DECIDE: Applying Multi-agent Design and Decision Logic to a Baggage Handling System

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Behind the curtains at check-in desks in airports hide a very complex material handling systems, which manage to get your bag transported to the correct departure gate of your flight.

The conventional control software uses a strategy primarily based on a shortest path algorithm, not taking into account dynamical changes or utilization of less packed areas of the BHS.

We changed that perspective towards a decentralized multi-agent based solution by developing strongly collaborating agents. The agents replace the existing control software without modifying the layout of the BHS.

In this paper we describe the BHS problem and the agent-based design. We pay special attention to the impact of the local environments of the agents, and finally give examples of implemented decision strategies.

This research was supported by The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in Denmark under the IT Cooridor Foundation.