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A Framework for Semantic Description and Interoperability across Cyber-Physical Systems

Amita Singh; Fabian Quint; Patrick Bertram; Martin Ruskowski
In: International Journal on Advances in Intelligent Systems (IARIA), Vol. 12, Pages 70-81, IARIA, 2019.


With the advent of Industry 4.0 and human-in-the-loop paradigms, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are becoming increasingly common in production facilities, and, consequently, there has been a surge of interest in the field. In production systems, CPS, which assist humans in completing tasks are called assistance systems. Most recent designs proposed for assistance systems in the production domain are monolithic and allow only limited modifications. In contrast, this work considers an assistance system to have a hybrid architecture consisting of a central entity containing the process description (or instructions) and one or more plug-and-play Cyber-Physical Systems to retrieve relevant information from the physical environment. Such a design allows the overall system capabilities to be adapted to the needs of workers and tasks. In this paper, a framework is presented for designing the CPS modules using Semantic Web technologies, which will allow (i) interpretation of all data, and (ii) interoperability among the modules, from the very outset. Furthermore, a knowledge description model and ontology development of a CPS module is described. Two different models of maintaining ontologies and the ecosystem are described along with their advantages and disadvantages. An approach is illustrated with the help of a use case for implementing the framework to design a module, data exchange among modules, and to build a sustainable ecosystem of ontologies, which enables rapid development of third-party CPS modules. An implementation is provided discussing hardware, software and communication design of such a module and future...