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Reactive scheduling using a multi-agent model: the SCEP framework

Abstract : Multi-agent systems have been successfully applied to the scheduling problem for some time. However, their use often leads to poorly unsatisfactory disappointing results. A new multi-agent model, called supervisor, customers, environment, producers (SCEP), is suggested in this paper. This model, developed for all types of planning activities, introduces a dialogue between two communities of agents leading to a high level of co-operation. Its two main interests are the following: first it provides a more efficient control of the consequences generated by the local decisions than usual systems to each agent, then the adopted architecture and behaviour permit an easy co-operation between the different SCEP models, which can represent different production functions such as manufacturing, supply management, maintenance or different workshops. As a consequence, the SCEP model can be adapted to a great variety of scheduling/planning problems. This model is applied to the basic scheduling problem of flexible manufacturing systems, andit permits a natural co-habitation between infinite capacity scheduling processes, performedby the manufacturing orders, and finite capacity scheduling processes, performed by the machines. It also provides a framework in order to react to the disturbances occurring at different levels of the workshop.
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Bernard Archimède, Thierry Coudert. Reactive scheduling using a multi-agent model: the SCEP framework. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Elsevier, 2001, vol. 14, pp. 667-683. ⟨10.1016/S0952-1976(01)00025-2⟩. ⟨hal-00760362⟩

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