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Distributed control systems (DCS) have gained huge interest in the automation business. Several approaches have been made which aim at the design and application of DCS to improve system flexibility and robustness. Important approaches are (among others) the holonic manufacturing systems (HMS) and the plant automation based on distributed systems (PABADIS) approach. PABADIS deals with plant automation systems in a distributed way using generic mobile and stationary agents and plug and participate facilities within a flat structure as key points of the developed control architecture. HMS deals with a similar structure, but aims more at a control hierarchy of special agents. This paper gives a description of the PABADIS project and makes comparisons between the two concepts, showing advantages and disadvantages of both systems. Based on this paper, it will be possible to observe the abilities and drawbacks of distributed agent-based control systems.