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Advanced Decision Support Systems

#B-1622


New Technologies for Advanced Decision Support Systems Destined for Designing and Scheduling in Engineering Systems

Tech Area / Field

  • MAN-MPS/Manufacturing, Planning, Processing and Control/Manufacturing Technology
  • INF-SOF/Software/Information and Communications
  • MAN-COM/CAD and CAM/Manufacturing Technology

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
04.04.2008

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Informatics Problems, Belarus, Minsk

Collaborators

  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg / Institut für Informatik, Germany, Freiburg\nInstitut National Polytechniques de Lorraine / Ecole des Mines de Nancy, France, Nancy\nUniversität Siegen / Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsinformatik, Germany, Siegen\nCNRS / Universite Joseph Fourier / Instutit National Politechnique de Grenoble / Laboratory G-SCOP, France, Grenoble\nEcole Nationale Supérieure des Mines, France, Saint-Etienne

Project summary

The Project’s Purpose. The objective of the Project is to promote new technologies for advanced decision support systems destined for designing and scheduling in engineering systems (within the framework of “Science Marketing and Promotion Activities” Program). The Project will use the methods, techniques and software for decision support of designing and scheduling obtained as a result of previous ISTC projects of the team and therefore it is based on the results of the ISTC Project B-986 “Models, Methods and Tools for Decision Support of Designing and Scheduling for the Engineering Systems with Parallel and Series Structure” and the ISTC Project B-104 “Optimization Methods and Tools for Design, Control and Management in Engineering Systems”. The Project will use wide experience obtained during joint work with the collaborators. The main subject areas of the Project are:
  1. design of multiposition equipment for production lines;
  2. design of multiunit transmission systems;
  3. scheduling for manufacturing processes and for supply chains;
  4. high-level design of logical control devices;
  5. assembly-welding fixture design and the computer forecast of stressed-strained state of welded structure.

The State of the Art in the Field. During the last decades great attention was focused on the development of specialized decision support systems (DSS) that are aimed at problem solving in specific subject areas. The technologies of development and implementation of specialized DSS for designing and scheduling proposed in the Project include the subject areas still not represented at appropriate level in the market of DSS for CAE. The design of multiposition equipment for production systems with operation blocks at working position is a wide open area for development and application of decision making and decision support technologies. Existing approaches, formal models, methods and software (for example, used in assembly line designing) cannot be directly used for such systems as far as they do not take into account the possibility of grouping operations to blocks. The collection of mathematical models and methods for designing manufacturing processes for such systems has been developed, in particular, by the Project participants. The power transmission systems belong to the most significant components of a great variety of engineering objects. In literature, insufficient attention was paid to complex problems of integrated design of multiple-unit power transmission systems. Main problem in the design of power transmission systems with the net structure consists in optimization of design parameters taking into account basic kinematic, strength and operational factors under uncertainty. A general approach to designing multiple-unit power transmission systems based on special hierarchical decomposition of obtained optimization problem has been developed by the Project participants. Scheduling is an important part of management activities. In the last decade, new requirements to the production process have appeared. They include the presence of a quality control system, computerized data processing, the need of addressing energy saving issues, environmental constraints, information security issues, efficient collaboration with suppliers and customers. Researchers of UIIP developed mathematical apparatus for solving design and scheduling problems, which reflect up-to-date requirements for the designed products and scheduling decisions. These requirements were taken into account in the following new scheduling models: scheduling with controllable job processing times; scheduling with learning/forgetting effects; scheduling with release date and due date negotiation; scheduling of reuse activities. Discrete devices became necessary parts of complicated engineering systems. Their design is performed in VLSI technology and is based on using the means of modern discrete mathematics. The application of powerful computer-aided design systems is quite necessary by that. A big variety of problems which arise under high-level design and optimization of logical control devices is reduced to combinatorial tasks, usually hard ones. Practically efficient means for dealing with them have been suggested. Assembly-welding fixtures (AWF) are used for locating and clamping welded parts and have wide applications in engineering. One of the main problems of the AWF design is forming the logical layout of AWF. Among the multiplicity of possible layout decisions should be chosen the best one which meets the requirements of precision, reliability and rigidity. The models and methods for designing logical layout of AWF have been developed by the participants of the Project in the framework of computer technology for designing assembly-welding technological tooling.

The Impact of the Proposed Project on the Progress in the Field. There will be proposed new technologies for advanced decision support systems for designing multiposition equipment for production lines and multiunit transmission systems; for scheduling decisions in supply chains, management and manufacturing processes; for designing assembly-welding fixtures and logical control devices. The ways of promotion of the proposed technologies will be analyzed; there will be used different tools of advertising: presentations, publications in special issues, news releases, organizing and participating in exhibitions, conferences, workshops. There will be upgraded and refined the mathematical models and special methods for finding optimal design, control and management decisions. There will be modified software for the prototypes of decision support systems in order to demonstrate potential and capability of the proposed technologies. As a result will be developed new technologies for the decision support systems adjusted to customers that allow improving the project quality and decreasing the time and labor expenditures.

