Hybrid Simulation-based Optimization for Decision Support in Blood Supply-Chains
Horstkemper D, Reuter-Oppermann M, Middelhoff M, Widera A, Hellingrath B
Blood supply chains are complex networks of independent actors comprising the collection, separation, testing and transfusion of blood products. A limited availability of blood donors and a mismatch of the available and required blood products combined with the complexity of the network make planning and controlling a blood supply chain difficult. These issues are further emphasized in times of crisis, like epidemics or natural hazards, which impose further challenges during the collection and distribution of blood products. We propose a simulation-based optimization environment to provide decision support for blood supply chains emphasizing crisis management. Unlike previous research, we hereby make use of a hybrid discrete event- and agent-based simulation to enable a better representation of the independent actors with their own planning processes and to model the emergent effects caused by a crisis. We evaluate the approach with a case-study of a South-African blood supply chain.
Supply Chain Management; Simulation; Optimization; Decision Support Systems; Blood Logistics