A Supply Chain of Things: the EAGLET ontology fir highly visible supply chain
GEERTS G.L., O'LEARY D.E., A Supply Chain of Things: the EAGLET ontology fir highly visible supply chain, Decision Support Systems, V. 63, July 2014, 3-22
|Abstract|| Recently, technological developments, such as radio frequency identification (RFID), have facilitated the identification of individual things and information sharing regarding their behavior throughout the supply chain. Such developments have generated the capabilities of a highly visible supply chain (HVSC): a supply chain where the location of arbitrary individual things can be determined at any point in time by all appropriate supply chain partners, made possible by an “Internet of Things” for the supply chain, referred to as a “Supply Chain of Things.” A critical component of a Supply Chain of Things is an ontology to facilitate the visibility and interoperability of things along the supply chain. As a result, the objective of this paper is to define an ontology that leverages the availability of an individual thing's (object) identification information within the context of a standard set of economic phenomena that support multiple views in a range of data architectures.
Our design science approach begins with a set of ontological primitives and gradually defines structuring principles that provide guidance for the design of supply chain systems that are characterized by increased visibility and interoperability and which facilitate management of and collaborative decision making about supply chain activities. The EAGLET ontology is named after its five primitives: Event, AGent, Location, Equipment, and Thing. The following are some of its unique characteristics: location and equipment are recognized as ontological primitives, and creating and destroying of containment structures is explicitly modeled; the economic phenomena underlying the supply chain are defined from an independent view, as opposed to a trading-partner view; the supply chain is defined from three different perspectives: the physical flow, the chain of custody, and the chain of ownership; event sequences that resemble the economic scripts underlying the supply chain are defined.
Technological development (e.g. RFID) has facilitated the identification of individual things and information sharing regarding their behavior throughout the supply chain.
Supply Chain of Things = IoT for the supply chain. Thanks to it, things can interact with each other and other components of the supply chain, increasing the visibility of each individual item in the supply chain: location and characteristics of all the things in the supply chain can be ascertained at any point in time.
To realize this supply chain of things, there is need for trust in the supply chain. There is also need for shared semantics enabling interoperability.
Supply chain = it encompasses all activities associated with the flow and transformation of goods from the raw material stage through to the end user, as well the associated information flows.
This article develops a model for a Supply Chain of Things.
Initially the term IoT was used to describe the following situation: “Today computers – and, therefore, the Internet – are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information.…The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy—all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. …Computers need to be empowered with their own means of gathering information, so they can see, hear and smell the world for themselves” (Kevin ASHTON). However, today we have an IoE (Internet of Everything), where more than just other computers and sensors, but also people, are linked together by the internet (as CISCO said).