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The aspect integrator platform (AIP) from ABB was designed to build the next generation of industrial automation applications. This platform is part of a set of products that provide the means to model, control and supervise continuous or discrete processes in various market domains, ranging from chemical and metal to paper and consumer industries. Each product works at a different level in the manufacture process, but all of them rely on a common architecture for interoperability. The current AIP architecture provides considerable flexibility in terms of modeling domain information and dynamically modifying it at run-time. This flexibility imposes further requirements on the installation and maintenance of applications because dependencies among its components change dynamically. In this paper, we study the different kind of dependencies that can arise between components and show them in the context of an example from automotive industry. We show how dependency tracking and consistency of domain information can be supported by representing the actual platform concepts in XML due to the structuring and validation properties of XML schemas.
Date of Conference: 16-19 Sept. 2003