agriOpenLink: Challenges and Approach
There are two severe obstacles that must be overcome in order to reach the full benefits of the intelligent farming vision. These can be summarized as follows:
- Closed Data Interfaces: Because of the significant operational cost savings on the production side, the market for new devices and technology is rapidly growing. As a major trend we are witnessing emergence of specialized proprietary applications which can integrate the equipment of only one vendor. While the integrated equipment has a potential to generate large amounts of data the interfaces are closed in the sense that the data cannot be used for integration with other subsystems.
- Closed Process Implementation: Each of the emerging applications internally instruments a specific agricultural process; however the process knowledge, i.e. the process optimization model is hidden and encapsulated within a specialized application. This means that two applications cannot be easily combined to represent a new process; the problem is that the process knowledge is not formally captured and the process implementation is closed making it impossible for different processes to exchange internal data. This leads to very low level of process adaptation and no support for simple creation of new processes.
agriOpenLink addresses these problems at both the interface and at the process level, by provide methodology and technological solution that supports flexible agricultural process configuration based on extensible interoperability of data interfaces and process models enabling flexible process monitoring and opens the field for new ways of process re-optimization.
Our approach is based on extensive use of semantic and service technology. Flexible extensible system design will be based on describing the functions available in the system as atomic semantic services which can use or serve other services and can be dynamically discovered. Such system can flexibly grow as new interoperable devices and services are plugged-in into the system. This approach can stimulate creation of new ICT applications that support and improve agricultural production processes. Target users of the results of the product are developers of ICT applications for the production process control. Usability of the solution shall enable rapid growth in the ICT-enabled smart farming segment.
- Flexible configurability: by assuring interoperability of data and process models the solution flexibly integrates any device and creates processes by combination of existing ones.
- Flexible monitoring: by collecting and processing measurement and status data from the networked devices (sensors, actuators and distributed platforms) involved in the production process the solution detect the real-time status of the agricultural process.
- Real time re-optimization: the solution supports flexible configuration of optimization policies acting on monitored data for fast immediate process adaptations.
- Proactive re-optimization: the solution also includes autonomous analysis of archived process data and corresponding policies and algorithms to detect potential for process optimization on a longer time-scale.