ARCHON aimed to develop an architecture, software framework and methodology for multi-agent systems for real-world industrial applications in the area of power system control supervision.
The project is concerned with defining and applying techniques from the area of distributed artificial intelligence to the development of industrial applications. Such techniques enable multiple problem solvers (eg expert systems, databases and conventional numerical software systems) to communicate and cooperate with each other to improve both their individual problem solving behaviour and the behaviour of the community as a whole. This paper outlines the niche of architecture for cooperative heterogenous online systems (ARCHON) in the distributed artificial intelligence world and provides an overview of the philosophy and architecture of our approach, which is both general (applicable to the domain of industrial process control) and powerful enough to handle problems such as electricity management, cement factory control, robotics and the control of a particle accelerator.
The project aimed to develop an architectural and software framework for multiagent systems for real world industrial applications in the area of process control and supervision. To achieve this aim, these key issues were accomplished:
identification of suitable concepts and implementation of these as a prototype (the abstract machine);
building of appropriate domain systems for the demonstration application and testing and evaluation of the abstract machine prototype;
design and implementation of the ARCHON tools which can be used on a general basis after the end of the project, accompanied by a well defined and usable instructions on how to apply the ARCHON framework to an application.
The applications oriented results were divided into 3 domains:
the demonstrator application on energy management;
the prototype application on electricity distribution;
application studies on fault finding and operation help in complex computer controlled systems.
The following activities were undertaken to achieve this aim: identifying suitable DAI and distributed database concepts and implementation of these in C++ as working software - the Abstract Machine; building appropriate domain systems for the demonstration of applications and for testing and evaluating the Abstract Machine; and designing and implementing the ARCHON tools, accompanied by a well-defined and usable methodology on how to apply the ARCHON framework to an application.
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