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24 May 18

Context-aware Multi-agent Presentation Layer

A user-friendly multi-agent front-end to the SYNCHRO-NET eco-NET has been built, enabling its integration with other modules as anticipated in Task T5.4, while taking into account the diverse needs and preferences of the SYNCHRO-NET Stakeholder Community. The design of the Context-aware Multi-agent Presentation Layer enhances SYNCHRO-NET’s interoperability and ease of interfacing with legacy systems and business processes.

By putting a lot of emphasis on the ease-of-use and graphical representation of information, the presentation layer makes SYNCHRO-NET accessible to a very wide range of stakeholders, including non-technical end users from the shipper community and even the general public. Many of the modules developed by SYNCHRO-NET, while of course having a serious business/technical focus, also have an element of interactivity and “fun” about them, which will appeal to the wider stakeholder community. For example, modules such as the Supply Chain De-stresser, Simulator and Tactical Port De-stresser have serious applications that can save logistics and supply chain operators a lot of money, while massively reducing emissions and environmental impact. However, they can also be used standalone, to “play games” – the shipper, even consumer, can experiment with different scenarios and strategies in a more informal, non-pressured way, so that they gain a broader understanding of the issues relating to slow steaming and
synchro-modality, and an appreciation of the dynamics of the interaction between the major factors
Furthermore, the corresponding API structure and the flexibility it offers will encourage developers and innovators, especially SMEs, to build on the successes of SYNCHRO-NET, creating new tools and technologies, which extend and enhance the SYNCHRO-NET offering in an open-innovation community. We believe this will have a massive impact on the commercialization and adoption of SYNCHRO-NET and the broader goals of slow steaming and synchro-modality. Engaging stakeholders right along the supply chain, using the correct context-aware approach for each, will mean that customers will be asking for aslow steaming synchro-modal supply chain, and the logistics providers will be able to offer it.
The Context-aware Multi-agent Presentation Layer relies on the general architecture of SYNCHRO-NETdescribed in Deliverable D2.2: Synchro-operability Communications & Governance Architecture Ecosystem. Many of the objectives of the presentation layer to guarantee SYNCHRO-NET’s interoperability and make the task of interfacing this eco-NET with many legacy systems belonging to all the supply chain stakeholders are already well covered in D2.2, and will not be repeated here. Vice versa, this document is mainly devoted to present the user interface and, from the point of view of the user, how to interact with the different modules composing SYNCHRO-NET.

It is based on the requirements stated from the end users in Work Package 1, and in the needs of the final demonstrations stated in Work Package 6 for slow steaming and in other tasks of this Work packages 5. The document is composed of the following sections:

1. Background and overview of the SYNCHRO-NET Presentation Layer requirements from the end-user perspective.
2. The general structure of the SYNCHRO-NET application, elucidating actors, functions, and, through use cases, scenarios and demonstrations.
3. The interaction between the modules of the application with specific reference to the user
interface and workflow.
4. The technical architecture of the SYNCHRO-NET Portal.
5. The user interface of the SYNCHRO-NET Portal. 

6. A detailed description of the Context-aware Multi-agent Presentation Layer and the corresponding user interaction logic.

This includes a detailed description of the special form of SYNCHRO-NET GTFS feeds on which the time schedule of the transports in the multi-modal planner and simulation, and hence the travel options, are based. They are called GTFS+. The OTP adopted for the multi-modal planning has internally a low-level management of the travel options using GTFS feeds, so a mapping from low-level available options and high-level final user requirements is discussed. Also described in this section are the Dynamic Stakeholder Assessment, Real-time Synchromodal Logistics Optimisation User Interfaces and Dynamic De-stresser Modules.
7. Conclusions.
8. A glossary of important terms.

Source: Synchronet Staff