Organization-oriented multi-agent systems for construction supply chains

Esther A. Obonyo, Chimay J. Anumba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The agent paradigm has been used by several researchers to build several complex construction industry-specific tools ranging from e-business applications to cross-disciplinary communication systems, supply-chain management and contract administration. Because of the slow progress in the maturity of the underlying infrastructure, such applications relied on platforms such as JADE based on agent-centered techniques which focus on the defining communication and interaction protocols based on individual agents' internal structure. An agent-centered approach undermines the potential for deploying a large-scale community of agents developed by different people. This paper discussed the potential for addressing this limitation using organizational abstraction to model multi-agent systems. It provides an overview of an agent-centered, JADE-based prototype system for construction specification and procurement. A critique of the agent-centered approach has been provided. The paper also reviews related work in organization-centered, agent systems. This is followed by a description of an organization-centered, JADE-based proof-of-concept based on construction products procurement requirements. The paper concludes with a discussion highlighting further work in the research. It specifically identifies the potential for enhancing the organization-centered MAS approach using ontologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-744
Number of pages18
JournalElectronic Journal of Information Technology in Construction
StatePublished - Nov 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Science Applications


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