This paper investigates issues in the application of auctions as negotiation mechanisms to agent based manufacturing scheduling. We model the negotiation environments that agents encounter as inter-enterprise environment and intra-enterprise environment. A formulation of intra-enterprise scheduling economy is presented. We proved that at price equilibrium, the solution computed by the agents in the economy is a Pareto optimal. AS our first attempt, we formally formulate automated auction configuration as an optimization problem. By solving the problem adaptive negotiation in multi-agent systems can be achieved. In addition to the theoretical models, we discussed various types of auction mechanisms and their applications to agent based manufacturing scheduling. Heuristics and procedures are proposed for solving the automated auction configuration problem. To validate the analysis and proposed approaches, as a case study, we apply the automated auction configuration heuristics and the procedure to an agent based shop floor scheduling environment. Experimental results show that the auction protocol selected by the proposed heuristics provides correct system functionalities. In addition, we compared the selected mechanism with other candidate mechanisms. We found that the selected one performs better in terms of reducing communication cost and improving solution quality.

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