Dynamic explicitly specified behaviors in distributed agent-based industrial solutions
Currently, the manufacturing domain is primarily characterized by the flexibility, adaptability and robustness of the production system. The manufacturing flow processes lead to shorter cycle times to efficiently meet customer needs. Mentioned features can be more easily achieved in a distributed system, such as holonic or multi-agent system, which becomes strongly influenced by the advancement of semantic technologies. In the majority of existing multi-agent based control systems, which are responsible for acting, sensing, computing and production planning, the ontology (necessary for knowledge bases and communication) is usually hard-coded directly in the agent code. In this case, the hard-coded system behavior can be hardly maintained—usually system reprogramming is needed from time to time to satisfy customer requirements. In this paper we discuss the necessity of explicit definition of both declarative and procedural knowledge and propose explicit procedural knowledge handling. Sharing and distribution of such knowledge is discussed and illustrated on an implemented transportation system example. We also introduce the utilization of discussed architecture for explicit specification of agent behavior in failures patterns handling and smart grid configuration scenario. Such a solution greatly increases the possibility of system integration, openness, flexibility, and extensibility, all without having to restart the running distributed system. The topic discussed in this paper shows the ability of the dynamic reconfigurable multi-agent system to participate in development of industrial control systems and solutions.
KeywordsIndustry automation Manufacturing Agents Architectures Behavior Events Knowledge representation Knowledge transfer
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