Competence of the Project Team. Project team includes 19 participants (plus supporting personnel) each of them having great experience in developing models, methods and tools for decision support systems in engineering and management. Among them, there are eight Doctors (Hab.) of Sciences (including two Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus) and seven Candidates of Sciences. They have published 27 monographs (among them 7 in USA and Western Europe) and more than 900 papers (including more than 350 in International Journals and Proceedings). They have created a number of software optimization packages and decision support systems for design of mechanical constructions and logical control devices. Most of the participants were involved in the ISTC Projects B-986 (2004-2007) and B-104 (1998-2001); the results were published in 6 monographs and 138 papers including 31 in the International Journals and 107 in the Proceedings of the International Conferences. There were created prototypes and software components of the systems for decision making at the initial stage of design of multiunit mechanical transmissions and multihead machine tools as well as for design of circuits implementing parallel algorithms of logical control.

Expected Results and Their Application. The proposed Project is a Technology Demonstration project. There will be investigated the scientific and technical market for the proposed technologies for decision support systems. There will be examined the needs of potential customers, their preferences; weak and strong features of the competitors. The ways of promotion of the proposed technologies (advertising, partners search) will be analyzed; there will be used different tools of advertising: presentations, publications in special issues, news releases, organizing and participating in exhibitions, conferences, workshops. There will be upgraded and refined the mathematical models and special methods for finding optimal design, control and management decisions. There will be modified software for the prototypes of decision support systems in order to demonstrate potential and capability of the proposed technologies (demo prototypes and pilot versions). The expected results are: new technologies for decision support systems development; upgraded models, methods, tools and software for finding optimal design, control and management decisions; demo prototypes and pilot versions of decision support systems for designing the considered engineering systems; proposals to elaborate advanced decision support systems destined for designing and scheduling in engineering systems adjusted to potential customers; technology of the decision support systems price forming; creation of web-site for the technologies publicity and organizing interactive service-group for maintenance of software products; modified infrastructure of the laboratories of the Institute adapted for the decision support systems promotion; workshops, conferences, exhibitions materials; training courses for customers; certificates of training courses for project participants.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives. Project activities are in compliance with the ISTC objectives and targets because their implementation will provide an opportunity for thirteen specialists earlier involved in the development of missiles technologies to redirect their professional skills and knowledge to solving problems related with designing engineering systems for peaceful purpose; creating intellectual products in the form of new technologies for advanced decision support systems, as well as models, methods, algorithms and tools contributed to the solution of technical problems important for Belarus and world community; the results that form a basis for promotion, developing and perfecting marketable products responsive to civil needs and orient to potential end-consumers; a possibility for weapons scientists to integrate into the international scientific community in the area of discrete optimization and the theory of decision support systems.

Scope of Activities. The main tasks of the project are:

  1. analysis of the scientific and technical market for the proposed new technologies for decision support systems in the fields of main subject areas of the Project;
  2. development of proposals to elaborate advanced decision support systems destined for designing and scheduling in engineering systems adjusted to customers;
  3. promotion activities and advertising for search of the potential customers and partners;
  4. upgrading, adaptation and perfection of mathematical models, methods and algorithms for finding optimal design, control and management decisions on the basis of the proposed models;
  5. creation of demo prototypes and pilot versions of subject-oriented systems for making design and control decisions, which are based on the proposed technology and developed software;
  6. technical demonstration of the prototypes to users and potential customers;
  7. training for technical marketing and proposal preparation, project and financial management.

Role of Foreign Collaborators. The principal role of the collaborators consists in the following: joint analysis of the market of the proposed technologies for decision support systems destined for designing and scheduling in engineering; joint discussion of the requirements to the decision support systems structure, models and methods, algorithms and software; joint choice of the ways of promoting of the proposed technologies for decision support systems; consultations on the sources of literature that are relevant to the project; evaluation of intermediate and final results; participation in monitoring of project activities by indication of the possible ways of project evolution; joint participation in the international conferences, conduction of joint seminars and workshops. Collaborators will be provided with the following information on the project: description of prototypes of subject-oriented systems for making design and control decisions, description of models and methods for solving problems; technical reports, submitted by project participants to the ISTC; publications on the project results. Possible ways of collaboration are exchange of information, consultations, joint publications and attendance to international meetings, shared activities aimed at delivering project results to the market.

Technical Approach and Methodology. The project objectives will be ensured: by the system approach to the problems of promoting of the proposed technologies for decision support systems; by integrated investigation of scientific and technical market in the field of decision support systems; by preparing proposals and work offers, conducting negotiations with the potential customers and /or investors; by holding exhibitions, workshops; by developing the prototypes and pilot versions of decision support systems aimed at scope of problems similar for many customers; by conducting of technical demonstrations to users; by training for technical marketing, selling, proposal preparation, project management, financial management. When implementing adaptation, upgrading and perfection of mathematical models, methods and algorithms, there will be used: methodology and mathematical methods of operations research, discrete mathematics, theory of computational complexity of algorithms, the theory of decision support systems. Software that will be worked out within the project will be written in C++ language for PC Pentium and partly for supercomputer.


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