Mobile Workforce Management in a Service-Oriented Enterprise: Capturing Concepts and Requirements in a Multi-Agent Infrastructure

Mobile Workforce Management in a Service-Oriented Enterprise: Capturing Concepts and Requirements in a Multi-Agent Infrastructure

Dickson K.W. Chiu (Dickson Computer Systems, Hong Kong), S.C. Cheung (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong) and Ho-fung Leung (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-180-3.ch005
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Abstract

In a service-oriented enterprise, the professional workforce such as salespersons and support staff tends to be mobile with the recent advances in mobile technologies. There are increasing demands for the support of mobile workforce management (MWM) across multiple platforms in order to integrate the disparate business functions of the mobile professional workforce and management with a unified infrastructure, together with the provision of personalized assistance and automation. Typically, MWM involves tight collaboration, negotiation, and sophisticated business-domain knowledge, and thus can be facilitated with the use of intelligent software agents. As mobile devices become more powerful, intelligent software agents can now be deployed on these devices and hence are also subject to mobility. Therefore, a multiagent information-system (MAIS) infrastructure provides a suitable paradigm to capture the concepts and requirements of an MWM as well as a phased development and deployment. In this book chapter, we illustrate our approach with a case study at a large telecommunication enterprise. We show how to formulate a scalable, flexible, and intelligent MAIS with agent clusters. Each agent cluster comprises several types of agents to achieve the goal of each phase of the workforce-management process, namely, task formulation, matchmaking, brokering, commuting, and service.

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