Use of Agents to Implement an Integrated Computing Environment
Hale, Mark A.
Craig, James I.
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Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) embodies the simultaneous application of both system and quality engineering methods throughout an iterative design process. The use of IPPD results in the time-conscious, cost-saving development of engineering systems. To implement IPPD, a Decision-Based Design perspective is encapsulated in an approach that focuses on the role of the human designer in product development. The approach has two parts and is outlined in this paper. First, an architecture, called DREAMS, is being developed that facilitates design from a decision-based perspective. Second, a supporting computing infrastructure, called IMAGE, is being designed. Agents are used to implement the overall infrastructure on the computer. Successful agent utilization requires that they be made of three components: the resource, the model, and the wrap. Current work is focused on the development of generalized agent schemes and associated demonstration projects. When in place, the technology independent computing infrastructure will aid the designer in systematically generating knowledge used to facilitate decision-making.