Modelling efficient virtual enterprises (VEs) represents a real challenge in the context of dynamic, complex and extending business markets. Among the modelling approaches proposed for VEs, multi-agent systems are more suitable due to their basic characteristics of flexibility, modularity, distributivity as well as some characteristics such as adaptability and learning, that could be added in order to improve the overall VE performance and scalability. The application of VEs and agent-based VEs were proposed for several industrial domains: automotive industry, food industry, electronics and telecommunications, transportation, robotics, for manufacturing and supply chain problems solving. This paper presents a generic framework for virtual enterprises development, VE-Frame, and an agent-based virtual enterprise model, ABVE-Construct, for the civil engineering domain, derived from the VE-Frame. Also, a case study of using the model for a building construction scenario, and the model adaptation options for other domains of applications are discussed.
Special Issue Papers