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Blockchain-oriented dynamic modelling of smart contract design and execution in the supply chain

Alexandre Dolgui, Dmitry Ivanov, Semyon Potryasaev, Boris Sokolov, Marina Ivanova & Frank Werner. Blockchain-oriented dynamic modelling of smart contract design and execution in the supply chain // International Journal of Production Research. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1627439

Abstract

Recently, the applications of Blockchain technology have begun to revolutionise different aspects of supply chain (SC) management. Among others, Blockchain is a platform to execute the smart contracts in the SC as transactions. We develop and test a new model for smart contract design in the SC with multiple logistics service providers and show that this problem can be presented as a multi-processor flexible flow shop scheduling. A distinctive feature of our approach is that the execution of physical operations is modelled inside the start and completion of cyber information services. We name this modelling concept ‘virtual operation’. The constructed model and the developed experimental environment constitute an event-driven dynamic approach to task and service composition when designing the smart contract. Our approach is also of value when considering the contract execution stage. The use of state control variables in our model allows for operations status updates in the Blockchain that in turn, feeds automated information feedbacks, disruption detection and control of contract execution. The latter launches the re-scheduling procedure, comprehensively combining planning and adaptation decisions within a unified methodological framework of dynamic control theory. The modelling complex developed can be used to design and control smart contracts in the SC.