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Dynamic multi-agent based variety formation and steering in mass customization

: Blecker, Thorsten; Abdelkafi, Nizar; Kreutler, Gerold; Friedrich, Gerhard


Seruca, Isabel:
Enterprise information systems VI : Best papers of the Sixth International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2004), held in Porto (Portugal)
Dordrecht: Springer, 2006
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3674-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-4020-3675-0 (Online)
ISBN: 1-4020-3674-4
ISBN: 1-4020-3675-2
International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS) <6, 2004, Porto>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer MOEZ ( IMW) ()
product configuration; Mass Customization; variety formation and steering

Large product variety in mass customization involves a high internal complexity level inside a companys operations, as well as a high external complexity level from a customers perspective. To cope with both complexity problems, an information system based on agent technology is able to be identified as a suitable solution approach. The mass customized products are assumed to be based on a modular architecture and each module variant is associated with an autonomous rational agent. Agents have to compete with each other in order to join coalitions representing salable product variants which suit real customers requirements. The negotiation process is based on a market mechanism supported by the target costing concept and a Dutch auction. Furthermore, in order to integrate the multi-agen t system in the existing information system landscape of the mass customizer, a technical architecture is proposed and a scenario depicting the main communication steps is specified.