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Subject:

Re: Introducing ABM: Recommendations

From:

Peer-Olaf Siebers <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Peer-Olaf Siebers <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 12 Aug 2002 23:36:23 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi

I am working on a group project looking at "Human Performance Modelling as
an Aid in the Process of Manufacturing System Design". My PhD research
contribution to the project is to look at ways to model interdependencies
between workers and their environment (which includes other workers,
cultural- and physical environment).

Here is a list of introductory literature/links that I found helpful:

Books:
'Dynamics of Complex Systems' by Prof. Bar-Yam - Chapter 0. This book is
available on the Internet (http://www.necsi.org/publications/dcs/). The
chapter gives an overview of a research field, which among other techniques
uses agents to model complex systems. It is good for understanding the
general context.

'Multiagent Systems' by Gerhard Weiss (Editor) - Prologue, Chapter 1, 7,
(and 8). Chapter 1 is a good introduction into the world of intelligent
agents (by Michael Wooldridge). Chapter 7 is a good introduction to COT,
which uses MABS. These two chapters were particular helpful to me. In your
case chapter 8 might be the most interesting as it lists actual (the book
was published in 2000) application areas for multi-agents systems.

Glossaries (to understand the vocabulary used in the book):
General:
http://college.hmco.com/business/moorhead/organizational/6e/students/glossar
y/
Agent Technology Glossary: http://www.objs.com/agility/tech-reports/9909-
agent-glossary.html

Practice:
I started with SWARM (http://www.swarm.org/) but to be honest I did not get
very far with it (I have to admit that I have no experience in Objective C
and very little experience in Java; these are the two languages supported
by SWARM; I am used to program in Visual Basic). If you want to learn SWARM
it is essential to have a good knowledge of Objective C as all tutorials /
books I found use this programming language (and not Java).
I have now started to look at JAFMAS, which is a PhD thesis project. This
is a set of libraries written in Java which supports the development of
MABS. As the complete thesis and source-code are available on the internet
(http://www.ececs.uc.edu/~abaker/JAFMAS/) it looks very promising to me. It
also includes two examples which can be set up quite easily (there is a
small mistake in the user manual: in step 4 'rmic DirectedComIn' has to be
used instead of 'rmic DirectedComImpl' and on some systems you need to
include a security policy (see faq on the site)).


If anyone would like to discuss with me about my research or would like to
join me on the way of learning about agents please send me an email.

I would appreciate any help in developing a very basic pilot MABS. It would
be helpful if I could get some bits and pieces of source code to see how
empirical data can be used inside an agent. Also interesting for me would
be your point of view about the internal structure of a worker agent (what
attributes and state variables are necessary to represents workers in a
manufacturing environment).

Cheers

PEER

===========================================================
Peer-Olaf Siebers - Dipl.Ing BEng(Hons)
Research Assistant

Cranfield University
School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science

Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, England

Email: [log in to unmask]
Tel:   +44(0)1234 750111 ext 2401

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