MetaMorph: An adaptive agent-based architecture for intelligent manufacturing. Global competition and rapidly changing customer requirements are forcing major changes in the production styles and configuration of manufacturing organizations. Traditional centralized manufacturing systems are not able to meet such requirements. This paper proposes an agent-based approach for dynamically creating and managing agent communities in such widely distributed and everchanging manufacturing environments. After reviewing the research literature, an adaptive multi-agent manufacturing system architecture called MetaMorph is presented and its main features are described. Such architecture facilitates multi-agent coordination by minimizing communication and processing overheads. Adaptation is facilitated through organizational structural change and two learning mechanisms: learning from past experiences and learning future agent interactions by simulating future dynamic, emergent behaviours. The MetaMorph architecture also addresses other specific requirements for next generation manufacturing systems, including scalability, reliability, stability, maintainability, flexibility, real-time planning and scheduling, standardized communication, fault tolerance, and security. The proposed architecture is implemented as a multi-agent virtual manufacturing system, in simulation form, which incorporates heterogeneous manufacturing agents within different agent-based shop floors or factories. The experimental results have shown the potential of the agent-based approach for advanced manufacturing systems.

References in zbMATH (referenced in 20 articles , 1 standard article )

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