The emerging paradigm of agent-based computation has revolutionized the building of intelligent and decentralized systems. The new technologies met well the requirements in all domains of manufacturing where problems of uncertainty and temporal dynamics, information sharing and distributed operation, or coordination and cooperation of autonomous entities had to be tackled. In the paper software agents and multi-agent systems are introduced and through a comprehensive survey, their potential manufacturing applications are outlined. Special emphasis is laid on methodological issues and deployed industrial systems. After discussing open issues and strategic research directions, we conclude that the evolution of agent technologies and manufacturing will probably proceed hand in hand. The former can receive real challenges from the latter, which, in turn, will have more and more benefits in applying agent technologies, presumably together with well-established or emerging approaches of other disciplines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering