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Design for the Unexpected - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128036624, 9780128036969

Design for the Unexpected

1st Edition

From Holonic Manufacturing Systems towards a Humane Mechatronics Society

4.5 star rating 2 Reviews
Authors: Paul Valckenaers Hendrik Van Brussel
Paperback ISBN: 9780128036624
eBook ISBN: 9780128036969
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 18th November 2015
Page Count: 234
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Design for the Unexpected: From Holonic Manufacturing Systems Towards a Humane Mechatronics Society presents new, even revolutionary, ideas to managing production and production systems which may fundamentally shift the paradigm of manufacturing systems design. It provides guidelines for the design of complex systems that can deal with unexpected disturbances and presents a decentralized control methodology that goes far beyond the traditional hierarchical control approach that currently prevails.

The benefits are illustrated by a variety of examples and case studies from different fields, with the book's  well-established authors presenting Holonic Manufacturing Systems (HMS) as the framework for the ‘factory-of-the-future’, and suggesting that the application of biologically inspired control paradigms can control complex manufacturing systems, and that there are far wider applications for these systems than pure manufacturing. In addition, the book explores how this multi-agent control framework can be extended to other fields such as traffic, transport, services, and health care.

Key Features

  • Provides a practical control system architecture that can be applied to a wide variety of systems in manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and robotics
  • Contains a wide range of case studies from different engineering disciplines
  • Provides a decentralized control methodology that goes beyond the traditional hierarchical control approach that currently prevails
  • A must-read resource for researchers and professionals alike


Mechanical engineers; manufacturing engineers; system engineers; industrial engineers; MSc and PhD students; production system designers; production planners, ICT strategy and vision developers, IT professionals.

Table of Contents

  • About the Authors
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Setting the Stage
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviations
    • A sample scenario
    • Mirror the world-of-interest (WOI)
    • Move as much as possible into this WOI mirror image
    • Minimize inertia of design choices
    • A sample scenario (continued)
  • Chapter Two: On the Design of Complex Systems
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviations
    • On simple, complicated, complex, and complex-adaptive systems
    • On the design of complex-adaptive systems
    • Top–down functional design and development
    • Object-oriented design and development
    • Collective decision making and architecture-centric design
    • Summary and remarks
  • Chapter Three: Design for the Unexpected
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviations
    • Problems and solutions
    • Emergent solutions and integration problems
    • Design principles – design for the unexpected
    • P1. Problem solvers must avoid introducing potentially harmful constraints
    • P2. Problem solvers must avoid/reduce the inertia build-up for potentially harmful constraints
    • Conclusion and remarks
  • Chapter Four: Laws of the Artificial
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviation
    • On the meaning of the word law
    • Axioms
    • Law 1: Holonic systems – flexible hierarchies
    • Law 2: Autocatalytic sets – critical user mass
    • Lock-in
    • Law 3: Steering without centralization
    • Law 4: Collective imagination and proactiveness
    • Conclusion and remarks
  • Chapter Five: Holonic Manufacturing Systems
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviations
    • Holonic systems
    • The PROSA reference architecture (Van Brussel et al., 1998)
    • Bio-inspired coordination and control in holonic execution systems
    • Socially acceptable behaviors for DMAS
    • Cooperation of HMES with planning systems
    • Concluding remarks
  • Chapter Six: The ARTI Reference Architecture – PROSA Revisited
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviations
    • Integrated with reality in the D4U preferred manner
    • Software/system development
    • The ARTI reference architecture
    • The DMAS architectural pattern
    • Challenges and lessons learned from applications
    • Toward a humane (mechatronic) society
    • Summary
  • Chapter Seven: Case Studies and Research Projects
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviations
    • Manufacturing case studies
    • Nonmanufacturing case studies (Van Belle, 2013; Van Belle et al., 2011a; Van Belle et al., 2011b; Van Belle et al., 2013; Van Belle et al., 2009)
    • Ongoing and forthcoming case studies
  • Chapter Eight: Work by Others
    • Abstract
    • Abbreviation
    • Production 2000+ (Bussmann et al., 2004; Schild and Bussmann, 2007)
    • XPRESS (XPRESS, 2007–2011)
    • PROSA siblings – ADACOR (ADACOR, home page; Leitão, 2004; Leitão and Restivo, 2006)
    • Ant colonies and stigmergy
  • Chapter Nine: Summary and Outlook
    • Summary
    • Outlook – Toward a humane and respectful mechatronic society
  • Appendix I: What are (Software) Agents?
  • Appendix II: Simulation, Emulation, and Modeling
  • Appendix III: Design by Abduction No Longer Suffices
  • Subject Index


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© Butterworth-Heinemann 2016
18th November 2015
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Paul Valckenaers

Professor Valckenaers has a Master’s degree in engineering, specializing in computer science, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from KU Leuven. He has over 25 years of research experience, including participation in numerous international cooperative research projects. He has translated and applied the concept of a holonic execution system to multiple domains: manufacturing, logistics, networked production, fleet robotics, traffic and transportation, smart grids, integrated healthcare.

Affiliations and Expertise

Faculty of Engineering Technology, KU Leuven, Belgium, Department of Healthcare and Technology, UC Leuven, Belgium

Hendrik Van Brussel

Professor Van Brussel is world-renowned for his research on robotics, mechatronics and holonic manufacturing systems. During his career of 40+ years, he has been active in the intersection zone between several disciplines: mechanical engineering, electronics and control engineering, information technology; a domain which is now called "mechatronics". He has held numerous positions and won many notable awards and honors during his career.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium

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