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For Internet-based remote control systems, certain human operations may violate desired safety requirements and result in catastrophic failure. For such human-in-the-loop systems, this paper proposes a systematic approach to developing supervisory agents which guarantee that remote manual operations meet safety specifications. By applying the mutual exclusion concept, the Petri net approach is used to model, design, and verify a supervisory system which prevents human errors. Then, Java technology is adopted to implement the supervisor as an intelligent agent for online supervision of the remote control system. To demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of the developed supervisory approach, we apply it to a rapid thermal processor controlled over the Internet.
Date of Publication: June 2003