Adopting agent technology in information sharing and networking: Dissertation

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

Abstract

The thesis is concerned with the adoption of agent technology in information sharing and networking. Companies are networking with changing partners, and information sharing among enterprises with heterogeneous system environments is increasing all the time. Since the types and sizes of the networked companies vary, flexible and effective information sharing systems are needed. Networking systems have to conform to the requirements of different information technology structures and different information representation formats. Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular need flexible and effective networking solutions. The thesis reviews the use of agent-based applications in industrial environments, and especially in the area of supply chain management. Agents are autonomous, problem-solving computational entities capable of effective operation in dynamic and open environments, and they are therefore able to provide a suitable solution for complex process management among networked companies. The thesis proposes the agent-based system called SteelNet as a networking system for a business network. The area of application of the SteelNet system is supply chain management in a real-world business network. The design and implementation of an agent-based system for a case business network is described. The aim of the research was to consider the adoption of agents for supply chain management in collaborative enterprises as compared with other approaches. The system described here was designed, implemented and tested in a real-life case, a business network in northern Finland. The SteelNet agent-based solution consisted of collaborative task-specific agents representing companies and various activities in the business network. The basis of agent communication and collaboration is domain ontology, which describes the concepts of the area of application. The SteelNet system is built up on a JADE agent platform. The result of this research is a SteelNet agent-based system which provides information sharing and networking properties in a business network. The domain of the research is supply chain management and the SteelNet prototype applications are focused on this field. The prototype applications concern procurement process and manufacturing process follow-up in a business network. The agent-based design of the SteelNet also enables it use in other areas of application, requiring only the definition of new task-specific agents and a new domain ontology. The SteelNet system enables flexible and effective information sharing among different types of companies, such flexibility being required especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. The system provides different integration levels for companies - integration into the company's own systems or use via web pages. This is required on account of the dynamic nature of a business network. The graphical appearance of the system is clear and easy to use.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • University of Oulu
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Röning, Juha, Supervisor, External person
Award date4 Apr 2008
Place of PublicationEspoo
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-38-7073-7
Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-7074-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

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Industry
Supply chain management
Ontology
Autonomous agents
Information technology
Websites
Communication

Keywords

  • agents
  • agent technology
  • ontologies
  • agent communication
  • business networks
  • information sharing
  • networking
  • supply chain management
  • SteelNet
  • industrial networks

Cite this

Helaakoski, Heli. / Adopting agent technology in information sharing and networking : Dissertation. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2007. 221 p.
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title = "Adopting agent technology in information sharing and networking: Dissertation",
abstract = "The thesis is concerned with the adoption of agent technology in information sharing and networking. Companies are networking with changing partners, and information sharing among enterprises with heterogeneous system environments is increasing all the time. Since the types and sizes of the networked companies vary, flexible and effective information sharing systems are needed. Networking systems have to conform to the requirements of different information technology structures and different information representation formats. Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular need flexible and effective networking solutions. The thesis reviews the use of agent-based applications in industrial environments, and especially in the area of supply chain management. Agents are autonomous, problem-solving computational entities capable of effective operation in dynamic and open environments, and they are therefore able to provide a suitable solution for complex process management among networked companies. The thesis proposes the agent-based system called SteelNet as a networking system for a business network. The area of application of the SteelNet system is supply chain management in a real-world business network. The design and implementation of an agent-based system for a case business network is described. The aim of the research was to consider the adoption of agents for supply chain management in collaborative enterprises as compared with other approaches. The system described here was designed, implemented and tested in a real-life case, a business network in northern Finland. The SteelNet agent-based solution consisted of collaborative task-specific agents representing companies and various activities in the business network. The basis of agent communication and collaboration is domain ontology, which describes the concepts of the area of application. The SteelNet system is built up on a JADE agent platform. The result of this research is a SteelNet agent-based system which provides information sharing and networking properties in a business network. The domain of the research is supply chain management and the SteelNet prototype applications are focused on this field. The prototype applications concern procurement process and manufacturing process follow-up in a business network. The agent-based design of the SteelNet also enables it use in other areas of application, requiring only the definition of new task-specific agents and a new domain ontology. The SteelNet system enables flexible and effective information sharing among different types of companies, such flexibility being required especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. The system provides different integration levels for companies - integration into the company's own systems or use via web pages. This is required on account of the dynamic nature of a business network. The graphical appearance of the system is clear and easy to use.",
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Adopting agent technology in information sharing and networking : Dissertation. / Helaakoski, Heli.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2007. 221 p.

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

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T1 - Adopting agent technology in information sharing and networking

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AB - The thesis is concerned with the adoption of agent technology in information sharing and networking. Companies are networking with changing partners, and information sharing among enterprises with heterogeneous system environments is increasing all the time. Since the types and sizes of the networked companies vary, flexible and effective information sharing systems are needed. Networking systems have to conform to the requirements of different information technology structures and different information representation formats. Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular need flexible and effective networking solutions. The thesis reviews the use of agent-based applications in industrial environments, and especially in the area of supply chain management. Agents are autonomous, problem-solving computational entities capable of effective operation in dynamic and open environments, and they are therefore able to provide a suitable solution for complex process management among networked companies. The thesis proposes the agent-based system called SteelNet as a networking system for a business network. The area of application of the SteelNet system is supply chain management in a real-world business network. The design and implementation of an agent-based system for a case business network is described. The aim of the research was to consider the adoption of agents for supply chain management in collaborative enterprises as compared with other approaches. The system described here was designed, implemented and tested in a real-life case, a business network in northern Finland. The SteelNet agent-based solution consisted of collaborative task-specific agents representing companies and various activities in the business network. The basis of agent communication and collaboration is domain ontology, which describes the concepts of the area of application. The SteelNet system is built up on a JADE agent platform. The result of this research is a SteelNet agent-based system which provides information sharing and networking properties in a business network. The domain of the research is supply chain management and the SteelNet prototype applications are focused on this field. The prototype applications concern procurement process and manufacturing process follow-up in a business network. The agent-based design of the SteelNet also enables it use in other areas of application, requiring only the definition of new task-specific agents and a new domain ontology. The SteelNet system enables flexible and effective information sharing among different types of companies, such flexibility being required especially by small and medium-sized enterprises. The system provides different integration levels for companies - integration into the company's own systems or use via web pages. This is required on account of the dynamic nature of a business network. The graphical appearance of the system is clear and easy to use.

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KW - agent technology

KW - ontologies

KW - agent communication

KW - business networks

KW - information sharing

KW - networking

KW - supply chain management

KW - SteelNet

KW - industrial networks

M3 - Dissertation

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T3 - VTT Publications

PB - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

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Helaakoski H. Adopting agent technology in information sharing and networking: Dissertation. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2007. 221 p.