Knowledge-Based Reactive Scheduling, E.Szelke and R.M.Kerr (eds.), IFIP Transactions B-15, Elsevier Science B.V. (North-Holland), 1994, pp.93-106:

Configurable Systems for Reactive Production Management

Stephen F. Smith and Ora Lassila

Center for Integrated Manufacturing Decision Systems
The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA


In this paper, we outline current work into the development of reconfigurable scheduling systems: systems that enable rapid customization to specific production environments through encapsulation, extension, and reuse of component scheduling "services" (e.g., domain modeling primitives, constraint management and analysis techniques, solution subprocedures, problem decomposition and configuration heuristics). Our approach is grounded on two basic premises: (1) that system organization and decision-support "services" should directly reflect the inherently reactive nature of decision-making in practical scheduling environments, and (2) that diversity in the character and requirements of different application environments will invariably require different specialized scheduling support services. We adopt a general constraint-based model of scheduling as an iterative, opportunistic process of schedule revision, which provides an architectural framework for formulating the configuration problem, and utilize object programming techniques to compositionally construct component services. Our overall goal is the development of an application building environment, which combines a "tool box" of basic modeling and scheduling primitives with facilities for assembling, aggregating and specializing these primitives to define the decision support functionality (or services) required in a given application context. As new services are composed, they can be encapsulated as additional, higher level tools and are available for reuse in subsequent applications.

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