Computer Science


The research project Industry 4.0 of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Schöler at the University of Applied Sciences uses a cyber-physical system with software agents to control a factory. The concept of a cyber-physical system (CPS) for smart buildings is motivated by the architectural ideas of the Industry 4.0 project, so the motivation is that a software agent based cyber-physical system also could be flexible enough to control a smart building.

Cyber-Physical Systems in Buildings

A perfect use case for a cyber-physical systems is a smart building, because the CPS can use the sensors and actuators of it to interact with the physical world. Also a smart building needs a system which uses its sensors and actuators to control it and a cyber-physical system will do so. The sensors of the building producing information, they come into the system as a stream of events, each event containing the current state of one sensor. This stream of events has to be processed as fast as possible to react in real time on events which happened in the physical world, like the falling rain on an open skylight. To do so, the CPS must have the capability to process events fast and recognize complex events. Jobs of the cyber-physical system are the complex event processing, read information from sensors or communicate with actuators. Also humans will interact with the building and the job is to process the tasks created by a human. All this jobs are different and must be done simultaneously and autonomously. The designed system uses a software agent for each job, they can work autonomously and all the software agents will act simultaneously. One software agent can do the complex event processing, one can communicate with sensors and actuators and one can run tasks, created by humans. Also a software agent is needed to perform tasks, like to stop the heating of a room or to close all skylights. It knows which actuators must be notified to perform a particular task.