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Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date April 2008

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Displaying Results 1 - 23 of 23
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): C1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering publication information

    Page(s): C2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Compensation of Scanner Creep and Hysteresis for AFM Nanomanipulation

    Page(s): 197 - 206
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1692 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Nanomanipulation with atomic force microscopes (AFMs) for nanoparticles with overall sizes on the order of 10 nm has been hampered in the past by the large spatial uncertainties encountered in tip positioning. This paper addresses the compensation of nonlinear effects of creep and hysteresis on the piezo scanners which drive most AFMs. Creep and hysteresis are modeled as the superposition of fundamental operators, and their inverse model is obtained by using the inversion properties of the Prandtl-Ishlinskii operator. Identification of the parameters in the forward model is achieved by a novel method that uses the topography of the sample and does not require position sensors. The identified parameters are used to compute the inverse model, which in turn serves to drive the AFM in an open-loop, feedforward scheme. Experimental results show that this approach effectively reduces the spatial uncertainties associated with creep and hysteresis, and supports automated, computer-controlled manipulation operations that otherwise would fail. View full abstract»

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  • Fiber Assembly of MEMS Optical Switches With U-Groove Channels

    Page(s): 207 - 215
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1356 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A key process in assembly of microelectromechanical systems optical switches is of inserting fibers into U-grooves in silicon substrate. Due to positioning errors and dimensional tolerances in components, heavy collision occurs between fibers and the edges of U-grooves during insertion, throwing out fibers from the fiber holder or worse, damaging the components. Typical solutions to the problem involve determining errors using machine vision or force sensors, and then positioning fibers accurately by virtue of high precision multi-axis systems (with submicron repeatability). However, these approaches are costly and difficult to implement. In this paper, we present a low-cost passive assembly method to solve the problem. It utilizes a special flexure-based fixture to regulate high contact forces and accommodate assembly errors. Specifically, we model the problems happening in the process of fiber insertion and characterize the conditions of successful insertion. We then suggest how to design flexural fixtures so that the required insertion conditions can be met. Experimental results show that using such a fixture the fiber assembly can be successfully implemented even if the assembly system's accuracy is lower than 12 in and axes, and 0.07 in theta axis. These requirements are within the reach of most low-cost precision systems. View full abstract»

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  • A Novel Multipin Positioning System for the Generation of High-Resolution 3-D Profiles by Pin-Arrays

    Page(s): 216 - 222
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1642 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper extends pin-tool research by investigating a new method to accurately position high-fidelity pins in an array, with each pin uniquely positioned under computer control. The resultant tool is a reusable prototyping system for the rapid generation of three-dimension (3-D) profiles using CAD extracted data, with application potential in a variety of manufacturing processes. A control assessment identifies a combination of array-addressing, latching positioning hardware, and a combined "setting platen" pin-position feedback and drive as an appropriate technique for pin control. The novel platen motion strategy is capable of moving thousands of pins with a single drive motor. The system incorporates latching "locks" that operate on the "tail" of a new two-part "header and tail" pin design. Key to the lock strategy is the application of shape memory alloy actuators in a back-to-back configuration; the response of this material to electrical input is quantified and applied to achieve the unique lock design. Multiple locks combined into a demonstrator position headers to an accuracy of +0.09 -0.05 mm. The mounting pitch of the prototype system permits the use of 1.0 mm section pins. An extension to the design ultimately allows a 15 000 pin-array to be positioned in ~3 min. View full abstract»

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  • Randomized Optimal Design of Parallel Manipulators

    Page(s): 223 - 233
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (881 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work intends to deal with the optimal kinematic synthesis problem of parallel manipulators under a unified framework. Observing that regular (e.g., hyper-rectangular) workspaces are desirable for most machines, we propose the concept of effective regular workspace, which reflects simultaneously requirements on the workspace shape and quality. The effectiveness of a workspace is characterized by the dexterity of the mechanism over every point in the workspace. Other performance indices, such as manipulability and stiffness, provide alternatives of dexterity characterization of workspace effectiveness. An optimal design problem, including constraints on actuated/passive joint limits and link interference, is then formulated to find the manipulator geometry that maximizes the effective regular workspace. This problem is a constrained nonlinear optimization problem without explicitly analytical expression. Traditional gradient based approaches may have difficulty in searching the global optimum. The controlled random search technique, as reported robust and reliable, is used to obtain an numerical solution. The design procedure is demonstrated through examples of a Delta robot and a Gough-Stewart platform. View full abstract»

