The Process Optimization component addresses the task of optimizing manufacturing processes, which are referred to as “Smart Processes”, regarding non-functional aspects such as restrictions on cost, delivery time, carbon footprint, etc., i.e., aspects concerning the functionality or functional aspects in terms of “what is a service doing” as opposed to “how is a service doing it” are not considered. Thus, it is capable of optimizing Smart Processes in the sense that it proposes an optimized assignment of manufacturing services to the activities of the Smart Processes. In addition, it also accounts for optimizations of the structure of a provided process model. For this, a Smart Process has to be developed and modelled beforehand – using the ADVENTURE Process Designer. The modelling of a Smart Process comprises specifying the process steps and activities, which have to be performed. Further, appropriate suppliers and corresponding services, which are referred to as candidate services coming into question for executing the process steps and therewith performing the activities, have to be provided. This means, if a manufacturing process has been modelled, i.e., if activities have been created along with candidate services which come into question for executing those activities and therewith accomplishing according tasks, the final selection of manufacturing services (among the provided, eligible ones) can be optimized with respect to non-functional aspects such as execution or delivery time, cost, CO2, etc. For this purpose, the Process Optimization component is able to provide optimized propositions indicating which services should be selected for executing which activities with respect to targets and restrictions. A target may thereby indicate the target “state” the proposed solution should approach and try to achieve. For instance, aiming at selecting those services that are cheapest may constitute a valid target. The corresponding target state which should be achieved is an assignment of services to the activities described in the Smart Process that causes lowest, aggregated cost (for the execution of the selected services). A constraint in this vein may be expressed by the requirement not to exceed a certain threshold, e.g., delivery time. This constraint does not allow the Process Optimization component to select services such that the aggregated delivery of the selected services is greater than the specified threshold. The Process Optimization component is actually designed as two loosely coupled building blocks. The first building block concerns the preparation and the specification of the actual problem which is to be optimized, whereas the second building block computes optimized solutions to the specified optimization problems. Using a standard Linear Programming solver, the second building block is actually exchangeable.
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