Proposal number: GRD1-2001-40496
Proposal acronym: MaBE
Project full title: Multi-agent Business Environment
Duration: 36 months
Project Co-ordinator: Profactor Produktionsforschungs GmbH Austria
ATOS Origin Italy
Tiga Technologies France
Atlante Sistemas S.L.Spain
University of Hannover Germany
Intier Automotive Eybl (Germany) GmbH Germany
Hanomag Härtol Lohnhaerterei GmbH Germany
Peddinghaus Oberflächenhärtung GmbH Germany
Hanomag Lohnhaerterei GmbH Germany
DHL International GmbH Austria
K.U. Leuven Belgium
University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology UK
The MaBE project significantly impacts the employment situation in the eBusiness sector in Europe and improves the working conditions of users especially in the business services domain, supporting them in decision-making processes. Through the inclusion of several business services also environmental aspects are influenced by the project.
Community added value and support of EU-policies
The MaBE Business Environment will improve the European productivity through faster handling of business services along the value chain. MaBE also supports the creation of extended enterprises as well as networking Virtual Enterprises and therefore increases the competitiveness of SMEs. The Industrial Support Group that will be built within the project enables a fast European wide dissemination of the project results.
Specific programme and time period of exploitation
This is a proposal for RTD actions in the thematic programme GROWTH, Key Action I, Targeted research Action 1.7 (Extended Enterprise). The software prototype will be developed to a commercial product within one year after project end.
Technical and scientific objectives and innovative aspects
The general project objective is to develop and to implement an information and communication infrastructure to establish eBusiness standards for networking enterprises, based on agent technology (agents can be seen as software modules with intelligent and autonomous features).
MaBE will develop a multiagent business environment to enable dynamic and automated combination of multiple, complementary and alternative services between different users and providers along the whole value chain (cf. fig. 1).
This enables internet-based and knowledge-driven discovery and selection of any business services, supporting service registration, resource allocation, negotiation, co-operation as well as automated collaboration processes and pre-selection of services within a net-economy.
MaBE also develops the connection of the common business environment to electronic marketplaces for business services. Such existing e-platforms extend the MaBE approach to an open business environment. The MaBE approach will serve as a decentralised environment for services that can dynamically be offered and ordered without reconfiguration.
Overview of scientific and technical workplan, main project output, milestones
To minimise the risk of this challenging project the structure of the workplan follows an iterative development process from industrial user requirements through multiagent system design to the final prototype implementation. The main project output is an agent-based software prototype for the decentralised discovery, selection and registration of business services. More detailed outputs are “Multi-sided Use Case Scenarios”, “Agent System Concept”, “1st Prototype” and “2nd Prototype”, which integrate the research objectives and technical objectives. Due to the high complexity there is a Milestone after each major phase to evaluate the project progress and to be able to react on critical project states.