Material-Handling Equipment Selection Via an Expert System
Journal of business Logistics, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1992
13 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2017
Date Written: 1992
Expert systems (ES) have produced much excitement in recent years. Because a great deal of experience and knowledge are captured in the ES, there may be no need to consult a specialist for every decision in the given area. A properly designed expert system thus has in its knowledge base a wide collection of facts, relationships, and rules specific to that domain.
Expert systems have been published in a number of logistics-related areas. Application domains include inventory management, vehicle routing, warehousing, combined production/distribution systems, and the scheduling of machines and flexible manufacturing cells. General surveys of ES methods are available for decisions in industrial engineering, logistics, and intelligent manufacturing.
In this article, we develop an expert system for the selection of material handling equipment. The paper begins by outlining the steps in choosing such equipment for a warehouse or factory. We next discuss their knowledge embedded in our ES in various databases and groups of rules.
The article then presents a complete run of the expert system. The user responds to a sequence of questions, resulting in a short-list of feasible equipment. This is ranked according to “distance,” the closeness of each to (nonexistent) ideal equipment for the particular application. The distances are derived from multi-attribute decision making (MADM). Brief appendices deal with MADM and the database concepts used in our ES. Throughout, the presentation is aimed at logisticians who may not be specialist in the technical issues involved.
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