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Building holonic supply chain management systems: an e-logistics application for the telephone manufacturing industry

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2 Author(s)
Ulieru, M. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Calgary, Alta., Canada ; Cobzaru, M.

As an exercise in agent-based software engineering, this work proposes a holonic model for the domain of supply chain management. The supply chain system is a distributed infrastructure that enforces protocol rules and through which agents registered on a domain find each other, access the knowledge base, communicate (exchange messages), and negotiate with other agents, which are independent entities with specific goals and resources. It is considered that individual resources that belong to each agent are not sufficient to satisfy their goals; therefore, the agents must procure the needed resources from other agents present in the system through negotiation. Our approach is based on the holonic enterprise model with the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) Contract Net protocols applied within different levels of the supply chain holarchy. To accommodate differentiation of interests and provide an allocation of resources throughout the supply chain holarchy, we use nested protocols as interaction mechanisms among agents. Agents are interacting through a price system embedded into specific protocols. The negotiation on prices is made possible by the implementation of an XML rule-based system that is also flexible in terms of configuration and can provide portable data across networks.

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Industrial Informatics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 1 )