Abstract

Researchers in agent-based concurrent engineering have identified a variety of techniques for product development with the use of multi-agents. Significant but less common are the techniques based on more task-specific single function agents. This paper proposes a single function agent framework for task-solving in a product development environment. This framework is based on Habermas’s theory of communicative action which is particularly suited for collaborative work. The inter-agent communication is based on Knowledge Query Manipulation Language (KQML). The task decomposition of the design process is based on the cluster identification algorithm. The conflicts which arise during the design process are resolved by using very specialized single function agents that detect conflicts based on violation of the design constraints. The case study on the design of a mechanical shaft demonstrates the appropriateness of the proposed framework.

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