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A Performance Study on a Multiagent E-Scheduling and Coordination Framework for Maintenance Networks

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3 Author(s)
Feng Zhang ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Connecticut Univ., Storrs, CT ; Eugene Santos Jr. ; Peter B. Luh

Many maintenance networks as well as supply networks and virtual enterprises consist of multiple organizations. A common problem arising in these different domains is multiorganization scheduling and coordination. The traditional centralized methods are not appropriate because of the existence of private information and decision-making authorities at different organizations. Although many distributed mechanisms have been presented for supply networks and virtual enterprises, they may not be effective for maintenance networks because of the difficulties of scheduling the tightly related maintenance operations and handling the massive uncertainties involved. These difficulties as well as the heterogeneity of the distributed environment make it challenging to develop an efficient framework for maintenance networks that can obtain a high-quality solution under different conditions, schedule in a timely manner, solve large-scale problems, and so on. In this paper, a price-based multiagent scheduling and coordination framework for maintenance networks is explored, and a systematic experimental study is carried out to evaluate the effects of different factors on its performance. The results show that the framework is able to overcome these difficulties and could be a step toward the next generation of e-scheduling for maintenance networks

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C (Applications and Reviews)  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )