Artificial Intelligence techniques have being applied to many problems in manufacturing systems in recent years. In the specific field of manufacturing scheduling many studies have been published trying to cope with the complexity of the manufacturing environment. One of the most utilized approaches is (multi) agent-based scheduling. Nevertheless, despite the large list of studies reported in this field, there is no resource or scientific study on the performance measure of this type of approach under very common and critical execution situations. This paper focuses on multi-agent systems (MAS) based algorithms for task allocation, particularly in manufacturing applications. The goal is to provide a mechanism to measure the performance of agent-based scheduling approaches for manufacturing systems under key critical situations such as: dynamic environment, rescheduling, and priority change. With this mechanism it will be possible to simulate critical situations and to stress the system in order to measure the performance of a given agent-based scheduling method. The proposed mechanism is a pioneering approach for performance evaluation of bidding-based MAS approaches for manufacturing scheduling. The proposed method and evaluation methodology can be used to run tests in different manufacturing floors since it is independent of the workshop configuration. Moreover, the evaluation results presented in this paper show the key factors and scenarios that most affect the market-like MAS approaches for manufacturing scheduling.
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