Autonomous control of production networks using a pheromone approach

Hans Armbruster, C. De Beer, M. Freitag, T. Jagalski, Christian Ringhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The flow of parts through a production network is usually pre-planned by a central control system. Such central control fails in presence of highly fluctuating demand and/or unforeseen disturbances. To manage such dynamic networks according to low work-in-progress and short throughput times, an autonomous control approach is proposed. Autonomous control means a decentralized routing of the autonomous parts themselves. The parts' decisions base on backward propagated information about the throughput times of finished parts for different routes. So, routes with shorter throughput times attract parts to use this route again. This process can be compared to ants leaving pheromones on their way to communicate with following ants. The paper focuses on a mathematical description of such autonomously controlled production networks. A fluid model with limited service rates in a general network topology is derived and compared to a discrete-event simulation model. Whereas the discrete-event simulation of production networks is straightforward, the formulation of the addressed scenario in terms of a fluid model is challenging. Here it is shown, how several problems in a fluid model formulation (e.g. discontinuities) can be handled mathematically. Finally, some simulation results for the pheromone-based control with both the discrete-event simulation model and the fluid model are presented for a time-dependent influx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-114
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume363
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2006

Fingerprint

Pheromone
Fluid Model
Discrete Event Simulation
Throughput
Simulation Model
fluids
routes
Formulation
Dynamic Networks
simulation
Network Topology
Decentralized
formulations
approach control
Discontinuity
Routing
Disturbance
Control System
Scenarios
discontinuity

Keywords

  • Autonomous control
  • Discrete-event simulation models
  • Fluid models
  • Pheromones
  • Production networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

Cite this

Autonomous control of production networks using a pheromone approach. / Armbruster, Hans; De Beer, C.; Freitag, M.; Jagalski, T.; Ringhofer, Christian.

In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Vol. 363, No. 1, 15.04.2006, p. 104-114.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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