, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 111-140

The RAPPID Project: Symbiosis between Industrial Requirements and MAS Research

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Abstract

The RAPPID project (Responsible Agents for Product-Process Integrated Design) is developing agent-based software tools and methods that use market place dynamics among members of a distributed design team to coordinate set-based design of discrete manufactured products. This report describes the interplay of industrial requirements and Multi-Agent System (MAS) research in the design, implementation, and testing of RAPPID. Like any industrial project, RAPPID begins with the requirements of the problem domain, and draws selectively from research results to meet those requirements. However, the flow of information is not unidirectional. In the process of addressing its requirements, RAPPID developed some new concepts that hold promise for broader application to distributed constraint optimization. RAPPID is work in process, not a completed product, and this report includes an assessment of what needs to be done in addition to what has been accomplished.