Fractal Research Project

Cognitive Fractal and Secure Edge Based On Unique Open-Safe-Reliable-Low Power Hardware Platform Node

Project description

The objective of this research activity is to create a reliable computing node that will create a Cognitive Edge under industry standards. This computing node will be the building block of scalable Internet of Things (from Low Computing to High Computing Edge Nodes). The cognitive skill will be given by an internal and external architecture that allows to forecast its internal performance and the state of the surrounding world. Hence, this node will have the capability of learning how to improve its performance against the uncertainty of the environment.

As a result of the integration of these cognitive systems into a fractal network, there will be another intrinsic crucial advantage, emergency and adaptability, new functions will flourish through the created space of possibilities of our cognitive Systems. This complex network will transfer all those cognitive advantages to the Edge, a computing paradigm that lay down between the physical world and the cloud.

Schematic representation of a Cognitive and Autonomous System underlying the main modifications. The Fractal Cognitive Nodes will be the interface between the Operational Technology (OT) with Real-time data (Control, safety, and security) with the Information Technology (IT) Transactional Data (orders, supply, network, product design).

Cognitive Node Architecture

The Cognitive Node (CN) will consist of a High-Performance Computing System (SS), communication capabilities (coms), Artificial Intelligence, (AI) and a Model of the World environment (W). Theses Nodes will aggregate to create systems to support the edge computing minimizing the link with the Cloud.

In FRACTAL, the edge is in charge of performing the critical computations in a timely and power-efficient manner whereas the Cloud infrastructure will be in charge of data ingestion and storage mainly and occasionally will be in charge of offline data processing to enhance predictions and complement non-critical computational capabilities of the edge devices.

Data ingestion mechanisms will be enabled through Apache Nifi ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tool. It permits the reception of data through several communication protocols, both from the IT (such as MQTT) and OT (S7, OPC-UA) worlds. Moreover, to ensure the IT and OT worlds convergence, Apache Nifi will be combined with Apache PLC4X, a universal protocol adapter for Industrial IoT. 

FRACTAL’s overall envisioned architecture.

Combining these technologies together, connectivity is added to the solution, as we achieve a scenario in which a single service oversees capturing all data sources, using both IT/OT communications protocols.

This factor is crucial for the FRACTAL scenario, in which the edge nodes can be placed anywhere to process any kind of phenomena. These technologies can be used for the implementation of the gateway, which will provide full computing and connective capabilities while assuring the OT/IT convergence.

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