A bayesian network model with epistemic uncertainty: analysis of a medicine supply chain risk

Lesley Walls, Kanogkan Leerojanaprapa, Robert Van Der Meer

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


To effectively manage risk in supply chains, it is important to understand the interrelationships between events that might affect the flow of material, products and information. We present a quantitative modelling process using Bayesian Belief Networks to represent probabilistic dependency relationships between events. A visual modelling process, grounded in Bayesian Network theory and the decision context of supply chain risk management, is developed to capture the knowledge and probability judgements of relevant stakeholders. Building causal maps provides a good basis for translating stakeholder cause-effect knowledge about possible events into a formal graphical probability model. A protocol for eliciting subjective probabilities from relevant stakeholders to quantify the state of knowledge uncertainties about risk events has been developed and applied. The modelling process has been evaluated through an in-depth case for the hospital medicine supply of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Working in collaboration with relevant stakeholders with expertise in all or part of the medicine supply chain, a model has been developed and their perceptions about the process and results have been analysed. We find that the Bayesian Network model of the medicine supply chain has provided insight into risks not captured by conventional risk management methods and it supported deeper understanding of risk through exploration of modelling scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2015
Event27th European Conference on Operational Research (EURO XXVII) - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Jul 201515 Jul 2015


Conference27th European Conference on Operational Research (EURO XXVII)
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Bayesian belief network
  • Bayesian network theory
  • epistemic uncertainty
  • medicines supply chain
  • supply chain risk management
  • causal mapping
  • NHS

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  • Projects

    SPR Supply Network Risk

    Walls, L.

    EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)


    Project: Research - Internally Allocated

    Research Output

    • 1 Conference contribution book
    • 1 Paper

    Modeling supply risk using belief networks: a process with application to the distribution of medicine

    Leerojanaprapa, K., van der Meer, R. & Walls, L., 11 Dec 2013, 2013 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. Piscataway, N.J.: IEEE, 5 p.

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

    Open Access
  • Modelling and managing systemic risks in supply chains

    Leerojanaprapa, K., Walls, L. & van der Meer, R., 4 Jul 2011.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
  • Cite this

    Walls, L., Leerojanaprapa, K., & Van Der Meer, R. (2015). A bayesian network model with epistemic uncertainty: analysis of a medicine supply chain risk. 296-296. Abstract from 27th European Conference on Operational Research (EURO XXVII), Glasgow, United Kingdom.