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Design of Complex Engineering Systems Using Multiagent Coordination

[+] Author Affiliations
Nicolás F. Soria, Mitchell K. Colby, Irem Y. Tumer, Christopher Hoyle, Kagan Tumer

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Paper No. DETC2016-59570, pp. V02AT03A001; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2016-59570
From:
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 42nd Design Automation Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5010-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME

abstract

In complex engineering systems, complexity may arise by design, or as a by-product of the system’s operation. In either case, the root cause of complexity is the same: the unpredictable manner in which interactions among components modify system behavior. Traditionally, two different approaches are used to handle such complexity: (i) a centralized design approach where the impacts of all potential system states and behaviors resulting from design decisions must be accurately modeled; and (ii) an approach based on externally legislating design decisions, which avoid such difficulties, but at the cost of expensive external mechanisms to determine trade-offs among competing design decisions. Our approach is a hybrid of the two approaches, providing a method in which decisions can be reconciled without the need for either detailed interaction models or external mechanisms. A key insight of this approach is that complex system design, undertaken with respect to a variety of design objectives, is fundamentally similar to the multiagent coordination problem, where component decisions and their interactions lead to global behavior. The design of a race car is used as the case study. The results of this paper demonstrate that a team of autonomous agents using a cooperative coevolutionary algorithm can effectively design a Formula racing vehicle.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME

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