ARTI Reference Architecture – PROSA Revisited

  • Paul ValckenaersEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 803)


This paper discusses the history of PROSA, a reference architecture for Holonic Manufacturing Systems. PROSA’s journey started with a meeting in Leuven during which the ‘spaghetti diagram’ – created by Jan Detand – triggered a discussion that resulted in the first version of PROSA. Jo Wyns and Hendrik Van Brussel recognized its potential and their efforts resulted in the doctoral thesis from Jo and the widely-known paper on PROSA in Computers in Industry. Building on a solid foundation, the PROSA team has added the D-MAS architectural pattern, has differentiated between decision-making Intelligent Agents and reality-reflecting Intelligent Beings, and has expanded the range of applications well beyond manufacturing. Today, the PROSA architecture has been refined and retitled into the ARTIActivity Resource Type Instance – architecture. This paper discusses this journey emphasizing to what extent ARTI and PROSA reflect Scientific Laws of the Artificial – as envisioned by Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon. In view of the Industry 4.0 ambitions, PROSA’s and ARTI’s features and properties become the translation of the inevitable implications of bounded rationality. In other words, deviating from the reference architecture (beyond rephrasing its terminology) will have inescapable drawbacks as regards scalability, scope-ability, viability and longevity. These reference architectures will be inescapable in the manner that a mechanical engineer cannot afford to ignore Newton’s Laws (e.g. gravity) or an energy engineer cannot ignore Carnot’s Principles (e.g. the impossibility of a perpetuum mobile). But, perhaps, Einstein’s theories are the more accurate metaphor where Newton’s Laws are adequate at low velocities while relativity theory becomes essential when getting closer to the speed of light. Here, the ambitions of Industry 4.0 bring the operating point closer to the speed of light with its demand for scalability, viability, adaptability, openness and interoperability. Industry 4.0 ambitions render bounded rationality and its implications inevitable.


Holonic manufacturing system Reference architecture PROSA ARTI Intelligent agents Intelligent beings Digital twins Industry 4.0 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering TechnologyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Digital SolutionsUCLLLeuvenBelgium

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