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Holonic job shop scheduling using a multiagent system

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3 Author(s)
Walker, S.S. ; Dept. of Mech. & Manuf. Eng., Calgary Univ., Canada ; Brennan, R.W. ; Norrie, D.H.

Manufacturing job shop scheduling is a notoriously difficult problem that lends itself to various approaches - from optimal algorithms to suboptimal heuristics. We combined popular heuristic job shop-scheduling approaches with emerging AI techniques to create a dynamic and responsive scheduler. We fashioned our job shop scheduler's architecture around recent holonic manufacturing systems architectures and implemented our system using multiagent systems. Our scheduling approach is based on evolutionary algorithms but differs from common approaches by evolving the scheduler rather than the schedule. A holonic, multiagent systems approach to manufacturing job shop scheduling evolves the schedule creation rules rather than the schedule itself. The authors test their approach using a benchmark agent-based scheduling problem and compare performance results with other heuristic-scheduling approaches.

Published in:

Intelligent Systems, IEEE  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )