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This work proposes an agent-based system for supporting dynamic scheduling in manufacturing. The ability of dynamic scheduling allows manufacturing production systems to promptly react to on-line demand variations, or in general to unexpected events, as required by the modern "agile" manufacturing paradigm. Multi-agent systems (MASs) have been indicated as a possible enabling factor for agility in manufacturing. This paper considers a class of dynamic scheduling problems characterized by a just-in-time objective and devises an on-line scheduling heuristic based on a multi-agent architecture. An experimental analysis is performed to compare different heuristic configurations with other non-agent-based ones. The results obtained show the effectiveness of the approach.
Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 2004 IEEE International Conference on (Volume:6 )
Date of Conference: 10-13 Oct. 2004