Agent-based method for solving competitive biorefinery network design problem

Akansha Singh, Yunfei Chu, Fengqi You

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We propose a novel simulation-based optimization method to solve the biorefinery location problem in competitive corn markets. As the feedstock cost is the largest cost component for producing ethanol, it is critical to consider the formation of corn prices in the local markets around biorefineries. The corn prices are determined by competition among biorefineries, among farmers, between biorefineries and the food market. However, the competition is often ignored in previous studies. In this work, we formulate the competition in the biorefinery location problem by agent-based modelling and simulation of the local corn markets. The corn prices are determined by double auction mechanism in which the biorefineries and the food market are buyers and the farmers are the sellers. The determined prices are then imported to the optimization problem, which is solved by a genetic algorithm. The proposed method is demonstrated by a case study on biorefinery locations in Illinois.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2014
EditorsAndreas Tolk, Levent Yilmaz, Saikou Y. Diallo, Ilya O. Ryzhov
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781479974863
StatePublished - Jan 23 2015
Event2014 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2014 - Savannah, United States
Duration: Dec 7 2014Dec 10 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


Other2014 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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