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Design for the Unexpected : From Holonic Manufacturing Systems Towards A Humane Mechatronics Society



Elsevier, Amsterdam



Design for the Unexpected : From Holonic Manufacturing Systems Towards A Humane Mechatronics Society

 Author  Paul Valckenaers and Handrik Van Brussel

Year of Publication











Krishna B. Misra



Review Complete

The book consists of 9 chapters preceded by About the Authors, Preface and an Introduction as follows:



Chapter 1

Setting the Stage

08 Pages

Chapter 2

On the Design of Complex Systems

10 Pages

Chapter 3

Design for the Unexpected

08 Pages

Chapter 4

Laws of the Artificial

14 Pages

Chapter 5

Holonic Manufacturing Systems

36 Pages

Chapter 6

The ARTI Reference Architecture-PROSA Revisited

51 Pages

Chapter 7

Case Studies and Research Projects

49 Pages

Chapter 8

Work by Others

11 Pages

Chapter 9

Summary and Outlook

05 Pages

Appendix I: What are (Software) Agents?

02 Pages

Appendix II: Simulation, Emulation, and Modeling

10 Pages

Appendix III: Design by Abduction No Longer Suffices

02 Pages

Subject Index

08 Pages


This book presents a shift in paradigm of manufacturing system from the traditional hierarchical control approach to futuristic 3.1manufacturing systems which are called as Holonic Manufacturing Systems. Holonic Manufacturing Systems (HMS) is claimed by the authors as the futuristic framework for the design of the factories of the future and indicates the application of biologically inspired control paradigm for the control of complex manufacturing systems which may have wider applications in several disciplines. A holon is an autonomous building block of a manufacturing system that can transform, store and/or validate information and physical objects. Holons consist of an information-processing system can be a part of another holon. A holon has the property of autonomy and cooperation whereby it is capable of creating and controlling the execution of its own plans and strategies as well as develops and executes a mutually acceptable plan. Holarchy is a system of holons that can cooperate to achieve a goal or objective. It defines the rules of cooperation and may limit the autonomy of holons. Three basic types of holons are: product holons, resource holons and order holons and the PROSA (product-resource-order-staff architecture) is the reference architecture developed in accordance with the HMS paradigm. The authors indicate that Holonic Manufacturing is also capable of handling unexpected situations. To solve real life problems, agents-human or otherwise may start seeking solutions from existing sub-solutions, technology, and infrastructure. Adding to the existing parts, individual agents and their team is brought together, integrated as far as possible to seek an overall solution. Such emergent solutions involve integration where integrate-ability of building blocks determines eventually the achievable performance. This decides the design principle for the subsystem for emergent solution imposing its own requirements on design activity capable of surviving in an uncertain future environment. The authors attempt to illustrate the idea through examples and case studies from different disciplines. The authors attempt to explain how a multi-agent control framework can be extended to several other areas such as traffic, transport, services, and health care etc. The first author has 40 years of experience and is known for his research in robotics, mechatronics and holonic manufacturing systems. It is an interesting book useful for researchers and professionals alike. Besides being of academic interest to graduate students the book is expected to be of interest to mechanical engineers, manufacturing engineers, system engineers and industrial engineers, production system designers and production planners, including IT professionals.


This review has been published in Vol. 12, No. 3,  May 2016 issue of the IJPE


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