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Core Information Model: A Practical Solution to Costly Integration Problems

Abstract

Computer-Integrated Manufacturing typically entails multiple information systems that, individually, need to satisfy their own functional requirements while, collectively, must work together and constitute an integrated environment for the enterprise as a whole. Thus, an enterprise information model is critical to CIM. A missing element in many CIM information models is the contextual knowledge that turn data resources into agents of integration. This alignment of data with knowledge are especially crucial for reference models (in the sense of, for instance, CIM-OSA [3]), which are recommended by international standards communities as an economical way to develop integrated information systems. A reference model could either be a road map or be a core model to start the development with. The problem with road map is usually its lack of specificity, and that with a core model is costliness, or being over-comprehensive. This paper presents a core model that is compact and suitable for small and medium-sized manufacturers. An integration theory based on the parallel formulation of information and decision processes is used together with other principles derived from the literature to guide the development of control and other types of contextual knowledge. The knowledge is then fully engineered to integrate with a generic, basic CIM data model developed from industrial scenarios. The complete model is presented along with its underlying methods.

Key Words: Data and Knowledge Engineering, CIM Reference Model, Information Integration, Metadatabase

Acknowledgments

This work is supported in part by National Science Foundation's grants DDM90-15277 and DDM92-15620, and by ALCOA, DEC, GE, GM, and IBM through the Computer Integrated Manufacturing and the Adaptive Integrated Manufacturing Enterprises Programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590.

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