Intelligent manufacturing-simulation agents tool (IMSAT) We present a knowledge representation scheme called intelligent agents that models the decision-making functions in manufacturing-system simulations. A prototype, the Intelligent Manufacturing-Simulation Agents Tool (IMSAT) implements this concept. The hierarchical structure and dynamics of manufacturing organizations, the corresponding modeling needs, and the modeling limitations of traditional tools motivated this work. IMSAT’s concept of a model of a manufacturing organization consists of a set of intelligent agents (that model the decision-making functions) controlling the operation of a queueing network (that models the flow of production material). An intelligent agent is an object with its own local knowledge and information bases. An agent’s knowledge base in the form of rules represents the heuristics of the corresponding decision-making function in the manufacturing system. An agent’s information base (called a blackboard) holds facts about the part of the system for which the agent is responsible. In a manufacturing system the decision-making functions receive, process, and transmit information. The intelligent agents are used to model such functionality. We present the details of agent architecture, the method of integration of agents into simulation, and the example models that illustrate the use of agents in manufacturing simulations
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