integer linear program while we compute solutions for the distributed case by implementing the nodes in the network as software-agents that exchange messages in order to establish profitable trades. We report on computational results using both methods and demonstrate that there is a connection between agent profits and a centrality measure developed for the problem. We also demonstrate that with our current agent strategy, there is a trade-off between the agents acting too quickly before enough information is available and waiting too long and thus giving each agent too much information and thus too much power over the outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Weiskircher, Rene & Kontoleon, Nectarios & Garcia-Flores, Rodolfo & Dunstall, Simon, 2009. "Using agents for solving a multi-commodity-flow problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 194(3), pages 888-900, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:194:y:2009:i:3:p:888-900

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dudek, Gregor & Stadtler, Hartmut, 2005. "Negotiation-based collaborative planning between supply chains partners," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 163(3), pages 668-687, June.
    2. Theo Arentze & Harry Timmermans, 2003. "A multiagent model of negotiation processes between multiple actors in urban developments: a framework for and results of numerical experiments," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(3), pages 391-410, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:194:y:2009:i:3:p:888-900. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.