Agents-as-a-Service – a novel approach to on-premise digital twins – By FH AACHEN



Enterprises face the challenge of keeping up with the fast pacing rate of digitalization and Industry 4.0. Systems and products increase in complexity; thus, data and information must be tracked accurately and technologies utilized efficiently. Two of the key enablers of these developments are digital twins (DTs) and industrial agents (IAs). Current literature offers definitions, architectures, and views of DTs. However, those views are not unified, and frameworks for DTs and IAs technologies are missing. We propose a general basis for a DT architecture as well as a multi-agent systems (MASs) framework that combines the concepts of DTs and IAs and is manufacturing focussed. Our architectural view on DTs generalizes the reference architecture model industry 4.0 (RAMI 4.0) and shows how IAs integrate into DT concepts. The linkage to RAMI 4.0 aims towards standardizing the architectural concepts of DTs and bringing them closer to a unity that is not only compatible with well-defined Industry 4.0 terminology but also open to non-manufacturing related use cases. Both proposed frameworks are used to describe and explain how a MAS can be realized according to the introduced models.
This cross-border research was conducted in frame of the Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine Digital Twin Academy Project funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union. 
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