RFID systems, known to improve supply chains performances, are little implemented so far in industry, particularly in the field of transport, due to the high economic investment it requests in comparison to other existing solutions. However, their benefits may be theoretically proved by using a distributed simulation platform to support the design and test of any technical solution and organizational approach devoted to optimize RFID-based logistics systems. This paper deals with the development of this simulation platform, based on Generalized Discrete Event Specification (G-DEVS) models and HLA (High Level Architecture) standard. The different partner's components of the networked logistics enterprise are described. The proposed solution is applied to a freight transportation system and emulates the behaviour of the various components (RFID coupled to geolocation and mobile technology) required to optimize the products routing. The behaviour of the main components is G-DEVS formalized including the logistics supplier server, the smart product and the vehicle onboard device to interface the products with a centralized server. Delivery scenarios are then elaborated and simulated to check the behaviour and the intensity of communication network use between distributed G-DEVS models and other simulation components. The strength of the approach lies in the interoperability of the platform to simulate scenarios including discrete event models, real software and hardware devices all linked via an HLA connection. From these results, a discussion is given to validate or reject the conceptual choices about logistics components behaviour and their network bandwidth requirement regarding GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth and RFID networks theoretical capacities. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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