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A multi-resolution collaborative architecture for web-centric global manufacturing

Authors
Journal
Information Sciences
0020-0255
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
127
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0020-0255(00)00026-8
Keywords
  • Recursive Multi-Resolution Collaborative Architecture
  • Multi-Agent Systems
  • Web-Centric Inter-Enterprise Cooperation
  • Task Decomposition
  • Mediator-Centric Organization
  • Virtual Clustering
  • Global Resource Allocation
Disciplines
  • Communication

Abstract

Abstract We propose a recursive multi-resolution collaborative architecture (MRCA), based on multi-agent coordination mechanisms as a solid foundation for the development of web-centric cooperative applications in global manufacturing. The architecture consists of three layers: a low-level internetworking communication-support layer; a coordination layer – managing inter-agent cooperation through intelligent conversation/communication mechanisms; and an agent layer consisting of five categories of agents: interface, collaboration, knowledge management, application and resource agents. From a functional perspective, two distinctive hierarchies shape the multi-dimensionality of this architecture: a vertical hierarchy of agents and a horizontal hierarchical communication–coordination platform. The versatility of the proposed architecture (which supports practically any kind of collaborative application) and its recursive replication at all levels of resolution within the collaborative application are illustrated on a supply-chain example.

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