Interoperability of Virtual Organizations on a Complex Semantic Grid

Introduction

Long term, stable business relations of the past are rapidly being complemented by ad-hoc partnerships based on sharing of competencies to deliver one-of-a-kind products and services across all industrial sectors. The virtual organisation is an organisational form supporting inter-enterprise collaboration in one-off settings where several partners may be unknown. Supporting virtual organizations has been central in grid technology development. Most of the practical results of grid technology however, only offer mechanisms for high performance distributed computation and storage.

The goal of InteliGrid is to provide a grid-based integration and interoperability infrastructure to complex industries such as construction, automotive and aerospace. Our vision of future engineering is a flexible, secure, robust, ambient accessible, interoperable, pay-per demand access to information, communication and processing resources.

The key scientific challenge of InteliGrid is: How can grid technology be used to provide a mechanism to support the interoperability of software and services working with complex and semantically rich information within virtual organisational settings.

One of the major technological goals of InteliGrid is to make the grid infrastructure available to the small to medium enterprise (SME) companies that are providing and using engineering software and services. The core competencies of these companies are in topics such as structural mechanics or 3D solid modelling and not in the latest trends in middleware technology or interoperability platforms. The project will help SMEs to enhance their applications with grid-computing capabilities and increase efficiency provided by semantics.

Technology

InteliGrid is creating a platform supporting various emerging international standards (WSRF, OGSA, WS-I, etc.) for the semantic integration of distributed engineering services using intelligent ontology services to bridge the gap between technical grid concepts and engineering domain concepts. Key building blocks of this solution are the InteliGrid Portal, InteliGrid Document Management, InteliGrid Ontology Services, InteliGrid Business Object Services as well as several semantically annotated applications.

Use cases

Civil safety

Our reliance on safe and well-built infrastructure (buildings, bridges, dams, power supplies, etc.) that can withstand both natural and manmade disasters cannot be over-stated. Methods in use today by engineers are based on numerous approximations and assumptions that form the basis of compromise between accuracy and what is humanly or computationally feasible to simulate. With the power of grid infrastructure, designers and engineers will be able to analyse a much broader spectrum of solutions resulting in safer design at a lower cost. Using grid technology, the InteliGrid infrastructure will allow engineers both functional and computational power to analyse a much broader spectrum of solutions leading to better, safer, more long lasting, and low cost infrastructure.

Infrastructure

Engineers are accustomed to building infrastructure grids such as water and electrical networks. InteliGrid acts as a building grid where engineers can co-design and manage facilities at a new level of security, interoperability and performance.

Aerospace

Data sharing and information management for the collaboration in the design and production of complex products such as the Eurofigher or an Airbus is extremely demanding and subject to security and integrity concerns. The number of domain experts and applications engaged is such engineering is virtually infinite. InteliGrid is developing technologies that will provide secure access to object-oriented validated data in such collaborative environments, using grid standards.

Building lifecycle

The InteliGrid platform provides coordinated resource and competency sharing to the different organisations involved in the design, construction and use of facilities. It provides controlled access to shared information structured in accordance with international standards such as the ISO-STEP and IAI-IFC. InteliGrid provides a semantic interoperability level on top of these standards that will allow the users to use their own domain concepts when working with IT.

 
updated on July 3, 2007
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