Architecture for Cooperative Heterogeneous On-line Systems

ARCHON was the biggest DAI project funded by ESPRIT Program and ended during 1994. The project had

12 partners:

Atlas Elektronik/D (coordinator), Framentec/F, Iberdrola/E, EATechnology/UK, Volmac/H, Amber/Gr, CERN and the Universities of: London (QMWC), Porto (FEUP), Amsterdam (FWI), Athens (CNRG) Associate Partners were JRC/Ispra, Labein/E, Iridia/B.

Archon was a successfull project which aimed at the conceptualization as well as implementation of a multi-agent system platform enabling the cooperation between heterogeneous, and complex, systems.
The platform, called ARCHON Abstract Machine, has been developed first in Lisp (early prototypes in Prolog) and finally rewritten in C++. The main theoretical concepts involved in Archon were related with the sophisticated Agent Architecture, which has, besides all the communication facilities for interaction, both with other Agents and the embedded Intelligent Systems, a complex, rule-based Decision Making module responsible for a suitable cooperation among the existing agents.
Important application partners were, since the beginning, deeply involved in the project and, in the end, the Archon software has been applied to the Diagnosis and Management of Electric Distribution Networks (in Spain) as well as for controling a complex Ciment Kiln in Greece. Also a Flexible Robotic Cell has been controled using the same paradigm in Porto. A Cooperating Expert Systems Shell, UPShell, had been developed both to generate and to make them cooperate specific Expert Systems having an overall common goal.
You may get all the Technical reports from Dr. Thies Wittig, STN Atlas Elektronik, Sebaldsbruker Heerstrasse, D-2800 14 GERMANY.
Our group NIAD&R-Distributed Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Laboratory under the coordination of Eugenio C. Oliveira who is Professor at the University of Oporto, Department of Computing and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, worked together with QMWC in designing the Decision-Making module, reponsible for the necessary reasoning for cooperation as well as conflict resolution. We also implemented the UPShell and the Multi-Agent System-based Robotic Testbed.
A book has been published during the Project with the main ideas behind Archon work:

"ARCHON: An architecture for multi-agent systems"

edited by T.Wittig, Ellis Horwood.
Mail: Faculdade de Engenharia, Rua dos Bragas, 4099 PORTO codex, PORTUGAL
Fax: (351) 2 319280

Last Updated: 24/02/96