Analyzing Food Supply and Distribution Systems using complex systems methodologies

Vanessa Armendàriz, Stefano Armenia, Alberto Stanislao Atzori, Angelo Romano


This paper discusses how a complex-systems perspective can shed light on the analysis of complex food-systems meeting urban food needs. The common features between complex systems and Food Supply and Distribution Systems (FSDS) are explored. A brief review of the major approaches - agent-based models (ABM), social network analysis (SNA), and system dynamics (SD) - is developed in order to make an assessment on the analysis performance of different complex system methodologies while dealing with FSDS. After sifting out the most suitable methodology for the study of FSDS, a system archetype analysis of the FSDS dynamics is elicited from the methodological guide of FAO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. To finalize, three basic points for the analysis of FSDS obtained from the current research are explained. This content is part of the content leading the SD updates to FAO’s FSDS methodological guide.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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