Lopez Ortega, Omar; Lopez de la Cruz, Karla (2010) A communication protocol among agents for exchanging data in the extended enterprise. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 383 - 396. DOI 10.1007/s00170-010-2606-6
To compete in the current interconnected world, manufacturing companies shall explore varied forms of collaboration in order to maintain the creation of valueadded goods and services. The extended enterprise is one of the proposed approaches to improve collaboration among individual enterprises. Such paradigm is based on the fact that core capabilities must be shared by participating firms so they can exploit jointly the best resources and practices each firm provides. Nevertheless, data exchange is not carried fluently due to poor coordination among the firms. We claim that business processes help define the dynamics of data exchange associated to core capabilities being the basis to establish a communication protocol among software agents. The resultant multi-agent system coordinates data flow among organizations. Agents are given autonomy and intelligence to make decisions regarding the data that is either needed or offered, as defined by the corresponding business process. We present a case study to validate our proposal.