Jean-Marc Andreoli, Stefania Castellani, Manuel Munier
In Proc. of EcWeb2000, Greenwich, U.K., Sept. 2000
We explore issues in providing support for information sharing, negotiations and decision-making to distributed
autonomous organizations, grouped in alliances to improve their own ability to accomplish customers'requests.
In particular, we consider the case of an alliance of printshops offering similar and/or complementary print
competencies and capabilities, competing but also collaborating with each other to perform print jobs. We
present a typical scenario of the activities within such an alliance, where the main task of the printshop
managers is to schedule their portfolio of jobs. We then introduce a multi-agent architecture, called
AllianceNet, allowing a manager to flexibly negotiate with the allied printshops some jobs that s/he cannot or
does not wish to perform locally. The purpose of the agents in AllianceNet is not to replace the printshop
managers, but rather to assist them in the decision process by making available the information needed in the
negotiations and by automating the tasks implementing the committed decisions. In particular, we discuss the
kind of information used and shared among printshops, the support offered to printshop managers to make
informed decisions and to consistently enact and monitor their execution.
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