Analyzing Transactions Costs in Transport Corridors Using Multi Agent-Based Simulation

Analyzing Transactions Costs in Transport Corridors Using Multi Agent-Based Simulation

Lawrence Henesey (Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden) and Jan A. Persson (Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-226-8.ch017
OnDemand PDF Download:


In analyzing freight transportation systems, such as the intermodal transport of containers, often direct monetary costs associated with transportation are used to evaluate or determine choice of Transport Corridor. In forming decisions on Transport Corridor cooperation, this chapter proposes that transaction cost Simulation modelling can be considered as an additional determinant in conducting Transport Corridor analysis. The application of Transaction Costs theory in analyzing the organisational structures and the transactions that occur, assists in indicating as to which governance structure results in higher efficiencies. The use of Multi-Agent based Simulation for modelling the organisational structure and mechanisms provides a novel approach in understanding the organisational relationships in a regional Transport Corridor.
Chapter Preview


The purpose of this chapter is to apply elements from Transaction Costs economic theory in the design of a conceptual computer Simulation model for analysing cooperation choice of Transport Corridor. The Simulation model adopts a Multi-Agent approach in coordinating the intelligent behaviour among a collection of autonomous Agents representing actors involved in the transportation of goods. This technological approach implies that the Agents would be modelled to represent both users and providers in a Transport Corridor for Simulation and analysis. The Agents would be seeking to satisfy their own goals rather than searching an optimal organisational solution. Contracts and negotiations could be simulated and organisational structures analyzed, i.e., market, vertical and contract. The application of Transaction Costs theory would assist in explaining or predicting the behaviour of actors in a Transport Corridor. Additionally, Multi-Agent based Simulation (MABS) could assist in analysing the decisions that are influenced by the different levels of Transaction Costs, such as whether shipping lines should purchase or build their own Terminals as opposed to using Terminals of others (make or buy). The research question that is studied is: “how can agent-based technology be used in analyzing the Transaction Costs and organisational structures in a Transport Corridor?”

A market has to exist first before governance structures can be formed (Klos 2000). Therefore the objective of the research presented in this chapter is to analyze how the real organisations represented as Agents and their transactions, which are incorporated in a model, influence the choice of a suitable structure for organisation in a Transport Corridor. In order to achieve this objective, we study goods transferred through the entire transport chain, from origin to final destination, in the most efficient manner, i.e., cost- and time-effective. Some examples of cooperation in transport chains are:

  • The use of a common standard, e.g. an ISO container, may create strong interconnectivity with other actors in the organisation of shipping.

  • Improve the operations and utilization of resources. For instance, it is important that time tables meet customer requirements.

  • Use of new technologies which may help to bind firms closer, settle claims and develop trust.

The chapter is structured as follows: In Section 2 a description of transaction cost theory is presented. The components that are to be represented by Agents, in a generic Transport Corridor are described in Section 3. A Simulation architecture based on a MABS approach is presented in Section 4. The model and design of the simulator is outlined in Section 5. Finally, in Section 6, we discuss our conclusions and provide an outlook onto future work.


Description Of Transaction Cost Theory

In the book “The Nature of the Firm” (Coase, 1937), Ronald Coase observed that market prices often govern the relationships between firms, known as transactions. Ronald Coase noted that if transactions are not governed by the price system then an organisational structure must exist. The transaction cost approach was developed by Ronald Coase to identify what are the costs of providing for some transaction through the market rather than having it provided from within the firm (Klos, 2000). Some Transaction Costs types are: searching costs, negotiation costs, and monitoring or policing costs.

