A Multi-Agent Framework to Solve Energy-Aware Unrelated Parallel Machine Scheduling Problems with Machine-Dependent Energy Consumption and Sequence-Dependent Setup Time
Nowadays,the manufacturing industry consumes almost half of the energy produced on the planet. Within this industry, sustainable scheduling represents a main issue due to the energy efficiency that it is able to achieve. Centralized or decentralized approaches to sustainable scheduling can be found in state-of- the-art techniques using both optimal or heuristic methods. In this paper, a distributed system modelled as a multi-agent framework is proposed to solve energy-aware scheduling problems by applying it to a real case of the injection air moulding industry, which has intense energy consumption. In this proposal, a set of agents collaborate to reach an agreement in order to minimize several objective functions based on: total job weighted tardiness, total setup time, and energy consumption. The proposed system is compared to centralized and distributed approaches, highlighting advantages and drawbacks and providing an interesting point of view about how to tackle energy-aware scheduling with new agreement techniques in a distributed environment.