FCDA: A Framework for Collaborative Distributed Multidisciplinary Design

T. Khedro, M. R. Genesereth and P. M. Teicholz

A framework for collaborative distributed multidisciplinary design called, the Federation of Collaborative Design Agents (FCDA) is presented. This framework is an extension of integration technology called Agent-Based Software Engineering. The focal entity of this framework is a Muhiagent Design Team (MDT) that comprises a collection of Design Agents (e.g., design software with certain communication capabilities) and a Design Specialist, which together perform specific design tasks. Multiagent design teams are autonomous and form an organization structured based on a Federation Architecture. Every multiagent design team surrenders its autonomy to a system program called Facilitator, which coordinates the interaction among design agents in the federation. Facilitators can be viewed as representatives of one or more teams that facilitate the exchange of design information and knowledge in support of the design tasks they perform. In the federation, design specialists collaborate by exchanging design information with others via their design agents, and by identifying and resolving design conflicts by negotiation. In addition to a discussion of the framework’s primary aspects, its realization in an integrated distributed environment for collaborative building design is described.

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