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  • A Dynamic Multiagent System Based on a Negotiation Mechanism for Product Family Design

    Page(s): 234 - 244
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1199 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Many organizations are expending enormous efforts to minimize cost and time when developing new products by sharing and reusing distributed design knowledge and information. Multiagent systems provide an ideal mechanism to develop various products efficiently and cost-effectively by integrating distributed design knowledge and information. Product family design entails developing a set of differentiated products around a platform, while targeting individual products to distinct market segments. This paper presents a mathematical model reflecting the tradeoffs inherent in having a platform and introduces a dynamic multiagent system (DMAS) based on negotiation mechanisms to address the model effectively. The negotiation protocol to design a platform is developed using market-based auction mechanisms. In the proposed system, specific design tasks are assigned to agents by decomposing tasks for product family design, and an optimal platform is determined by negotiations between agents. We apply the DMAS to design a platform for a family of power tools. View full abstract»

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  • Group Elevator Scheduling With Advance Information for Normal and Emergency Modes

    Page(s): 245 - 258
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (735 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Group elevator scheduling has long been recognized as an important problem for building transportation efficiency, since unsatisfactory elevator service is one of the major complaints of building tenants. It now has a new significance driven by homeland security concerns. The problem, however, is difficult because of complicated elevator dynamics, uncertain traffic in various patterns, and the combinatorial nature of discrete optimization. With the advent of technologies, one important trend is to use advance information collected from devices such as destination entry, radio frequency identification, and sensor networks to reduce uncertainties and improve efficiency. How to effectively utilize such information remains an open and challenging issue. This paper presents the optimized scheduling of a group of elevators with destination entry and future traffic information for normal operations and coordinated emergency evacuation. Key problem characteristics are abstracted to establish a two-level separable formulation. A decomposition and coordination approach is then developed, where subproblems are solved by ordinal optimization-based local search, and top ranked nodes are selectively optimized by using dynamic programming. The approach is then extended to handle up-peak with little or no future traffic information, elevator parking for low intensity traffic, and coordinated emergency evacuation. Numerical testing results demonstrate near-optimal solution quality, computational efficiency, the value of future traffic information, and the potential of using elevators for emergency evacuation. View full abstract»

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  • An Augmented Lagrangian Approach for Distributed Supply Chain Planning for Multiple Companies

    Page(s): 259 - 274
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1303 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Planning coordination for multiple companies has received much attention from viewpoints of global supply chain management. In practical situations, a plausible plan for multiple companies should be created by mutual negotiation and coordination without sharing such confidential information as inventory costs, setup costs, and due date penalties for each company. In this paper, we propose a framework for distributed optimization of supply chain planning using an augmented Lagrangian decomposition and coordination approach. A feature of the proposed method is that it can derive a near-optimal solution without requiring all of the information. The proposed method is applied to supply chain planning problems for a petroleum complex, and a midterm planning problem for multiple companies. Computational experiments demonstrate that the average gap between a solution derived by the proposed method and the optimal solution is within 3% of the performance index, even though only local information is used to derive a solution for each company. View full abstract»

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  • Analysis of Admission and Inventory Control Policies for Production Networks

    Page(s): 275 - 288
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (535 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Problems of inventory control and customer admission control are considered for a manufacturing system that produces one product to meet random demand. Four admission policies are investigated: lost sales, complete backordering, randomized admission, and partial backordering. These policies are combined with an integral inventory control policy, which releases raw items only when an incoming order is accepted and keeps the inventory position (total inventory minus outstanding orders) constant. The objective is to determine the inventory level and the maximum number of backorders, as well as the admission probability that maximize the mean profit rate of the system. The system is modeled as a closed queueing network and its performance is computed analytically. The optimal parameters for each policy are found using exhaustive search and convex analysis. Numerical results show that managing inventory levels and sales jointly through partial backordering achieves higher profit than other control policies. View full abstract»

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  • Effective Neighborhood Operators for Solving the Flexible Demand Assignment Problem

    Page(s): 289 - 297
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (592 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Rather than dealing with the traditional one-dimension bin packing problem to minimize the cost in demand assignments, the flexible demand assignment (FDA) problem studied in this paper considers the balance between revenue and cost. Compared with a number of solution methods in operations research, we solve the FDA problem by three specially designed operators of neighborhood construction for search space-namely, One Bin Repack, Two Bins Repack, and Unpack. Extensive computational results clearly show the superiority of the three proposed operators based on simple local search over the best published results. View full abstract»

