More with less — how do we master the increasing complexity of production systems?
Industry faces major challenges as product lifecycles shorten, product variability increases, and global markets become more volatile. To remain competitive, production facilities and equipment must be adaptable to respond quickly and efficiently to these changes.
A key success factor in achieving these goals is the control and automation infrastructure. New distributed architectures are a possible approach to address these requirements. New interaction and communication patterns as well as new ways of programming automation systems consisting of networked control units are required.
Mastering variability and complexity in cyber-physical production systems also requires new software engineering methods and tools, particularly for variability modeling and product configuration as well as to support maintenance and evolution.
On Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, around 3 p.m., applause, whistles and joyful cheering could be heard on the upper floor of the Open Innovation Center (OIC). What were we all rejoicing about? Our colleague Kevin Feichtinger, now known internally as Dr. Kevin, completed the final oral exam of his doctoral studies successfully.
Who is this man?
Kevin is the first PhD that the LIT CPS Lab has produced since its start in 2018. That's why we're taking a closer look at who this PhD pioneer is.
In February 2020, Kevin started his career with us. Right from the start, he was highly motivated and took on more responsibility than expected of him. But it was not only his ambition that made Kevin stand out. He always took time to share his knowledge and offer help, especially for new colleagues or our student researchers.
What did this man accomplish?
Kevin spent a total of 3 years and 8 months with us at the LIT CPS Lab. In those many weeks, he drove a lot forward. Among other things, he published 24 papers - "I didn't force him to write that many," joked Professor Rick Rabiser, who also supervised Kevin's dissertation.
Kevin also attended 8 conferences and 2 workshops. "Kevin has the ability to connect with other researchers quickly at conferences, which has led to many successful collaborations during his PhD," Rick continues.
But Kevin wasn't just on the road: Here in Linz, he taught the Algorithms and Data Structures exercise for years. He listened to student feedback and was committed to further developing his teaching skills.
What do we wish for this man?
It should come as no surprise that we wish Kevin nothing but the very best for his professional and personal future. On top of that, we wish him that he will continue to inspire his new work colleagues with anecdotes. That he curates his curiosity and that he will meet us again in collaborations. Last but not least, we wish that the next time he visits Linz, he will bring muffins to the OIC again.
Yes, these are our wishes for our Dr. Kevin.
The Euromicro Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA) conference provides a platform for exchange with international researchers. Conferences like this are an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues and learn about new approaches. Our postdoc Adriano Vogel participated in the conference, this year held in Albania.
"Overall, the conference was fruitful in many ways, especially because the participants asked interesting questions and were open to discussion and feedback," Adriano describes his experience. Furthermore, Adriano notes the expected increase in the use of AI in software development as a notable learning effect that has significantly increased interest as can be seen from the number of papers presented at the conference.
Our paper, resulting from the collaboration of JKU and Dynatrace in the Co-Innovation Lab of the LIT CPS Lab, was presented in the track on systematic literature reviews and mapping studies in software engineering. The paper information is: A. Vogel, S. Henning, O. Ertl, and R. Rabiser: A systematic mapping of performance in distributed stream processing systems. Proc. of the 49th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), Durres, Albania, IEEE, 2023.
The majority of the studies presented in the literature reviews track conclude that more and newer approaches are needed in certain software engineering areas because of the number and complexity of the existing open challenges.
This finding stimulates discussion on how to engage the research communities and provide resources to the research field. We are excited to see how the future will develop in this regard and look forward to actively contributing to it with our research.
Last week, the International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA) took place in Sinaia, Romania. The LIT CPS Lab was represented by a 13-member team at the conference. The list of all presented papers can be found in the following previous posts: Full Papers, WiP Papers.
What is it like to attend a conference for the first time?
"At the conference, I gave a presentation on possible scenarios that can lead to the Shotgun Surgery bad smell and possible ways to find it. I also presented a poster on this topic," Dunja Zivotin explains. "My initial nervousness quickly disappeared when I noticed the great support in the team. This gave me the necessary confidence and self-assurance to deliver the presentation successfully," the young scientist reports on how she experienced her first conference visit.
What is it like to have attended ETFA for more than the 10th time?
"Every year, ETFA provides a platform for exchange with international researchers. I meet many of the colleagues only once a year at this conference - in personal conversations, for example, new collaboration opportunities or interesting research questions arise. I also enjoy connecting our team members with other researchers," Professor Zoitl says.
How was the overall experience?
"I am very proud of the team. Our team's presentations and posters - in fact, from all 11 presenters - were all excellent and among the best at the conference. The feedback was positive throughout," says Professor Rabiser, excited about his team's successes.
From August 28 - September 1, the Systems and Software Product Line Conference (SPLC) 2023 was held in Tokyo. Sayyid, Kevin, and Rick attended online and onsite. Sayyid and Kevin presented work at the conference from the VaSiCS CD lab and a collaboration with the University of Ulm and the University of Seville, respectively. Rick organized the SPLC 2023 Industry Variability Challenges workshop.
Want to learn more about the presented work? Below you will find an overview:
Sayyid presented Managing Cyber-Physical Production Systems Variability using V4rdiac: Industrial Experiences. The Industry Full Paper summarizes our experiences with CPPS variability in industry and with the application of the V4rdiac approach developed in the CD lab.
Kevin presented the UVL Parser. The tool supports working with the Universal Variability Language developed by the community. The language has been extended with different language levels and conversion between these levels.
Rick presented the results of the SPLC 2023 Industry Variability Challenges Workshop, which collected industry challenges with variability and software product lines.