A Multi-Agent-Based Agile Scheduling Model for a Virtual Manufacturing Environment

Z.D. Zhou, H.H. Wang, Y.P. Chen, Q. Liu (PRC), S.K. Ong, J.Y.H. Fuh, and A.Y.C. Nee (Singapore)


Virtual Manufacturing, MultiAgentbased Scheduling, Negotiation Protocol


In order to develop a multi-agent-based scheduling system for a virtual manufacturing environment, it is necessary to build various functional agents for all the resources and an agent manager to improve the scheduling agility. In this paper, a hybrid hierarchical model for agile job scheduling in a virtual workshop environment is proposed. The operations of the virtual manufacturing units, the negotiation processes and protocols among the agents are described in detail. Furthermore, forward and backward searching methods supported by the negotiation protocol are proposed for task assignment.

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