M. Merdan, T Moser, P. Vrba, S. Biffl:
"Investigating the Robustness of Re-Scheduling Policies with Multi-Agent System Simulation";
International Journal Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology,
Increased complexity of current manufacturing systems together with dynamic conditions and permanent demands for flexible and robust functionality makes their management and control very difficult and challenging. Workflow simulation is an effective approach to investigate dynamic workflow scheduling policies and evaluate the overall manufacturing system performance. The results attained in simulation model can give directions how to maximize system output when selecting an appropriate schedul-ing practice for a real system. In this paper we investigate the abilities of multi-agent systems (MAS) in combination with dy-namic dispatching rules and failure handling mechanisms to manage dynamic environment conditions (such as machine failures) for systems in the production automation domain. We measure system robustness by systematically assessing the total system performance (e.g., number of finished products) in a number of representative test cases. We use an agent-based simulation envi-ronment, MAST, which has been validated with real-world hardware to strengthen the external validity of the simulation results. We investigated the performance of a re-scheduling component which uses four different policies that define how to adjust the system schedule in case of machine disturbances/failures. In the context of the empirical study the Complete Rerouting (CR) re-scheduling policy outperformed all other policies.
System evaluation, re-scheduling policies, multi-agent systems, automated simulation, distributed control.
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