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This paper presents a Web and agent based distributed multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) environment, called WebBlow, being implemented using a number of emerging technologies such as the Internet, Web, XML, Java, and intelligent agents. The Web provides the infrastructure for implementing the distributed MDO environment over the Internet. It provides an anytime/anywhere solution for project managers and designers working on multiple design and optimization projects. It can also ensure the system security and mitigate the difficulties with firewalls encountered by conventional software agents. Intelligent agents are used to encapsulate process simulation and performance simulation as well as optimization software packages in order to facilitate the integration of various legacy systems, and more importantly realize the dynamic computing load balancing among a cluster of computers behind the Web server. XML is used for data management at the server side as well as for message exchange among simulation and optimization software agents. A prototype environment is presented for blow molded automotive parts design.
Date of Conference: 2002