Analyzing supply chain operation models with the PC-algorithm and the neural network

T.C. Wong, K.M.Y. Law, H.K. Yau, S.C. Ngan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding how the various factors in a supply chain contribute to the overall performance of its operation has become an important topic in management science research nowadays. In this paper, we propose and apply a two-stage methodology to an industrial survey data set to investigate relations among the key factors in a supply chain model. Precisely, we use the PC-algorithm to discover the connectivity relation among the factors of interest in the supply chain model. Critical factors in the model are then identified, and we then utilize the neural network to quantify the relative importance of some of the factors in predicting the critical factors. An advantage of our proposed method is that it frees up the researcher from making subjective decisions in his or her analysis, for example, from the needs of specifying plausible initial path models required in a structural equation modeling analysis (which is usually used in business and management research) and of selecting factors for the subsequent predictive modeling. We envision that the analysis results can aid a decision maker in optimizing the system performance by suggesting to the decision maker which ones of the factors are the important ones that he or she should devote more resources and efforts on.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7526-7534
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • structural equation modeling
  • collective efficacy
  • supply chain
  • neural network
  • pc-algorithm


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