A generic multi-agent architecture for the virtual enterprise
This paper presents a generic architecture for the development of a virtual enterprise (VE). This architecture, which is based on the notion of agent, includes all the concepts necessary to ensure all the phases of virtual enterprise life-cycle. Thus, we propose several types of agent, namely, the enterprise agent representing an individual enterprise, the broker agent, which is the initiator of the VE (creation phase), the VE manager (operation and dissolution phases) and the electronic market manager agent. The co-ordination and communication mechanisms recommended in the agent-based approach are also specified. The basic idea is to use the concepts of multi-agent systems (MAS) to perform the different activities of the virtual enterprise life-cycle, and thus, to adapt the solutions provided by the MAS paradigm to solve the different problems encountered while establishing a virtual enterprise.
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