• Dynamic Scheduling of Steel Casting and Milling using Multi-agents

      Cowling, Peter I.; Ouelhadj, D.; Petrovic, S. (2009-07-13)
      This paper presents a case study on the use of multi-agents for integrated dynamic scheduling of steel milling and casting. Steel production is an extremely complex problem requiring the consideration of several different constraints and objectives of a range of processes in a dynamic environment. Most research in steel production scheduling considers static scheduling of processes in isolation. In contrast to earlier approaches, the multi-agent architecture proposed consists of a set of heterogeneous agents which integrate and optimize a range of scheduling objectives related to different processes of steel production, and can adapt to changes in the environment while still achieving overall system goals. Each agent embodies its own scheduling model and realizes its local predictive-reactive schedule taking into account local objectives, real-time information and information received from other agents. Agents cooperate in order to find a globally good schedule, which is able to effectively react to real-time disruptions, and to optimize the original production goals whilst minimising disruption carried by unexpected events occurring in real-time. The inter-agent cooperation is based on the Contract Net Protocol with commitment