This grant provides funding for building highly scalable distributed algorithms for a new class of adaptive manufacturing enterprises using distributed agent architecture over the Internet. These algorithms will be used for reconfiguring work-in-process inventory levels and production schedules to adapt to changing market demands and supply-chain conditions. Moreover, these algorithms and the necessary information will be embedded in agents geographically distributed throughout the enterprise. The goal is to maintain responsiveness and effectiveness to enable the next generation of scalable enterprises. Scalability will be achieved through (1) distributed algorithms that are predictable and computationally efficient; (2) distributed agent architectures that support growth in size and capability; and (3) distributed clusters that provide rapid access to information using cost effective technologies. Analytical models will be developed to predict the emergent behavior of such systems and stability and convergence properties of their computations. These models will be used for assessing computational complexity, communication requirements, and scalability of the algorithms. Distributed agent architecture will be developed in which clusters of similar agents will be identified based on task decomposition and task similarity. An experimental prototype using a cluster of commodity PCs will be used to benchmark the computational load, communication network requirements, and overall scalability of the algorithms.
If successful, the results of this research will lead to effective integration of shop floor with enterprise software which is a critical issue in managing multiple enterprises effectively and optimally. These research activities will involve active collaboration with several industry partners. In the short-term, this work will provide a set of novel distributed algorithms and a suitable distributed agent architecture. In the long-term, this work would provide mathematical and simulation models for designing the next generation of adaptive and reconfigurable enterprises by establishing scientific and technological insights into their scalability.
|Effective start/end date||8/15/00 → 12/31/01|
- National Science Foundation: $98,825.00