In further developing transaction cost economics, Williamson (1979) and Williamson (1995) has studied the organization of transactions and “governance structures” that occur whenever or wherever a good or service is transferred from a provider to a user. As one transaction occurs when a good or service is transferred, a stage of activity is terminating and another is beginning (Williamson,1979). Transaction Costs economics focuses on the transactions between the stages of activity where the firm is one type of organisational structure. Transaction cost economics can be seen as the mapping of forms of organisations into transactions. The existence of low Transaction Costs in global trade has been a leading element in globalization.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Ana Bazzan, Franziska Klügl
Ana Bazzan, Franziska Klügl
Chapter 1
Takeshi Takama
This study discusses adaptation effects and congestion in a multi-agent system (MAS) to analyse real transport and traffic problems. Both... Sample PDF
Adaptation and Congestion in a Multi-Agent System to Analyse Empirical Traffic Problems: Concepts and a Case Study of the Road User Charging Scheme at the Upper Derwent
Chapter 2
Qi Han, Theo Arentze, Harry Timmermans, Davy Janssens, Geert Wets
Contributing to the recent interest in the dynamics of activity-travel patterns, this chapter discusses a framework of an agent-based modeling... Sample PDF
A Multi-Agent Modeling Approach to Simulate Dynamic Activity-Travel Patterns
Chapter 3
Michael Balmer, Marcel Rieser, Konrad Meister, David Charypar, Nicolas Lefebvre, Kai Nagel
Micro-simulations for transport planning are becoming increasingly important in traffic simulation, traffic analysis, and traffic forecasting. In... Sample PDF
MATSim-T: Architecture and Simulation Times
Chapter 4
Ulf Lotzmann
In this chapter an agent-based traffic simulation approach is presented which sees agents as individual traffic participants moving in an artificial... Sample PDF
TRASS: A Multi-Purpose Agent-Based Simulation Framework for Complex Traffic Simulation Applications
Chapter 5
Paulo A.F. Ferreira, Edgar F. Esteves, Rosaldo J.F. Rossetti, Eugénio C. Oliveira
Trading off between realism and too much abstraction is an important issue to address in microscopic traffic simulation. In this chapter the authors... Sample PDF
Applying Situated Agents to Microscopic Traffic Modelling
Chapter 6
Andreas Schadschneider, Hubert Klüpfel, Tobias Kretz, Christian Rogsch, Armin Seyfried
Multi-Agent Simulation is a general and powerful framework for understanding and predicting the behaviour of social systems. Here the authors... Sample PDF
Fundamentals of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics
Chapter 7
Rex Oleson, D. J. Kaup, Thomas L. Clarke, Linda C. Malone, Ladislau Bölöni
The “Social Potential”, which the authors will refer to as the SP, is the name given to a technique of implementing multi-agent movement in... Sample PDF
"Social Potential" Models for Modeling Traffic and Transportation
Chapter 8
Sabine Timpf
In this chapter, the authors present a methodology for simulating human navigation within the context of public, multi-modal transport. They show... Sample PDF
Towards Simulating Cognitive Agents in Public Transport Systems
Chapter 9
Kurt Dresner, Peter Stone, Mark Van Middlesworth
Fully autonomous vehicles promise enormous gains in safety, efficiency, and economy for transportation. In previous work, the authors of this... Sample PDF
An Unmanaged Intersection Protocol and Improved Intersection Safety for Autonomous Vehicles
Chapter 10
Heiko Schepperle, Klemens Böhm
Current intersection-control systems lack one important feature: They are unaware of the different valuations of reduced waiting time of the... Sample PDF
Valuation-Aware Traffic Control: The Notion and the Issues
Chapter 11
Charles Desjardins, Julien Laumônier, Brahim Chaib-draa
This chapter studies the use of agent technology in the domain of vehicle control. More specifically, it illustrates how agents can address the... Sample PDF
Learning Agents for Collaborative Driving
Chapter 12
Kagan Tumer, Zachary T. Welch, Adrian Agogino
Traffic management problems provide a unique environment to study how multi-agent systems promote desired system level behavior. In particular, they... Sample PDF
Traffic Congestion Management as a Learning Agent Coordination Problem
Chapter 13
Matteo Vasirani, Sascha Ossowski
The problem of advanced intersection control is being discovered as a promising application field for multiagent technology. In this context... Sample PDF
Exploring the Potential of Multiagent Learning for Autonomous Intersection Control
Chapter 14
Tomohisa Yamashita, Koichi Kurumatani
With maturation of ubiquitous computing technology, it has become feasible to design new systems to improve our urban life. In this chapter, the... Sample PDF
New Approach to Smooth Traffic Flow with Route Information Sharing
Chapter 15
Denise de Oliveira, Ana L.C. Bazzan
In a complex multiagent system, agents may have different partial information about the system’s state and the information held by other agents in... Sample PDF
Multiagent Learning on Traffic Lights Control: Effects of Using Shared Information
Chapter 16
Tamás Máhr, F. Jordan Srour, Mathijs de Weerdt, Rob Zuidwijk
While intermodal freight transport has the potential to introduce efficiency to the transport network,this transport method also suffers from... Sample PDF
The Merit of Agents in Freight Transport
Chapter 17
Lawrence Henesey, Jan A. Persson
In analyzing freight transportation systems, such as the intermodal transport of containers, often direct monetary costs associated with... Sample PDF
Analyzing Transactions Costs in Transport Corridors Using Multi Agent-Based Simulation
Chapter 18
Shawn R. Wolfe, Peter A. Jarvis, Francis Y. Enomoto, Maarten Sierhuis, Bart-Jan van Putten
Today’s air traffic management system is not expected to scale to the projected increase in traffic over the next two decades. Enhancing... Sample PDF
A Multi-Agent Simulation of Collaborative Air Traffic Flow Management
About the Contributors