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  • Lean Buffering in Serial Production Lines With Nonidentical Exponential Machines

    Page(s): 298 - 306
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (544 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Lean buffering is the smallest buffer capacity, which is necessary and sufficient to ensure the desired production rate of a manufacturing system. Literature offers methods for designing lean buffering in production systems with identical machines. The current paper extends these methods to serial production lines with nonidentical machines, assuming that they obey the exponential reliability model. For two-machine lines, exact formulas for lean buffering are derived, while for longer lines estimates are obtained. These results can be useful for production line designers and production managers to maintain the required production rate with the smallest possible inventories. Note to Practitioners-In production systems with unreliable machines, operation with no-buffers (i.e., JIT) leads to low throughput. Very large buffers lead to high throughput but undesirable quality and economics properties. So, which level of buffering is good? This is the question addressed in this paper. The good level of buffering is addressed in terms of line efficiency, i.e., the fraction of the maximum of the throughput, which is acceptable for the system. For example, assume that the desired line efficiency is 0.9 (i.e., 90% of the maximum throughput is viewed as satisfactory). Under such an assumption, this paper offers methods for calculating the smallest (i.e., lean) level of buffering, which guarantees the desired throughput, provided that uptime and downtime of the machines are distributed exponentially with arbitrary mean time to failure and mean time to repair. View full abstract»

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  • Steady-State Control Reference and Token Conservation Laws in Continuous Petri Net Systems

    Page(s): 307 - 320
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (738 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper addresses several questions related to the control of timed continuous Petri nets under infinite server semantics. First, some results regarding equilibrium states and control actions are given. In particular, it is shown that the considered systems are piecewise linear, and for every linear subsystem the possible steady states are characterized. Second, optimal steady-state control is studied, a problem that surprisingly can be computed in polynomial time, when all transitions are controllable and the objective function is linear. Third, an interpretation of some controllability aspects in the framework of linear dynamic systems is presented. An interesting finding is that noncontrollable poles are zero valued. View full abstract»

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  • Steady-State Throughput and Scheduling Analysis of Multicluster Tools: A Decomposition Approach

    Page(s): 321 - 336
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1823 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Cluster tools are widely used as semiconductor manufacturing equipment. While throughput analysis and scheduling of single-cluster tools have been well-studied, research work on multicluster tools is still at an early stage. In this paper, we analyze steady-state throughput and scheduling of multicluster tools. We consider the case where all wafers follow the same visit flow within a multicluster tool. We propose a decomposition method that reduces a multicluster tool problem to multiple independent single-cluster tool problems. We then apply the existing and extended results of throughput and scheduling analysis for each single-cluster tool. Computation of lower-bound cycle time (fundamental period) is presented. Optimality conditions and robot schedules that realize such lower-bound values are then provided using ldquopullrdquo and ldquoswaprdquo strategies for single-blade and double-blade robots, respectively. For an -cluster tool, we present lower-bound cycle time computation and robot scheduling algorithms. The impact of buffer/process modules on throughput and robot schedules is also studied. A chemical vapor deposition tool is used as an example of multicluster tools to illustrate the decomposition method and algorithms. The numerical and experimental results demonstrate that the proposed decomposition approach provides a powerful method to analyze the throughput and robot schedules of multicluster tools. View full abstract»

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  • New Hybrid Optimization Algorithms for Machine Scheduling Problems

    Page(s): 337 - 348
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (661 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Dynamic programming, branch-and-bound, and constraint programming are the standard solution principles for finding optimal solutions to machine scheduling problems. We propose a new hybrid optimization framework that integrates all three methodologies. The hybrid framework leads to powerful solution procedures. We demonstrate our approach through the optimal solution of the single-machine total weighted completion time scheduling problem subject to release dates, which is known to be strongly NP-hard. Extensive computational experiments indicate that new hybrid algorithms use orders of magnitude less storage than dynamic programming, and yet can still reap the full benefit of the dynamic programming property inherent to the problem. We are able to solve to optimality all 1900 instances with up to 200 jobs. This more than doubles the size of problems that can be solved optimally by the previous best algorithm running on the latest computing hardware. View full abstract»

