Agent Based Instrument Control Middleware

Controlling devices
Controlling an array of devices attached to a set of servers is not a trivial task.
Such systems are faced with requirements such as real time response, fault tolerance and redundancy.
The system should eventually provide a unified control system with complex business rules affecting device control.
ABICOM is a distributed software platform designed to address the above requirements:
ABICOM comprises of the following:
    Real-Time Centralized Control Logic (RT-CCL)
    Device agents
    Graphical Consoles (GC)
    Persistent Store Units (PSU)
ABICOM is build using the ALIVE platform which provides real-time/fault-tolerance services on top of CORBA.

Real-Time Centralized Control Logic is the heart of
ABICOM that:

    manages and coordinates device agents
    Implements the system control logic
    applies resource management and ownership restrictions
    Dispatches data between agents, graphical consoles and persistent store units

Device Agents
Device Agents control individual devices.
Heterogeneous interfaces with devices such as serial (RS-232), ethernet, GPIB or PCI bus are supported.
Regardless of the actual device communication interface, device agents expose a uniform consistent interface using technology neutral IDL (interface definition language).
ALIVE provides transparent fault tolerance on device agents Thus device agents are guaranteed to perform faultlessly even under extreme conditions

Graphical Consoles
GUI applications that interact with the user and interface with the RT-CCL.
GCs can reside anywhere on a LAN or a low-speed WAN.
GCs provide a unified view of the system allowing access to the whole set of devices
RT-CCL and GCs communicate with each other to provide resource management and ownership to the user.
    e.g. a device cannot be manipulated by more than one user at a time.
A user is presented the list of devices as well as their allocation status (along with the GC that performed the allocation).
If a device is unallocated, the user can allocate it to his own GC and exclusively control it.

Persistent Store Units
Persistent Store Units are specifically adapted database servers or other digital storing media
PSUs stores data acquired from device agents and makes it available to GCs for further processing and offline monitoring.
PSUs are empowered with
ALIVE’s fault tolerant features making them ideal for a production environment.

Technical Highlights
Communication infrastructure along elements with predefined object-oriented high level remote interfaces.
Resource management and conflict resolution mechanisms.
Agent life-cycle management with intelligent fault recovery.
Fault recovery.
ALIVE automatically launches agents on an ABICOM node upon hardware or software failure. Full process state is reserved across consecutive launces.
Miscellaneous services related to data management, configuration and monitoring

    ABICOM is a software platform that can boost flexibility, reliability and distributiveness in real time systems.
    ABICOM orchestrates simple human interaction into complex business logic applied to arrays of electronic instruments and devices.
    ABICOM embodies innovative features like self handling mechanisms, fail over procedures and real-time distribution of data and control information.

For a presentation of the project please contact us

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