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Article

Mark E. Nissen

Supply chain management represents a critical competency in today’s global business environment and has been the focus of considerable, but mixed, information systems

Abstract

Supply chain management represents a critical competency in today’s global business environment and has been the focus of considerable, but mixed, information systems research. The research described in this paper builds on work in multi‐agent systems to argue that intelligent agents offer excellent potential and capability for supply chain management, and contributes to discussion and theory pertaining to electronic markets and supply chain disintermediation. Argues that the knowledge associated with intermediation work represents a key mediating variable between disintermediating technology and supply chain efficacy and discusses how intelligent agent technology can be employed to both intermediate and disintermediate the supply chain, attaining the cost and cycle‐time benefits of disintermediation without the attendant loss of human knowledge and expertise. The paper outlines a number of implications for theory and practice in information systems, and it formalizes some important research questions through a contingency framework to help stimulate and guide future work along these lines.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

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Article

Ling Wang, Hong Xu, Jinjin Wu, Xiai Chen and Wenbo Na

The purpose of this paper is to propose an availability modeling method of complex multiple units system (CMUS) based on the multi-agent technique.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an availability modeling method of complex multiple units system (CMUS) based on the multi-agent technique.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the multi-agent technique, this paper describes the availability model structure for CMUS and develops agent-based models of components, maintenance policies, maintenance tools, maintenance fields, and maintenance staff, as well as the communication method among the different agents. On the basis of the agent-based availability modeling theory, the availability simulation scheme of CMUS is given using MATLAB. Thus, the availability modeling theory of CMUS and its simulation method are developed. To demonstrate the applicability of the proposed availability modeling method, a numerical example is given.

Findings

The proposed agent-based modeling method is applicable to availability modeling of CMUS, including the modeling of component failure, maintenance tools/fields/staff, maintenance policy, and structural/economic dependence among components.

Practical implications

As a bottom-top, modular, expandable, and reusable modeling theory, the agent-based modeling method might be useful for availability modeling of different CMUSs in reality.

Originality/value

The multi-agent technique is introduced into availability modeling of multi-component systems in this paper. Thus, it is possible to model failure of many components, maintenance policies, maintenance tools, maintenance fields, and maintenance staff together for availability analysis of complex systems of equipment.

Details

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2511

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Article

Jozef Kelemen and D.J. Evans

Gives a broad understanding of multi‐agent systems and relates it to the generative paradigm of studying complex systems. Demonstrates the functioning of the multi‐agent

Abstract

Gives a broad understanding of multi‐agent systems and relates it to the generative paradigm of studying complex systems. Demonstrates the functioning of the multi‐agent paradigm in some approaches in artificial intelligence and in some closely related fields. After sketching a specific approach to formalization of multi‐agent systems using tools and techniques of the theory of formal grammars and languages, gives a preview of the main developmental lines of the theory of grammar systems.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article

Mihalis Giannakis and Michalis Louis

Decision support systems are becoming an indispensable tool for managing complex supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to develop a multi-agent-based supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

Decision support systems are becoming an indispensable tool for managing complex supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to develop a multi-agent-based supply chain management system that incorporates big data analytics that can exert autonomous corrective control actions. The effects of the system on supply chain agility are explored.

Design/methodology/approach

For the development of the architecture of the system, a sequential approach is adopted. First three fundamental dimensions of supply chain agility are identified – responsiveness, flexibility and speed. Then the organisational design of the system is developed. The roles for each of the agents within the framework are defined and the interactions among these agents are modelled.

Findings

Applications of the model are discussed, to show how the proposed model can potentially provide enhanced levels in each of the dimensions of supply chain agility.

Research limitations/implications

The study shows how the multi-agent systems can assist to overcome the trade-off between supply chain agility and complexity of global supply chains. It also opens up a new research agenda for incorporation of big data and semantic web applications for the design of supply chain information systems.

Practical implications

The proposed information system provides integrated capabilities for production, supply chain event and disruption risk management under a collaborative basis.

Originality/value

A novel aspect in the design of multi-agent systems is introduced for inter-organisational processes, which incorporates semantic web information and a big data ontology in the agent society.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article

Kejun Ning

Presents an embedded MAS (Multi‐Agent System) based control method for multi link series manipulators.

