The multi-agent systems paradigm represents one of the most promising approaches to the development of agile scheduling systems in manufacturing. Innovative and balanced perspectives of multi-agent approaches to agile scheduling are discussed in this paper, and several achieved results and current developments are described. The description of the multi-agent framework emphasizes the use of negotiation mechanism to improve the scheduling flexibility, as well as the aspects of information integration, communication and coordination in a community of agents. For information integration and management various approaches are addressed and the utilization of a distributed/federated database management system is suggested. Finally, some innovative aspects for agile scheduling are introduced, particularly in the context of virtual enterprise environments.
- scheduling algorithms
- Virtual corporation
- Agile manufacturing systems
- Computer integrated manufacturing
- Flexible manufacturing systems
- Information management
- Management information systems