The transformation from classic monolithic systems to distributed, more intelligent and autonomous e-Work networks has resulted in the development of many tools for supporting e-Systems over the last decade. In Chapter 4, we discussed agents and agent-based systems, as a basic cornerstone of collaborative e-Work along with the principal techniques for the optimal design and control of e-Systems based on them. This chapter introduces decision support systems (DSS) and communication protocols, as the other essential supporting tools for collaborative e-Work, along with more details on various types of software agents (Fig. 5.1). The human-/computer-integrated tools, i.e., computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) and human-computer interaction (HCI), will be discussed in the next chapters. Decision support systems refer to an interactive computerized system that helps people make decisions based on information that is culled from a wide range of sources. Protocols provide an efficient and effective platform for autonomous entities to interact and be productive. Software agents enable the automation and integration of flexible, adaptive and heterogeneous activities, components, and tasks in a collaborative network.
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- Tools for e-Work
Shimon Y. Nof
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg