Linked Data as Integrating Technology for Industrial Data

Linked Data as Integrating Technology for Industrial Data

Markus Graube (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany), Johannes Pfeffer (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany), Jens Ziegler (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) and Leon Urbas (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jdst.2012070104
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In a globalised world the process industry faces challenges regarding data management. Rising demands for agility and rapid shortening of innovation cycles have lead to project-based collaborations. Highly specialised small and medium enterprises are forming “virtual companies” for their mutual benefit. However, today’s industrial data structures are very heterogeneous, complicating collaborative work and hindering the flow of data between stakeholders from different domains. Existing solutions are too rigid and potentially cumbersome. A broad gap still exists between the need of virtual companies to share data from mixed sources in a controlled way and the technologies available. The authors’ approach uses semantic web technologies to represent industrial data in a generic way. Major advantages in comparison to traditional approaches arise from the inherent merging abilities and the extensibility of Linked Data. Distributed information spaces from different domains can be condensed into an interlinked cloud. Existing data can be integrated either on-the-fly using appropriate adapters or by complete migration. Furthermore, operations from graph theory can be performed on the Linked Data networks to generate aggregated views. This article discusses a set of proven web technologies for cloud-driven industrial data sharing in virtual companies and presents first results.
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Context of Use

In industrial process plants and on production sites, electrical, mechanical and hydraulic equipment is connected in a multitude of ways to form a productive system. Professionals from many different trades (among others mechanical, electrical & computer engineers) work together and share information. All these professionals may potentially work for different stakeholders – especially when virtual companies are considered (Thompson, 2008). At any time during the phases of planning, manufacturing and productive use of a plant, they may need collaborative access to different types of data, both sequentially and in parallel.

Industrial corporate environments have higher requirements for trusted and secure information exchange than the open web. Besides that, however, the need to coordinate large distributed information islands is quite similar to that of the public semantic web. Both have to make unstructured or semi-structured data available for their target users (Allemang, 2010).

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