Abstract

We propose an agent-based architecture for providing partially automated support to large, concurrent engineering environments that have adopted Integrated Product Team (IPT) practices. We describe classes of agents, show various views from the individual users to the network with a hierarchy for control and coordination, and sketch our strategies for incremental implementation. We have built a Task Structure Specification Tool to delineate and manage the IPT tasks, using blackboard data structures and World-Wide Web compatibility. We review related agent-based engineering efforts, which generally are not sufficient for IPT integration. We suggest that implementing computational IPTs remains a large challenge awaiting agent technologies.

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