Distributed Task Allocation

Task Allocation in Tomorrow’s Businesses

At CEBPI, we foster highly interdisciplinary research and international collaboration. This holds especially for our research in distributed task allocation.

Extending the centralized models of classical business process management and operations research, we are viewing the task allocation problem from a distributed optimization and control perspective, known from robotics and artificial intelligence. Always considering the human element, this enables us to incorporate advanced features such as scalability, flexibility, robustness and adaptivity into our prototypes of tomorrow’s inter-organizational workflow management systems.

Task Allocation in Complex Adaptive Systems

Highly dynamic and integrated business environments demand a new approach to existing monolithic, centralized IT solutions. Especially when thinking about networks of companies, possibly spread over several continents, the efficient allocation of resources to tasks or vice versa becomes a problem of considerable importance and difficulty.

This is exactly where adaptive (i.e. learning) computational solutions come into play: Being a set of distributed agents working at the interface between humans, software and hardware components, they form a sophisticated system themselves – and defeat complexity with complexity.

CEBPI is performing research especially in

  • Swarm Intelligence
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Multi-Agent Systems

Task Allocation in Complex Networks

An exciting new field of research is currently investigating the importance of links between individuals, businesses and other entities: the Science of Complex Networks. Most people have heard about and experienced how social networks affect our everyday lives. The same holds true for intra- and inter-organizational networks. It has been established, that there are certain properties within these ubiquitous networks which strongly influence the way IT systems and humans can operate on these networks.

Structure always affects function” – having this knowledge, it is paramount for organizations nowadays to exploit it before their competitors do – investigating the power of networks within the context of task allocation is just one aspect of our ongoing research in this area.

CEBPI is focussing especially on

  • Social (scale-free) Networks
  • Networks imposed on existing organizational structures
  • Peer-to-peer Networks

International Collaboration

We are working in close cooperation with top-rated international institutions, such as the Chair of Technology Management at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Mannheim Business School (Germany), and the Department of Informatics at the Munich University of Technology (Germany).