Title: Architectural design of a situated multiagent system for controlling automatic guided vehicles
Authors: Danny Weyns, Tom Holvoet
Addresses: DistriNet Labs, Department of Computer Science, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200A, 3001 Leuven, Belgium. ' DistriNet Labs, Department of Computer Science, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200A, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Abstract: Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are fully automated vehicles that are able to transport goods in an industrial environment. To cope with new and future system requirements such as flexibility and openness, we have applied a situated Multiagent System (MAS) to develop a decentralised control architecture for AGV transportation systems. In this paper, we give an overview of the software architecture of the system and we zoom in on two specific concerns: transport assignment and collision avoidance. We discuss the evaluation of the software architecture and the test results obtained from realistic simulations and a demonstrator system that we have developed. The architectural design and development of this real-world application teaches us that the primary use of a situated MAS comes from the way in which it structures the software. In particular, the set of adaptive agents that coordinate through the environment allows us to shape the software architecture of the transport application to provide the required functionalities of the system and achieve the important quality goals of flexibility and openness.
Keywords: situated MAS; multi-agent systems; software architecture; automated transportation systems; automated guided vehicles; AGVs; agent-based systems; decentralised control; AGVS control; simulation; transport assignment; collision avoidance; adaptive agents; flexibility; openness.
International Journal of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering, 2008 Vol.2 No.1, pp.90 - 128
Published online: 23 Jan 2008 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article