Holons & Agents: Recent Developments and Mutual Impacts

  • Vladimir Mařík
  • Martyn Fletcher
  • Michal Pěchouček
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2322)

Abstract

This position paper briefly gathers together the recent trends in the related aras of holonic systems and multi-agent systems with the main goal to present the Holonic Manufacturing Systems area to the MAS community. The vision of a Holonic Factory is very near to being realized, and draws a number of its concepts from the world of multi-agent systems. That is why many similarities can be identified between these two areas, and many opportunities exist for the crossover of research results. The IEC 61499 standard for real-time function-block oriented holonic control was completed recently. It has been recognized by the holonic manufacturing system community that this standard is able to help in solving low-level control tasks only. That is, where the time horizon of decisions made by holons (e.g. concerning stopping the physical movement of robots, or executing safety-critical tasks) is in the range of microseconds to seconds. Yet this standard does not address all the topics needed to construct an intelligent agile factory. The MAS area can significantly help to avoid the current deadlocks in HMS research. In terms of mutual impacts, holonic systems are based on pragmatic manufacturing control requirements, and so they can offer a wealth of attractive opportunities for deploying agent-based ideas into real industrial settings. And vice versa, the application of agents into manufacturing domains, connected with physical production, should motivate a MAS community that has (until now) concentrated on just information agents.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir Mařík
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martyn Fletcher
    • 3
  • Michal Pěchouček
    • 1
  1. 1.Gerstner Laboratory, Department of CyberneticsCzech Technical University in PragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Rockwell Automation Research CenterPrague
  3. 3.Agent Oriented SoftwareCambridgeUK

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