Abstract

Purpose

Presents an embedded MAS (Multi‐Agent System) based control method for multi link series manipulators.

Design/methodology/approach

The manipulator's completing operation work is based on several agents' cooperation. The entire embedded MAS of a manipulator is implemented in one ARM7 microprocessor. The multi agents and the communications between the agents are constructed depending on the real‐time multitasking capability and the system services of real time operation system, μC/OS‐(tm). An improved distributed inverse kinematics algorithm, which is the foundation the agents' behavior strategies, and the system architecture designing are described in detail.

Findings

This method is very suitable for tele‐operation redundant manipulators' embedded control systems designing, with high reliability.

Research limitations/implications

Using this paradigm, the embedded system firmware development for a redundant manipulator would be very easy and the code would be reusable. A few amendments should be made for miscellaneous manipulators.

Practical implications

It is suitable for controlling a high reliability expected tele‐operation manipulator system.

Originality/value

The embedded MAS based manipulator control paradigm has several attractive advantages, led from MAS theory. Basing this method, we do not require computing the traditional inverse (or pseudoinverse) Jacobian matrix to control a redundant manipulator, especially for mobile redundant robot based on a compact embedded control system, expecting high reliability and potential complexity for coping with dynamical environments. The development procedure would be very easy and the code would be reusable. A few amendments should be made for different manipulators.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article

Kun Chen, Xin Li and Huaiqing Wang

Although big data analytics has reaped great business rewards, big data system design and integration still face challenges resulting from the demanding environment…

Abstract

Purpose

Although big data analytics has reaped great business rewards, big data system design and integration still face challenges resulting from the demanding environment, including challenges involving variety, uncertainty, and complexity. These characteristics in big data systems demand flexible and agile integration architectures. Furthermore, a formal model is needed to support design and verification. The purpose of this paper is to resolve the two problems with a collective intelligence (CI) model.

Design/methodology/approach

In the conceptual CI framework as proposed by Schut (2010), a CI design should be comprised of a general model, which has formal form for verification and validation, and also a specific model, which is an implementable system architecture. After analyzing the requirements of system integration in big data environments, the authors apply the CI framework to resolve the integration problem. In the model instantiation, the authors use multi-agent paradigm as the specific model, and the hierarchical colored Petri Net (PN) as the general model.

Findings

First, multi-agent paradigm is a good implementation for reuse and integration of big data analytics modules in an agile and loosely coupled method. Second, the PN models provide effective simulation results in the system design period. It gives advice on business process design and workload balance control. Third, the CI framework provides an incrementally build and deployed method for system integration. It is especially suitable to the dynamic data analytics environment. These findings have both theoretical and managerial implications.

Originality/value

In this paper, the authors propose a CI framework, which includes both practical architectures and theoretical foundations, to solve the system integration problem in big data environment. It provides a new point of view to dynamically integrate large-scale modules in an organization. This paper also has practical suggestions for Chief Technical Officers, who want to employ big data technologies in their companies.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 115 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

W.M. Wang, J.W. Wang, A.V. Barenji, Zhi Li and Eric Tsui

The purpose of this paper is to propose an automated machine learning (AutoML) and multi-agent system approach to improve overall product delivery satisfaction under…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an automated machine learning (AutoML) and multi-agent system approach to improve overall product delivery satisfaction under limited resources.

Design/methodology/approach

An AutoML method is purposed to model delivery satisfaction of individual customer, and a heuristic method and multi-agent system are proposed to improve overall satisfaction under limited processing capability. A series of simulation experiments have been conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.

Findings

The simulated results show that the proposed method can effectively improve overall delivery satisfaction, especially when the demand of customer orders is highly fluctuating and when the customer satisfaction models are highly diversified.

Practical implications

The proposed framework provides a more dynamic and continuously improving way to model delivery satisfaction of individual customer, thereby supports companies to provide personalized services and develop scalable and flexible business at a lower cost, and ultimately improves the overall quality, efficiency and effectiveness of delivery services.

