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In this paper, we apply genetic algorithms to adapt the decision strategies of autonomous controllers in a part-driven heterarchical manufacturing system. The control agents use pre-assigned decision rules only for a limited amount of time, and obey a rule replacement policy propagating the most successful rules to the subsequent populations of concurrently operating agents. The twofold objective of this approach is to automatically optimize the performance of the control system during the steady-state unperturbed conditions of the manufacturing floor, and to improve the reactions of the agents to unforeseen disturbances (e.g., failures, shortages of materials) by adapting their decision strategies. Results on a detailed discrete event model of a multiagent heterarchical manufacturing system confirm the effectiveness of the approach.
Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:33 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2003