Despite significant achievements, the discipline of supply chain management is still unable to satisfactorily handle many practical real-world challenges. The authors of Networks Against Time claim that a unified supply chain network analytics framework is needed which should be able to handle optimization and competitive behavior while also maintain relevance to many industrial sectors in which perishable products are prominent, from healthcare to food and from fashion apparel to technology. This Brief provides a wide range of critical supply chain problems which are modeled as generalized networks. Guidelines are provided to determine the arc multipliers that capture perish ability of the product whether food, radioisotopes, or even highly perishable blood in healthcare over space and time. Through case studies the authors portray the application of the models and algorithms to real-world sectors which illustrate the power of the framework in practice. The models and algorithms are fully described along with the input and output data in the case studies. This level of transparency is useful pedagogically as well as for future research and for applications in practice. Researchers and practitioners in mathematics, in operations research and management science, operations management, as well as in economics and computer science will find this book useful to gain a broader appreciation of the richness of network supply chain structures, processes, and applications. This book can also be used by advanced undergraduate students and graduate students in the disciplines noted above to familiarize themselves with methodologies and supply chain network models and applications.​​
This book lays the foundations for quality modeling and analysis in the context of supply chains through a synthesis of the economics, operations management, as well as operations research/management science literature on quality. The reality of today's supply chain networks, given their global reach from sourcing locations to points of demand, is further challenged by such issues as the growth in outsourcing as well as the information asymmetry associated with what producers know about the quality of their products and what consumers know. Although much of the related literature has focused on the micro aspects of supply chain networks, considering two or three decision-makers, it is essential to capture the scale of supply chain networks in a holistic manner that occurs in practice in order to be able to evaluate and analyze the competition and the impacts on supply chain quality in a quantifiable manner.

This volume provides an overview of the fundamental methodologies utilized in this book, including optimization theory, game theory, variational inequality theory, and projected dynamical systems theory. It then focuses on major issues in today's supply chains with respect to quality, beginning with information asymmetry, followed by product differentiation and branding, the outsourcing of production, from components to final products, to quality in freight service provision. The book is filled with numerous real-life examples in order to emphasize the generality and pragmatism of the models and tools. The novelty of the framework lies in a network economics perspective through which the authors identify the underlying network structure of the various supply chains, coupled with the behavior of the decision-makers, ranging from suppliers and manufacturers to freight service providers. What is meant by quality is rigorously defined and quantified. The authors explore the underlying dynamics associated with the competitive processes along with the equilibrium solutions. As appropriate, the supply chain decision-makers compete in terms of quantity and quality, or in price and quality. The relevance of the various models that are developed to specific industrial sectors, including pharmaceuticals and high technology products, is clearly made. Qualitative analyses are provided, along with effective, and, easy to implement, computational procedures. Finally, the impacts of policy interventions, in the form of minimum quality standards, and their ramifications, in terms of product prices, quality levels, as well as profits are explored. The book is filled with many network figures, graphs, and tables with data.
A unified treatment of the vulnerabilities that exist in real-world network systems—with tools to identify synergies for mergers and acquisitions

Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World presents a comprehensive study of network systems and the roles these systems play in our everyday lives. This book successfully conceptualizes, defines, and constructs mathematically rigorous, computer-based tools for the assessment of network performance and efficiency, along with robustness and vulnerability analysis. The result is a thorough exploration that promotes an understanding of the critical infrastructure of today's network systems, from congested urban transportation networks and supply chain networks under disruption to financial networks and the Internet.

The authors approach the analyses by abstracting not only topological structures of networks, but also the behavior of network users, the demand for resources, the resulting flows, and the associated costs. Following an introduction to the fundamental methodologies and tools required for network analysis and network vulnerability, the book is organized into three self-contained parts:

Part I—Network Fundamentals, Efficiency Measurement, and Vulnerability Analysis explores the theoretical and practical foundations for a new network efficiency measure in order to assess the importance of network components in various network systems. Methodologies for distinct decision-making behaviors are outlined, along with the tools for qualitative analysis, the algorithms for the computation of solutions, and a thorough discussion of the unified network efficient measure and network robustness with the unified measure.

Part II—Applications and Extensions examines the efficiency changes and the associated cost increments after network components are eliminated or partially damaged. A discussion of the recently established connections between transportation networks and different critical networks is provided, which demonstrates how the new network measures and robustness indices can be applied to different supply chain, financial, and dynamic networks, including the Internet and electronic power networks.

Part III—Mergers and Acquisitions, Network Integration, and Synergies reveals the connections between transportation networks and different network systems and quantifies the synergies associated with the network systems, from total cost reduction to environmental impact assessment. In the case of mergers and acquisitions, the focus is on supply chain networks. The authors outline a system-optimization perspective for supply chain networks and also formalize coalition formation using game theory with insights into the merger paradox.

With its numerous network examples and real-world applications, Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World is an excellent book for courses in network science, transportation science, operations management, and financial networks at the upper-undergraduate and graduate levels. It is also a valuable reference for researchers and practitioners in the areas of applied mathematics, computer science, operations research, management science, finance, and economics, as well as industrial, systems, and civil engineering.

Listen to Dr. Nagurney's podcast Supernetworks: Building Better Real and Virtual Highways at http://www.scienceofbetter.org/podcast/ .

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