Branch-and-Bound Optimization of a Multiagent System for Flow Production using Model Checking

Stefan Edelkamp, Christoph Greulich


In this paper we propose the application of a model checker to evaluate a multiagent system that controls the industrial production of autonomous products. As the flow of material is asynchronous at each station, queuing effects arise as long as buffers provide waiting room. Besides validating the design of the system, the core objective of this work is to find plans that optimize the throughput of the system. Instead of mapping the multiagent system directly to the model checker, we model the production line as a set of communicating processes, with the movement of items modeled as communication channels. Experiments shows that the model checker is able to analyze the movements of autonomous products for the model, subject to the partial ordering of the product parts. It derives valid and optimized plans with several thousands of steps using constraint branch-and-bound.


  1. Armando, A., Mantovani, J., and Platania, L. (2006). Bounded model checking of software using SMT solvers instead of SAT solvers. In SPIN, pages 146- 162. Springer.
  2. Bhat, U. (1986). Finite capacity assembly-like queues. Queueing Systems, 1:85-101.
  3. Biere, A., Cimatti, A., Clarke, E., and Zhu, Y. (1999). Symbolic model checking without BDDs. In Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems.
  4. Bos?nac?ki, D. and Dams, D. (1998). Integrating Real Time Into Spin: A Prototype Implementation. In Budkowski, S., Cavalli, A., and Najm, E., editors, FORTE/PSTV, volume 6 of IFIP The International Federation for Information Processing, pages 423- 438. Springer.
  5. Bracht, U., Geckler, D., and Wenzel, S. (2011). Digitale Fabrik: Methoden und Praxisbeispiele. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg.
  6. Brinksma, E. and Mader, A. (2000). Verification and optimization of a PLC control schedule. In SPIN, volume 1885, pages 73-92.
  7. Bürckert, H.-J., Fischer, K., and Vierke, G. (2000). Holonic transport scheduling with teletruck. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 14(7):697-725.
  8. Burman, M. (1995). New results in flow line analysis . PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  9. Cimatti, A., Giunchiglia, E., Giunchiglia, F., and Traverso, P. (1997). Planning via model checking: A decision procedure for AR. In ECP, pages 130-142. Springer.
  10. Cimatti, A., Roveri, M., and Traverso, P. (1998). Automatic OBDD-based generation of universal plans in non-deterministic domains. In AAAI, pages 875-881.
  11. Clarke, E., Grumberg, O., and Peled, D. (2000). Model Checking. MIT Press.
  12. Dorer, K. and Calisti, M. (2005). An adaptive solution to dynamic transport optimization. In AAMAS, pages 45-51. ACM.
  13. Edelkamp, S., Lluch-Lafuente, A., and Leue, S. (2001). Directed model-checking in HSF-SPIN. In SPIN, pages 57-79.
  14. Edelkamp, S. and Reffel, F. (1998). OBDDs in heuristic search. In KI, pages 81-92.
  15. Edelkamp, S. and Sulewski, D. (2008). Flash-efficient LTL model checking with minimal counterexamples. In SEFM, pages 73-82.
  16. Fischer, K., Müller, J. R. P., and Pischel, M. (1996). Cooperative transportation scheduling: an application domain for dai. Applied Artificial Intelligence , 10(1):1- 34.
  17. Fox, M. and Long, D. (1999). The detection and exploration of symmetry in planning problems. In IJCAI, pages 956-961.
  18. Fujimoto, R. (2000). Parallel and Distributed Simulation Systems. Wiley & Sons.
  19. Ganji, F., Morales Kluge, E., and Scholz-Reiter, B. (2010). Bringing Agents into Application: Intelligent Products in Autonomous Logistics. In Schill, K., ScholzReiter, B., and Frommberger, L., editors, Artificial intelligence and Logistics (AiLog) - Workshop at ECAI 2010, pages 37-42.
  20. Gerth, R., Peled, D., Vardi, M., and Wolper, P. (1995). Simple on-the-fly automatic verification of linear temporal logic. In PSTV, pages 3-18. Chapman & Hall.
  21. Giunchiglia, F. and Traverso, P. (1999). Planning as model checking. In ECP, pages 1-19.
  22. Godefroid, P. (1991). Using partial orders to improve automatic verification methods. InCAV, pages 176-185.
  23. Greulich, C., Edelkamp, S., and Eicke, N. (2015). CyberPhysical Multiagent-Simulation in Production Logistics. In MATES, pages 119-136. Springer.
  24. Love, N. C., Hinrichs, T. L., and Genesereth, M. R. (2006). General Game Playing: Game Description Language Specification. Technical Report LG-2006-01, Stanford Logic Group.
  25. Manitz, M. (2008). Queueing-model based analysis of assembly lines with finite buffers and general service times. Computers & Operations Research, 35(8):2520 - 2536.
  26. Morales Kluge, E., Ganji, F., and Scholz-Reiter, B. (2010). Intelligent products - towards autonomous logistic processes - a work in progress paper. In PLM, pages 348 - 357, Bremen.
  27. Nau, D., Ghallab, M., and Traverso, P. (2004). Automated Planning: Theory & Practice. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA.
  28. Nissim, R. and Brafman, R. I. (2013). Cost-optimal planning by self-interested agents. In AAAI.
  29. Parragh, S. N., Doerner, K. F., and Hartl, R. F. (2008). A Survey on Pickup and Delivery Problems Part II: Transportation between Pickup and Delivery Locations. Journal für Betriebswirtschaft, 58(2):81-117.
  30. Rekersbrink, H., Ludwig, B., and Scholz-Reiter, B. (2007). Entscheidungen selbststeuernder logistischer Objekte. Industrie Management, 23(4):25-30.
  31. Russell, S. J. and Norvig, P. (2010). Artificial Intelligence - A Modern Approach. Pearson Education, 3rd edition.
  32. Ruys, T. C. (2003). Optimal scheduling using branch and bound with SPIN 4.0. In SPIN, pages 1-17.
  33. Ruys, T. C. and Brinksma, E. (1998). Experience with literate programming in the modelling and validation of systems. In TACAS, pages 393-408.
  34. Saffidine, A. (2014). Solving Games and All That. PhD thesis, University Paris-Dauphine.
  35. Valmari, A. (1991). A stubborn attack on state explosion. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 531:156-165.
  36. Wooldridge, M. (2000). Reasoning about Rational Agents. The MIT Press.
  37. Wooldridge, M. (2002). An Introduction to Multi-Agent Systems. Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Edelkamp S. and Greulich C. (2016). Branch-and-Bound Optimization of a Multiagent System for Flow Production using Model Checking . In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence - Volume 1: ICAART, ISBN 978-989-758-172-4, pages 27-37. DOI: 10.5220/0005705100270037

in Bibtex Style

author={Stefan Edelkamp and Christoph Greulich},
title={Branch-and-Bound Optimization of a Multiagent System for Flow Production using Model Checking},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence - Volume 1: ICAART,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence - Volume 1: ICAART,
TI - Branch-and-Bound Optimization of a Multiagent System for Flow Production using Model Checking
SN - 978-989-758-172-4
AU - Edelkamp S.
AU - Greulich C.
PY - 2016
SP - 27
EP - 37
DO - 10.5220/0005705100270037