************* Call For Papers *************

CONCURRENT ENGINEERING: Research and Applications
(CERA) -- An International Journal


"The Application of Multi-agent Systems to Concurrent Engineering"


David C. Brown
Computer Science Department
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA 01609

Susan Lander
Staff Scientist
Blackboard Technology Group
401 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002.

Charles Petrie
Senior Research Associate
Center for Design Research
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2232


Concurrent Engineering (CE) is concerned with making better products in less time. A basic tenet of the approach is that all aspects of the product's life-cycle should be considered as early as possible in the design-to-manufacturing process. For example, this allows Recycling to be considered at product design time.

Early consideration of later phases of the life-cycle brings to light problems that will occur downstream and, therefore, supports intelligent and informed decision-making throughout the process. Thus, considering packaging and distribution during product design would allow package design to proceed more-or-less concurrently.

A key idea for implementing CE is the use of teams in which each member (either human or computational) is an expert on some aspect of the product in a phase of its life-cycle. The diversity of team members produces significant challenges in maintaining effective communication and providing appropriate computational support. Members may be geographically distributed, have different terminology, perspectives and goals, and may interact through a heterogeneous mix of computer platforms.

Software agents may be primary members of a team, in which case the agents do product and process design. Alternatively, software agents may act in a support role, for example as communication specialists, mediators, translators, managers, tool specialists, schedulers, coordinators, and retrievers of information.

We will consider papers that discuss infrastructure issues (for example, architectures for supporting virtual teams, decision-support tools, and design rationale) as well as those that concentrate on more theoretical issues (for example, specifications of shared languages, constraint-based problem solving, and negotiation).

Papers are requested on topics concerned with multi-agent systems that support and enhance the CE process. In particular, we are soliciting papers concerned with the role of multi-agent systems in the early consideration of all aspects of a product's life-cycle, and the role of multi-agent systems in support of concurrent decision-making. All papers should comment on their contribution to these issues.


CERA is an international journal published quarterly by Technomic Publishing Inc. whose purpose is to provide a forum for the dissemination of multidisciplinary scientific work on Concurrent Engineering based on computer technologies. It is an official journal of the Concurrent Engineering Institute of the International Society for Productivity Enhancement (ISPE). Subscription and other information can be obtained by contacting:

CERA Managing Editor, 
CERA Institute, P.O. Box 250254,
West Bloomfield, MI 48325, USA. 
Fax: (313) 661 8333: 
Email: bprasad@cmsa.gmr.com
See the CERA web page for more information about the journal.


Manuscripts should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages in length including all figures and references. Papers must not have been previously published or be currently submitted for publication elsewhere. Initial abstracts and manuscripts should have a title page including the authors' full names, affiliations, physical and email addresses. Papers must be double spaced, single-sided, on 8.5" x 11" paper, with 1" margins all around, in a 12 point font.

Final manuscripts must meet the guidelines for the CERA Journal set forth by CERA Institute -- these appear inside the back cover of the journal and on the CERA authors instructions web page.

Papers will be reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. Papers that cannot be accomodated in this special issue, or that do not match the topics relevant for this special issue, will be considered for the Proceedings of the Third International Concurrent Engineering Research & Applications Conference scheduled for August, 1996.



Please submit your abstract via email to all three guest editors:
David Brown		Susan Lander		Charles Petrie
dcb@cs.wpi.edu		lander@cs.umass.edu	petrie@cdr.stanford.edu
Please submit your manuscripts to:
Dr. David C. Brown
CERA Special Issue
Computer Science Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Rd.
Worcester, MA 01609

Phone: (508) 831-5618
FAX:   (508) 831-5776
Email: dcb@cs.wpi.edu

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Last updated by dcb@cs.wpi.edu, 10th April 1995.