KRAFT: Supporting Virtual Organizations through Knowledge Fusion

Alun Preece, Kit Hui, and Peter Gray

The formation and operation of dynamic and open virtual organisations is a central concern in business-to-business e-commerce. Virtual organisations enable partner companies to develop and manufacture customised products with low costs and rapid delivery. Agent-based architectures are an effective platform for such virtual organisations because they provide mechanisms to allow organisations to advertise their capabilities, exchange rich information, and synchronise workflows at a high-level of abstraction. In this paper, we examine the KRAFT architecture and its features for supporting virtual organisations. In particular, we focus upon KRAFT’s use of constraints as a knowledge exchange medium, and show how constraint fusion supports the design of customised products.

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