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A Multi-Agent Infrastructure for Mobile Workforce Management in a Service Oriented Enterprise

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3 Author(s)
Chiu, D.K.W. ; Dickson Computer Systems, Hong Kong ; Cheung, S.C. ; Ho-fung Leung

With recent advances in mobile technologies and infrastructures, there are increasing demands for the support of mobile workforce management (MWM) across multiple platforms. Mobile users can interact with the MWM system through SMS messages or Web browsers from personal computers, PDA devices, or WAP phones. MWM typically involves tight collaboration, negotiation, and sophisticated business domain knowledge. Therefore, the main challenge of MWM for a service oriented enterprise is the integration of disparate business function for its mobile professional workforce and the management with a unified infrastructure, together with the provision of personalized assistance and automation. These requirements can be facilitated with the use of intelligent software agents, but has not been adequately studied before. As mobile devices become more powerful, intelligent software agents can now be deployed on these devices and hence also subject to mobility. Thus, MWM systems have to accommodate these requirements as well as the support of heterogeneous platforms. In this paper, we formulate a scalable, flexible, and intelligent multi-agent information system (MAIS) infrastructure for MWM with agent clusters in the context of a large service oriented enterprise. Each agent cluster comprise several types of agents to achieve the goal of each phase of the workforce management process, namely, task formulation, matchmaking, brokering, commuting, and service. We evaluate our approach against different stakeholders' perspective.

Published in:

System Sciences, 2005. HICSS '05. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

03-06 Jan. 2005