Thursday 02 Dec 2021: Integrated Multi-project Planning and Scheduling - A Multiagent Approach
Allen He - University of Exeter - Department of Engineering
Today's project organisations are conducting their daily activities for multi-projects where a group of scarce resources are shared amongst several parallel projects. In addition, due to the implementation of lean and agile production, they have consumed more and more resources from external environment (i.e., non-regular resources) when performing projects. Therefore, how to effectively schedule the shared resources across projects and meanwhile optimally plan the required capacities of non-regular resources for an entire multi-project becomes a critical problem for project organisations.
Our research proposes a multi-agent approach to address the resource planning and scheduling decisions of the problem in an integrated manner. We model a multi-project as a hierarchical multi-agent system consisting of a multi-project portfolio agent (MPA), a resource agent (RA) and a set of project agents (PAs). Decisions are made by these agents through a hierarchical coordination mechanism. Basically, the decision of resource planning for an entire multi-project is obtained from the resource requirements proposed by projects according to their scheduling decisions, which are coordinated iteratively by MPA through controlling the allocation of shared resources to projects. The scheduling decision of each project is made by its PA using the model of multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem. A genetic algorithm and an ant colony optimisation algorithm are proposed for decision optimisations of resource planning and project scheduling, respectively.