Modeling and deadlock avoidance of automated manufacturing systems with multiple automated guided vehicles

Naiqi Wu, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


An automated manufacturing system (AMS) contains a number of versatile machines (or workstations), buffers, an automated material handling system (MHS), and is computer-controlled. An effective and flexible alternative for implementing MHS is to use automated guided vehicle (AGV) system. The deadlock issue in AMS is very important in its operation and has extensively been studied. The deadlock problems were separately treated for parts in production and transportation and many techniques were developed for each problem. However, such treatment does not take the advantage of the flexibility offered by multiple AGVs. In general, it is intractable to obtain maximally permissive control policy for either problem. Instead, this paper investigates these two problems in an integrated way. First we model an AGV system and part processing processes by resource-oriented Petri nets, respectively. Then the two models are integrated by using macro transitions. Based on the combined model, a novel control policy for deadlock avoidance is proposed. It is shown to be maximally permissive with computational complexity of O(n2) where n is the number of machines in AMS if the complexity for controlling the part transportation by AGVs is not considered. Thus, the complexity of deadlock avoidance for the whole system is bounded by the complexity in controlling the AGV system. An illustrative example shows its application and power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1202
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Automated guided vehicle
  • Automated manufacturing
  • Deadlock avoidance
  • Petri nets


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