There exists a need to glue together complex,
heterogeneous systems of data acquisition, processing, and presentation.
Information within one system should be used in other systems.
Configuring these interconnections on a system-to-system basis is
not efficient. Finding a
means to map these interfaces onto a standardized pipeline guarantees
flexibility in the advent of unforeseen interconnection possibilities or
the addition or subtraction of new systems.
Model Integrated Computing (MIC) helps creating systems where an
extensible linking of components occurs through system modeling.
We want to solve our domain-specific issues of system integration
and synthesis in exploiting MIC techniques.
The resulting MIC environment should allow for extreme ease of
target reconfiguration and expose the least possible number of details
associated with whatever target is synthesized.
The target is a run-time network consisting of data acquisition,
processing, and presentation systems; these form complex activities.
A core signal flow paradigm has been created and
utilized for data distribution in the context of both modeling and
run-time environments. A
modeling environment has been chosen allowing for the creation of models
that govern the characteristics of the signal flow network, and the data
acquisition, processing, and presentation systems.
The creation of these models allows for the specification of target
relevant to each of the system interfaces must be collected and migrated
into a form capable of generic interconnection.
Upon modeling paradigm creation, model specification allows for
complete configuration and synthesis of environments satisfying the system
integration requirements at hand.
A prototype has been installed and is being
evaluated at the DuPont Chemical Corporation’s Old Hickory DMT plant.
This prototype includes a modeling paradigm inspired through needs
of interconnecting a Process Monitoring and Control (PM&C) Variable
Database, chemical plant simulation software, remote graphical user
interfaces, and processing nodes. This paradigm results in the creation of a target environment
application that assists operators in making informed decisions based on
temporal plant conditions. System
modelers familiar with the domain produce such environments that are
rapidly created and migratable to serve current plant operational needs.
Breakthrough Aspect of Work
A high level approach and framework has been specified for which
environments consisting of complex, heterogeneous systems can quickly be
created, modified, and extended. The
modeling interface remains unchanged regardless of the complexity or
multiplicity of the underlying entities connected to the signal flow
network. Modeled networked
presentation interfaces are instantiated on demand in response to the
needs of the signal flow network. Environment
instances that independently would require excessive amounts of
development time can be created through this common framework.
Individuals capable of such environment creation need only have a
background consistent with the specific domain, instead of being forced to
acquire new integration skills. These
new skills previously crucial in integrating entities are unrelated to the
understanding of the functionality of such components, and unrelated to
the solutions that such system integration problems solve.
system integration tool has been developed allowing for specifying how
different systems interact with one another.
These activities have their characteristics represented in a model.
The efforts of creating models to represent the environment design
and the synthesis of the target environment yield results far superior to
“manual” integration strategies.
Furthermore, frequent modifications that are inherent to our
specific domain of interest are trivial.
The individual designing the environments can focus on the
semantics of the constituent systems rather than their interconnection
This is due to the efforts placed in moving the difficulties
associated with system integration into capturing environment
characteristics and using this information to synthesize a target