An argumentation-oriented multi-agent system for automating the freight planning process

Harry K.H. Chow, Winson Siu, Chi Kong Chan, Chun Bun Henry Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper advocates the use of multi-agent systems in the freight forwarding industry. We propose an intelligent mobile agent system to cope with a dynamic freight forwarding environment where up-to-date information is crucial but time-consuming to obtain. A key component of our system is an agent argumentation mechanism that allows decision support agents to discuss, argue, and come to a compromise in order to derive well-explained freight planning solutions. A number of artificial intelligence mechanisms are implemented, namely: (1) a mobile-agent-based automated information gathering mechanism, where designated mobile agents access various websites automatically to gather information (e.g.; weather conditions on a candidate route) critical for cargo consolidation and route planning, (2) a fuzzy logics engine for risk evaluation, and (3) a simulated annealing engine for optimizing cargo consolidation. A system prototype is developed and the feasibility of our approach is demonstrated in a case study. A series of experiments are also conducted to evaluate the system's performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3858-3871
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Argumentation
  • Freight forwarding
  • Multi-agent system
  • Route planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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