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  • New Solution Approaches to the General Single- Machine Earliness-Tardiness Problem

    Page(s): 349 - 360
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (787 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper addresses the general single-machine earliness-tardiness problem with distinct release dates, due dates, and unit costs. The aim of this research is to obtain an exact nonpreemptive solution in which machine idle time is allowed. In a hybrid approach, we formulate and then solve the problem using dynamic programming (DP), while incorporating techniques from branch-and-bound (BB). This approach (DP-BB) has been proven to be effective in solving certain types of scheduling problems. We further propose a new adaptation of the approach to a general problem with a nonregular objective function. To address some shortcomings of DP-BB, we also apply a BB approach in which partial dynamic programming dominance (BB-PDP) is exploited. Computational experiments were conducted with randomly generated test instances in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the two approaches. The results clearly showed that our new approaches can solve all the instances with up to 40 jobs and most of the instances with 50 jobs, which outperforms those frequently used approaches in scheduling research. View full abstract»

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  • Automatic Inspection of Transmission Devices Using Acoustic Data

    Page(s): 361 - 367
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (825 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Most factories depend on skilled workers to test the quality of transmission devices by listening to the sound. In this paper, an intelligent inspection system is proposed to evaluate the quality of transmission devices in place of experts. Since the causes of faults of transmission devices are complex and a defective product might simultaneously have many types of faults, the discrimination process between defective and nondefective products and the classification process of defective products are treated separately in the proposed system. From the acoustic data of operating transmission devices, we extract the feature vectors based on time-frequency analysis and train a neuroclassifier by using the learning vector quantization (LVQ). Furthermore, the genetic algorithm (GA) with floating point (FP) is utilized to select some significant frequencies from the spectra of acoustic data of defective and nondefective products and to make a quality evaluation rule automatically. The defective products are picked up from the automatic production line according to the evaluation rule and the trained neuroclassifier. At last, the self-organizing feature map (SOM) algorithm is used to identify the kinds of defective products. The experimental results show that the proposed intelligent system is able to perform the quality evaluation of transmission devices successfully. This paper was motivated by the problem of developing an intelligent evaluation system in place of skilled workers to evaluate the quality of transmission devices automatically based on acoustic data. Most of the prior works in quality evaluation of transmission devices are based on processing vibrometer signals for system vibrations. Such vibrometers must be installed on the surface of vibrating part of transmission devices, which alter the physical integrity. In this paper, the acoustic data of operating transmission devices are recorded. We first compute the ASFTS and FVAVT, where ASFTS denotes the average - - of a serial of spectra calculated from time segments of an acoustic data and FVAVT denotes the feature vector of amplitude variation with time in a certain band. By using the different characteristics of the ASFTS and the FVAVT, we apply the LVQ and the FGA to the quality evaluation of transmission devices, respectively. Utilizing the advantages of the SOM, we classify the defective products successfully. In the industry production, the quality of each batch of products will change according to the situation of equipments. Similarly, the quality evaluation rule will be adjusted according to the yield and the request of customers. The proposed system can evaluate the quality of transmission devices correctly as demanded so long as we change the nondefective and defective samples. View full abstract»

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  • Navigating a Miniature Crawler Robot for Engineered Structure Inspection

    Page(s): 368 - 373
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2042 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper addresses the problem of how to navigate a miniature Crawler robot in a typical engineered structure inspection application-aircraft rivet inspection. First, a novel vision-assisted localization algorithm is developed to find the heading and position of the Crawler robot. Second, a new algorithm is developed to solve the path planning problem so that the Crawler robot can navigate through all the rivets. Experimental results validate the localization and path planning algorithms. This inspection system can be extended to other similar engineered structure inspection applications. View full abstract»

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  • Special issue on scientific workflow management and applications

    Page(s): 374
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | PDF file iconPDF (149 KB)  
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • 2008 IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering

    Page(s): 375
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | PDF file iconPDF (673 KB)  
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • ICRA 2008

    Page(s): 376
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | PDF file iconPDF (606 KB)  
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Information

    Page(s): C3
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering Information for authors

    Page(s): C4
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    Freely Available from IEEE

Aims & Scope

T-ASE will publish foundational research on Automation: scientific methods and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity, quality, and reliability, specifically for methods, machines, and systems operating in structured environments over long periods, and the explicit structuring of environments.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Ken Goldberg
University of California, Berkeley