Overview of the CABLER System

The CABLER (Collaborative, Agent-Based, Learning through Evolution, Router) system is a collection of automated and manual agents which tackle routing problems synergistically. Each one of these agents may interact with each other by suppling design hints in a shared workspace. By having the agents work independently, adding new routing techniques becomes as simple as plugging in additional agents.

A key feature of the system is an interactive, physically based routing representation which enables designers to move, clamp, and reroute a design in real-time. The enclosed screen SNAP shows a possible solution to a tough routing problem where 5 cable harnesses are routed around a simple environment. Each of the cable harnesses were routed independently and added to the environment sequentially. Each harness is then able to interact natually with each other and the obstacles to create a realistic routing.

There are three primary focuses of this work. First, the cable harness routing problem is currently a challenging, time-consuming task with many industrial applications. With the proper level of automation, the design time of cable harnesses, as well as other routable objects, can be greatly reduced. Second, the interactive representation lends itself well to domains where human involvement is needed to direct automated procedures toward optimal design. For example, in the cable routing domain, the designer is able to modify both the location of the routing and the topology of the routing itself. In this way, the designer is able to nudge designs away from local minima. The third focus is in the use of genetic algorithms to enable collaboration between several routing techniques. Here, design fragments are passed between techniques to produce increasingly better routings.

The following issues are addressed at the technical level:

The CABLER system has been funded by an NSF fellowship to Andrew Conru and by the SHADE ARPA contract.

Online Demo!

It is possible to do a SIMPLE test run of CABLER online! Currently housed on a server at EIT, you can define inputs to your routing problem and get a custom routing graphic all in real time. If you have any problems running the demo, please contact me.

Related Papers:

For more information on CABLER contact: Andrew Conru