Agent Cooperation Mechanism for Decentralised Manufacturing Scheduling

Guiovanni Jules, Mozafar Saadat

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This paper presents an agent cooperation mechanism for scheduling operations in a manufacturing network, while allowing manufacturers to absolutely control their scheduling activities. The study includes a thorough review of recent publications, a real-life industrial use case of a manufacturing network, an agent-based model of the network simulated with recursive porous agent simulation toolkit, the Muth and Thompson (MT10) scheduling data set, and the visualization of results in Microsoft Project. Results of a study of a four-layer cooperation mechanism showed that for the MT10 problem, manufacturer arrangement 0-5-7-2-3-8-1-9-6-4-0 was found to maximize the utilitarian social welfare of the manufacturing network. In terms of make-span, the network achieved a maximum of 1125 which was beyond the known optimal 930. Results suggest that manufacturers could express their scheduling goals and their preferences with whom they wanted to cooperate. These were measured by the time incentive and compatibility indicators. The latter could also be used to track the optimality loss in make-span optimization when implementing the decentralized scheduling approach in the context of manufacturing networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3351 - 3362
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2016


  • Decentralised
  • Distributed
  • Scheduling
  • Agent
  • Welfare
  • Optimisation


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