Originality/value

The proposed methodology utilizes AutoML and multi-agent system to model individual customer delivery satisfaction and improve the overall satisfaction. It can cooperate with the existing delivery resource planning methods to further improve customer delivery satisfaction. The authors propose an AutoML approach to model individual customer delivery satisfaction, which enables continuous update and improvements. The authors propose multi-agent system and a heuristic method to improve overall delivery satisfaction. The numerical results show that the proposed method can improve overall delivery satisfaction with limited processing capability.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 119 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Alireza Jahani, Peyman Akhavan, Mostafa Jafari and Mohammad Fathian

Knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) is a tedious and repetitive process. A challenge for the effective use of KDD is understanding and confirming its results derived…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) is a tedious and repetitive process. A challenge for the effective use of KDD is understanding and confirming its results derived from the harmonized process. To exploit the advantages of agents’ application, this paper aims to propose a conceptual model based on a multi-agent system (MAS) to control each step of the KDD process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports the empirical findings of a survey conducted among academic and industrial sectors in Tehran, Iran. In this survey, the participants answered a questionnaire about the main factors of designing a suitable model for the KDD process based on MAS. The factor analysis reveals important insights of previous models developed by various researchers.

Findings

This research uses the survey results to find six critical success factors, continuity in refinement and improvement; learning and acting concurrently; loosely or tightly coupled approach for using technologies; cooperative, dynamic and flexible environment; documentation and reporting; and extracting and evaluating knowledge intelligently, for a proper conceptual model of the KDD process based on MAS.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model reflects all aspects of the KDD process by applying the intelligent agents for each process steps. In addition, this research only considers the Iran society; hence, it cannot be generalized to other nations, and it may need further research in other countries and to be implemented in real-world business domains.

Originality/value

This research helps organizations to adopt a proposed model and implement a KDD process to advantage the valuable knowledge that exists in their data resources.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

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Article

Guoying Liu

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive literature review on the utilisation of intelligent agent technology in the library environment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive literature review on the utilisation of intelligent agent technology in the library environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Research papers since 1990 on the use of various intelligent agent technologies in libraries are divided into two main application areas: digital library (DL), including agent‐based DL projects, multi‐agent architecture for DLs, intelligent agents for distributed heterogeneous information retrieval and agent support to information search process in DLs; and services in traditional libraries, including user interface for library information systems, automatic reference services and multi‐agent architecture for library services. For each paper on the topic, its new ideas or models, referred work, analyses, experiments, findings and conclusions are addressed.

Findings

The majority of the literature covers DLs and there have been fewer studies about services in traditional libraries. A variety of architecture, framework and models integrating agent technology in library systems or services are proposed, but only a few have been implemented in the practical environment. The application of agent technology is still at the research and experimentation stage. Agent technology has great potential in many areas in the library context; however it presents challenges to libraries that want to be involved in its adoption.

Practical implications

The survey has practical implications for libraries, librarians and computer professionals in developing projects that employ intelligent agent technology to meet end‐users' expectations as well as to improve information services within limited resources in library settings.

Originality/value

The paper provides a comprehensive survey on the development and research of intelligent agents in libraries in literature.

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Article

Dejun Chen, Zude Zhou, Yingzhe Ma and D.T. Pham

The purpose of this paper is to create a platform framework based on agent for virtual enterprise (VE) with the characteristic of supply chain by adopting multi‐agent technology.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create a platform framework based on agent for virtual enterprise (VE) with the characteristic of supply chain by adopting multi‐agent technology.

Design/methodology/approach

According to the system hierarchy theory and the features of VE with the characteristic of supply chain, the conception and organization structure of supply chain‐oriented VE are proposed. Combined with characters of multi‐agent, a platform framework based on agent for VE with the characteristic of supply chain is created. Aiming at complexity of net node of running platform framework, two‐layer architecture mode, which are information alternation layer and basic function layer inside net node based on agent, are designed. The modes are proved to be reasonable in the management of the system and networks resources.

Findings

The theory base of realization of the VE based on agent with the characteristic of supply chain is found.

Research limitations/implications

The reasonable basic function design of various agents are main limitations.

Practical implications

The paper presents a very useful tool for the operation and management of VE.

Originality/value

A new approach and scheme for VE with the characteristic of supply chain is presented. This paper is aimed at researchers and engineers.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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