Case Study: Intelligent Software Supply Chain Agents Using ADE

Anshu Mehra, Mark Nissen

This paper reviews extant agent applications and describes the Agent Development Environment (ADE) toolkit. ADE is the integrated development environment to design, develop, debug, simulate and deploy agents. ADE supports the development of multi-agent applications capable of running on a single machine or on a distributed network. ADE has been used to build commercial applications in the area of: (i) manufacturing scheduling, (ii) manufacturing process control, (iii) network information filtering, and (iv) network load balancing. We present intelligent supply chain agents for the software procurement process using electronic commerce. The paper highlights the use and utility of intelligent agents in electronic commerce using ADE. Supply chain management represents a critical competency in today’s fast-paced, global business environment. However, in the current transition from EDI to Web technology, most of the capability for process integration is being lost. The integration of buyer and seller supply chain processes is critical for speed and responsiveness in today’s hypercompetitive product and service markets. Intelligent agent technology offers the potential to overcome this limitation and effectively integrate buyer and seller processes without the rigid inflexibility of EDI. We use domain knowledge in software procurement and distributed problem solving approaches. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.


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