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Project Overview

Figure 1: Basic Elements of Z-Fact0r

Figure 2: Z-Fact0r Phases

Z-Fact0r solution is a blackboard computational architecture which provides a design and implementation framework for systems that integrate many diverse components. This architecture provides the communication protocols and APIs to handle data flow in the system where the persisting databases are used to ensure the undisturbed flow of data. The databases are connected and monitored by a middleware, which routes all inbound and outbound data queries implementing a semantic annotation based on a common database schema for all components which provide a seamless communication between the components in the architecture, while supporting the knowledge management of the system. This blackboard computation architecture exploits all its advantages i.e. is feasible in managing processing, persisting data and communication requests, while the middleware in the architecture routes all communication traffic and monitors data storage and retrieval by all components. The created data by the components, complies with the semantic annotation of the database schema following the middleware rules, are used in data analysis, knowledge management, machine learning and decision-making processes of the system. Additional exploitation of the data can be used for different purposes and further improve the system’s outcome and outputs.

The Z-Fact0r project’s duration is 42 months (3.5 years) and is divided into four phases which include the following types of activities: R&D (WP1-4), Integration and Validation (WP5), Demonstration activities (WP6), Standardisation and Business Modelling (WP7 and WP8), Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication (WP9), Project management (PM) (WP10). Phase 1: Technology generation and experimentation: This phase of the project includes all the R&D activities for the development of Z-Fact0r subsystems. The phase will be finalised when all the developed technologies have been tested in the laboratory and are ready for integration (WP1-4) Phase 2: Integration and validation of the technologies from Phase 1: This phase involves all the integration activities that will be performed during the Z-Fact0r project. The goal of this phase is to prepare the system for its validation as a full prototype. Each subsystem will be fine-tuned with the rest, and minor modifications are expected in order to optimise all the subsystems to operate as a single integrated system. In order to achieve this, the integration process runs in parallel with Phase1 giving constant feedback for modification for each subsystem. Phase 3: Demonstration of the Z-Fact0r results from Phase 2. The validation activities from Phase 2 will offer vital input to make any necessary adjustments before deploying the system in the real industrial use-cases. The first step is the demonstration of the validated technologies in the use-cases while the ultimate one is the Z-Fact0r prototype demonstration in the operating environments (TRL7). The accumulated results will give feedback to Phase 2 in order to monitor the required actions and perform an evaluation of the KPIs. Phase 4: Project Management and Dissemination, Exploitation, and Communication Activities: This Phase runs the whole duration of the project in order to keep track of all the involved activities (R&D, DEMO) and take action when is required. This will ensure the smooth progress of all the R&D and demonstration activities as well as efficient planning for commercialisation and dissemination of the results throughout the duration of each phase.