Title: Distributed intelligence in autonomous multi-vehicle systems

Authors: Koen H. Van Dam, Zofia Verwater-Lukszo, Jaap A. Ottjes, Gabriel Lodewijks

Addresses: Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Transport Engineering and Logistics, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Abstract: To make better use of existing infrastructures, new control methods are under development. In the Intelligent Infrastructures programme, an infrastructure is seen as a multi-agent system, with more or less autonomous subsystems that are related to each other in hierarchical, coordinated, cooperative, or non-cooperative way. Current controls for multi-vehicle systems are based on the hierarchical control concept. In this paper, it is shown how the incident handling, efficiency, and flexibility of multi-vehicle systems can be improved by applying a cooperative control strategy. An existing multi AGV application in a seaport illustrates that efficiency of operations can be improved considerably with smarter control. Finally, a research project is introduced concerning cooperative multi-agent control of true free-ranging automated guided vehicles.

Keywords: intelligent infrastructures; multi-agent systems; agent-based systems; intelligent control; cooperative control; distributed intelligence; automated guided vehicles; AGVs; next generation infrastructures; critical infrastructures; multi-vehicle systems; ports; vehicle control; deep sea terminals.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCIS.2006.009442

International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, 2006 Vol.2 No.2/3, pp.261 - 272

Available online: 31 Mar 2006 *

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