Towards Self-X cognitive manufacturing network: An industrial knowledge graph-based multi-agent reinforcement learning approach

Pai Zheng (Corresponding Author), Liqiao Xia, Chengxi Li, Xinyu Li (Corresponding Author), Bufan Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Empowered by the advanced cognitive computing, industrial Internet-of-Things, and data analytics techniques, today's smart manufacturing systems are ever-increasingly equipped with cognitive capabilities, towards an emerging Self-X cognitive manufacturing network with higher level of automation. Nevertheless, to our best knowledge, the readiness of ‘Self-X’ levels (e.g., self-configuration, self-optimization, and self-adjust/adaptive/healing) is still in the infant stage. To pave its way, this work stepwise introduces an industrial knowledge graph (IKG)-based multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) method for achieving the Self-X cognitive manufacturing network. Firstly, an IKG should be formulated based on the extracted empirical knowledge and recognized patterns in the manufacturing process, by exploiting the massive human-generated and machine-sensed multimodal data. Then, a proposed graph neural network-based embedding algorithm can be performed based on a comprehensive understanding of the established IKG, to achieve semantic-based self-configurable solution searching and task decomposition. Moreover, a MARL-enabled decentralized system is presented to self-optimize the manufacturing process, and to further complement the IKG towards Self-X cognitive manufacturing network. An illustrative example of multi-robot reaching task is conducted lastly to validate the feasibility of the proposed approach. As an explorative study, limitations and future perspectives are also highlighted to attract more open discussions and in-depth research for ever smarter manufacturing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-26
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Cognitive manufacturing
  • Graph embedding
  • Graph neural network
  • Industrial knowledge graph
  • Reinforcement learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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