Agent Technology, or Agent-Based Approaches, is a new paradigm for developing software applications. It has been hailed as 'the next significant breakthrough in software development', and 'the new revolution in software' after object technology or object-oriented programming.
In this context, an agent is a computer system which is capable of acting autonomously in its environment in order to meet its design objectives. So in the area of concurrent design and manufacturing, a manufacturing resource, namely a machine or an operator, may cooperate and negotiate with other agents for task assignment; and an existing engineering software can be integrated with a distributed integrated engineering design and manufacturing system. Hence in agent-based systems, there is no centralized system control structure, and no pre-defined agenda for the system execution, as exist in traditional systems.
This book systematically describes the principles, key issues, and applications of agent technology in relation to concurrent engineering design and manufacturing. It introduces the methodology, standards, frameworks, tools, and languages of agent-based approaches and presents a general procedure for building agent-based concurrent engineering design and manufacturing systems.
Both professional and university researchers and postgraduates should find this an invaluable presentation of the corresponding theories and methods, with some practical examples for developing multi-agent systems in the domain.
Table of Contents
Part One: Introduction Chapter 1: General Introduction. 1.1 Motivation. 1.2 Book Organization. 1.3 How To Use This Book. Chapter 2: Collaborative Design and Manufacturing. 2.1 Introduction. 2.2 Engineering Design. 2.3 Advanced Manufacturing Systems. 2.4 Next Generation Collaborative Design and Manufacturing Systems. Chapter 3: DAI and Agents. 3.1 Classic AI and DAI. 3.2 Research Themes in DAI. 3.3 Models of DAI Systems. 3.4 Objects vs. Agents. 3.5 Different Types of Agents. 3.6. Why Agents for Collaborative Design and Manufacturing. Part Two: Important Issues Chapter 4: Knowledge Representation in Agent-Based Concurrent Design and Manufacturing Systems. 4.1 Introduction 4.2 What needs to be Represented. 4.3 How to Represent Knowledge in Agent-Based Systems. 4.4 Research Literature and Further References. Chapter 5: Learning in Agent-Based Concurrent Design and Manufacturing Systems. 5.1 Introdution. 5.2 Why to Learn. 5.3 Single-Agent Learning or Multi-Agent Learning. 5.4 When to Learn. 5.5 Where to Learn. 5.6 What is to be Learned. 5.7 How to Learn. 5.8 Examples. 5.9 Research Literature and Additional References. Chapter 6: Agent Structures. 6.1 Introduction. 6.2 Desirable characteristics of an agent. 6.3 Essential Modules (Components) for agents. 6.4 Different Approaches. 6.5 Comparison of Different Approaches. 6.6 Research Literature and further References. Chapter 7: Multi-Agent System Architectures. 7.1 Introduction. 7.2 Organization and System Architectures. 7.3 Different Approaches. 7.4 Select a suitable system architecture for a specific application. 7.5 Research Literature and Additional Readings. Chapter 8: Communication, Cooperation and Coordination. 8.1 Introduction. 8.2 Communication. 8.3 Coordination. 8.4 Cooperation. 8.5 Coordination, Cooperation and Communication. 8.6 Research Literature and Further References. Chapter 9: Collaboration, Task Decompsition and Allocation. 9.1 Introduction. 9.2 Different Approaches for Task Decomposition and Allocation. 9.3 Coordinated Task Allocation by Mediation. 9.4 Distributed Task Allocation. 9.5 Task Decomposition in MetaMorph: an Example. 9.6 Research Literature and Additional References. Chapter 10: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. 10.1 Introduction. 10.2 Classification of Negotiation Categories. 103. Negotiation Protocols. 10.4 Negotiation Strategies. 10.5 Negotiation for Conflict Resolution. 10.6 Examples in Concurrent Design and Manufacturing. 10.7 Research Literature and Additional Information. Chapter 11: Ontology Problems. 11.1 Introduction. 11.2 What is Ontology? 11.3 Ontology and Knowledge Sharing. 11.4 Ontology Problems in Concurrent Design and Manufacturing. 11.5 Related concepts, Theories and Methods. 11.6 Ontolingua: A System for Managing Portable Ontologies. 11.7 Research Literature and Additional References. Chapter 12: Other Important Issues. 12.1 Introduction. 12.2 Agent Encapsulation. 12.3 Human machine integration (human participation). 12.4 System dynamics. 12.5. Design and manufacturability assessments. 12.6 Integration of manufacturing Planning, Scheduling and Execution. 12.7 Distributed Dynamic Scheduling. 12.8 Enterprise Integration and Supply Chain Management. 12.9 Legacy problem. 12.10 External interfaces. Part Three: Agent-Based Systems for Engineering Design & Manufacturing Chapter 13: Agent-Based Engineering Design Systems. 13.1 Introduction. 13.2 PACT (PACE) 13.3 SHARE (DSC) 13.4 First-Link, Next-Link and Process Link. 13.5 DIDE. 13.6 SiFAs. 13.7 RAPPID. 13.8 Other projects. 13.9 Summary. Chapter 14: Agent-Based manufacturing Planning, Scheduling and Control. 14.1 Introduction. 14.2 MetaMorph. 14.3 AARIA. 14.4 ADDYMS. 14.5 Other Projects. 14.6 Summary. Chapter 15: Enterprise Integration and Supply Chain Management. 15.1 Introduction. 15.2 ISCM. 15.3 CIIMPLEX. 15.4 MetaMorph II. 15.5 AIMS. 15.6 Other Projects. 15.7 Summary. Part Five: Developing Agent-Based Design and Manufacturing Systems Chapter 16: Methodology, Standards, Tools, Languages, and Frameworks. 16.1 Introduction. 16.2 Tools and Framework. 16.3 Methodology, Languages, and Standards. 16.4 Further references. Chapter 17: Building Agent-Based Design and Manufacturing Systems. 17.1 Introduction. 17.2 Selecting or developing an agent architecture. 17.3 Selecting an approach for agent organization. 17.4 Selecting or developing protocols for inter-agent communication. 17.5 Developing mechanisms for cooperation, coordination and negotiation. 17.6 Selecting platforms, tools and languages. 17.7 Agent-Oriented Design and Analysis. 17.8 Simulation and Implementation. 17.9 Testing, Debugging and Evaluation. Chapter 2: Collaborative Design and Manufacturing, Chapter 3: DAI and Agents. Part Two: Important Issues Chapter 4: Knowledge Representation in Agent-Based Concurrent Design and Manufacturing Systems. Chapter 5: Learning in Agent-Based Concurrent Design and Manufacturing Systems. Chapter 6: Agent Structures. Chapter 7: Multi-Agent System Architectures. Chapter 8: Communication, Cooperation and Coordination. Chapter 9: Collaboration, Task Decomposition and Allocation. Chapter 10: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Chapter 11: Ontology Problems. Chapter 12: Other Important Issues. Part Three: Agent-Based Systems for Engineering Design and Manufacturing Chapter 13: Agent-Based Engineering Design Systems. Chapter 14: Agent-Based manufacturing Planning, Scheduling and Control. Chapter 15: Enterprise Integration and Supply Chain Management. Part Four: Developing Agent-Based Design and Manufacturing Systems Chapter 16: Methodlogy, Standards, Tools, Languages, and Frameworks