Within a Multi-Agent System (MAS), multiple autonomous agents negotiate, cooperate, and perform actions based on the goals and preferences of the (real-world) entities they represent. This chapter provides an introduction into MASs. In Sect. 27.1, on the basic level, we introduce the concept of agents and MASs, address their history, formally define MASs, and provide an overview of associated design methodologies. We illustrate one of these design methodologies using a case study of the use of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for trailer docking at a distribution centre. Next, we specifically focus on the use of MASs for manufacturing and logistics. First, in Sect. 27.2, on the advanced level, we discuss MASs for controlling the logistics processes within a company. We provide the motivation for using MASs in these environments, briefly review the literature on this topic, and present a case study on MAS control of AGVs in an industrial bakery. Next, in Sect. 27.3, on the state-of-the-art level, we focus on MASs to align the processes between different companies. We provide a brief overview of existing applications, describe the main challenges involved in inter-company MASs, and present a case study on MASs in the Port of Rotterdam.
|Title of host publication||Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management|
|Editors||H. Zijm, M. Klumpp, A. Regatierri, S. Heragu|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Name||Lecture Notes in Logistics|