Ongoing research being developed at the IIoT research department, fortiss, is focused on networking and computing architectures as basis for an efficient deployment and orchestration of heterogeneous and de-centralized services and resources. Specific aspects concern interoperability aspects, in particular when facing large-scale critical environments with heterogeneous components, such as in Industrial IoT environments. Specific topics: Edge/Fog/cCoud computing; semantic behavior to support real-time system adaptation; in-network computing architectures.
Past research has dealt with: mobile and wireless networks, in particular user-centric networks; new routing paradigms as well as advanced mobility management and inference paradigms, as well as in pushing the network operation closer to the end-user to reduce OPEX and CAPEX (user-centric networking).
HE CODECO (01.2023-12.2025). The Horizon Europe CODECO aims at assisting in supporting the edge cloud continuum via the development of a cognitive, decentralised edge cloud framework that integrates a unique, smart, and cross-layer orchestration between the decentralised data flow, computation, and networking services. The project will address six use cases in the areas of smart cities, energy, manufacturing and smart buildings.
Semantic Communications for IIoT (2023-2025). SemComIIoT is a mobility cooperation established between fortiss and Shandong University with the purpose of exploring the capability of Semantic Communications to support next generation IIoT applications, in particular in the context of 6G industrial scenarios. SemComIIoT aims at developing research in the context of semantic communications for Industrial IoT environments 6G large-scale sensing environments, where 6G applications (such as Metaverse applications) are expected to be based on a massive number of mobile devices, intelligent and with reasoning capabilities. The underlying infrastructure (wireless, cellular) will have to cope with massive volumes of data in real-time and in a reliable way. For the specific case of IioT, this implies transmitting data with minimum and maximum latency (below 1ms), achieving low jitter, and zero packet loss, while at the same time handling the so-called mobility gap, across heterogeneous networks, relying on different frequencies. In contrast to current host-oriented communication networks, semantic communications (SemCom) rely on coding approaches (e.g., network coding) to be able to inject data meaning, instead of raw data towards receivers. SemCom therefore relies on Edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) pre-processing, coupled with coding at the lower network layers (OSI MAC and PHY), to extract relevant meaning to be transmitted, filtering unessential information. In this context, the Partners aim to explore SemCom in the context of Industrial IoT environments. For this purpose, This project mainly includes three research topics: Research on Semantic Information Theory, Design the Semantic Communication System for Industrial IoT Scenarios, Semantic-aware Transmission.
Selected Relevant Past Projects:
C4AI Edge (07.2022-12.2022). IIoT applications are today deployed across the so-called Edge-Cloud continuum, and the overall management of the applications during setup and runtime is handled by orchestration tools such as Kubernetes. These orchestrators, originally devised to support Cloud-based deployment, fall short in the required learning and adaptation capabilities and being able to adapt and to track the overall data workflow. In this six-month exploratory project, fortiss and IBM explored the use of context-awareness (fortiss) and intelligence data discovery and linkage (IBM Pathfinder) to achieve an automated orchestration of Edge-Cloud IIoT services, for a manufacturing use-case. The concept developed by fortiss is available in an open-source demonstrator, Movek8s (https://git.fortiss.org/iiot_external/movek8s).
H2020 CSA EU-IoT (2021-2023). EU-IoT is a Coordination and Support Action (H2020 ICT 56, 2020-2023) with the vision to assist Europe in excel in the development and adoption of trustworthy, sustainable, safe and secure IoT that benefits our economies, societies and industry.The main ambition of EU-IoT is to transform the current IoT community of researchers and innovators in Europe into an increasingly cohesive, dynamic, participatory and sustainable ecosystem, as an essential part of a Next Generation Internet.
Industrial DetNetWiFi. DetNetWiFi is a project focused on the integration of deterministic wireless mechanisms in manufacturing environments. The main purpose of the project is to research a holistic approach (OSI layers 2 and 3) for time-aware scheduling and service management to support advanced IoT applications (such as AR/VR) in manufacturing environments. DetNetWiFi shall continue the work developed in the fortiss TSNWiFi project. Both research works are developed in cooperation with Huawei Technologies.
H2020 EFPF (2019-2022). EFPF (European Factory Platform) is a federated smart factory ecosystem that interlinks different stakeholders and digital platforms. The EFPF-platform enables users to utilize innovative functionalities, experiment with disruptive approaches and develop custom solutions to maximize connectivity, interoperability, and efficiency across the supply chains. In the European Factory Platform project (EFPF) the IIoT team of fortiss is developing an edge-based IoT service matching component that enables the integration of IoT device descriptors with the EFPF platform. At present, the information exchange between IoT devices and services is done manually and requires time and effort. This is especially challenging across-platforms such as EFPF. Thus, the goal is to automate and ease the information exchange between IoT devices and services from various platforms.
C4AI EDGE. The C4AI Edge project is a joint cooperation between fortiss and IBM within the context of the Center for AI (C4AI) research center. The project aims at exploring and demonstrating intelligent bandwidth efficient planning of city infrastructure leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Edge Computing and 5G/6G networks. The project aims to combine the strength of IBM Edge AI with the fortiss expertise on context-awareness and Edge computing to develop context-aware services.