Semantic Node-RED for Rapid Development of Interoperable Industrial IoT Applications

Tracking #: 2450-3664

Aparna Saisree Thuluva
Darko Anicic
Sebastian Rudolph
Malintha Adikari

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editors SemWeb of Things for Industry 4.0 - 2019

Submission type: 
Full Paper
The evolution of IoT has revolutionized industrial automation. Industrial devices at every level such as field devices, control devices, enterprise level devices etc., are connected to the Internet, where they can be accessed easily. It has significantly changed the way applications are developed on the industrial automation systems. It led to the paradigm shift where novel IoT application development tools such as Node-RED can be used to develop complex industrial applications as IoT orchestrations. However, in the current state, these applications are bound strictly to devices from specific vendors and ecosystems. They cannot be re-used with devices from other vendors and platforms, since the applications are not semantically interoperable. For this purpose, it is desirable to use platform-independent, vendor-neutral application templates for common automation tasks. However, in the current state in Node-RED such reusable and interoperable application templates cannot be developed. The interoperability problem at the data level can be addressed in IoT, using Semantic Web (SW) technologies. However, for an industrial engineer or an IoT application developer, SW technologies are not very easy to use. In order to enable efficient use of SW technologies to create interoperable IoT applications, novel IoT tools are required. For this purpose, in this paper we propose a novel semantic extension to the widely used Node-RED tool by introducing semantic definitions such as semantic models into Node-RED. The tool guides a non-expert in semantic technologies such as a device vendor, a machine builder to configure the semantics of a device consistently. Moreover, it also enables an engineer, IoT application developer to design and develop semantically interoperable IoT applications with minimal effort. Our approach accelerates the application development process by introducing novel semantic application templates called Recipes in Node-RED. Using Recipes, complex application development tasks such as skill matching between Recipes and existing things can be automated.We will present the approach to perform automated skill matching on the Cloud or on the Edge of an automation system. We performed quantitative and qualitative evaluation of our approach to test the feasibility and scalability of the approach in real world scenarios. The results of the evaluation are presented and discussed in the paper.
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
Anonymous submitted on 13/Apr/2020
Review Comment:

This manuscript was submitted as 'full paper' and should be reviewed along the usual dimensions for research contributions which include (1) originality, (2) significance of the results, and (3) quality of writing.

Review #2
By Raghava Mutharaju submitted on 09/May/2020
Review Comment:

I am happy with the changes made to the manuscript in order to address my comments and thank you to the authors for the detailed description in the cover letter. Please address the following minor comments.

1) Page 4, lines 15-16, the phrase "On one hand side" can be removed.
2) Related work on web service composition: Web service composition, as pointed out in the manuscript, requires discovering the services, finding the ones that provide the required service and then merging them. I see a parallel with your work. So instead of a historical perspective on web service composition, I was expecting to see a comparison. Can you please add that?
3) Page 7, footnote 14 needs to be shortened.
4) Page 13, line 20 - should the citation refer to 32 instead of 24?
5) Page 16, lines 36-38, the sentence "... deployed on an IAS or BAS. A user can decide to store the TDs centrally in a Cloud or locally on the Edge of an IAS or BAS based on his requirements" can be shortened to "... deployed on an IAS or BAS based on the user's requirement".
6) Page 24, line 31, "in" is missing after the word "tasks".
7) Summary is missplet as summery in page 24, line 4, and in page 26, line 7.
8) Page 25, line 38, the word "either" can be removed.
9) Page 25, line 47, it should be "These" and not "these"
10) Page 25, line 51, "Moreover, It" should be "Moreover, it"
11) Page 26, line 33, the colon after "are" seems to break the sentence. There are a couple of alternatives - either use a separate "Limitations" section, or you can write "The limitations of our tool are as follows: ".
12) Page 26, line 36, this sentence should be replaced with something like the following: "Since the tool is currently hosted on AWS, it does not support multi-tenancy".
13) Page 26, lines 45-47, this sentence has to be rewritten to something along the lines of "other tools can also implement the Recipe mechanism ...".
14) Page 26, line 7, what is a low-code platform? Is that a valid term?

I recommend to accept this manuscript for publication.