Home arrow Objectives

1. Technological objectives

Net-WMS will then have four technological objectives to:

  • Analyse existing technologies for networking and distributed architectures: networked communication and co-operation processes, a mobility interface allowing access to remote services.
  • Identify future knowledge-based packing problems in flexible warehouse management systems, the industrial requirements in terms of reactivity, flexibility, robustness and cost-efficiency, and relevant corporate knowledge asset.
  • Analyse existing technologies for knowledge management, packing problems in a WMS, planning and scheduling activities in a WMS, vehicle loading under constraint distribution and performance assessment.
  • Analyse existing work and trends of using XML as a representation language in logistics including transport, ERP, MRP and WMS. - Analyse existing work on the combination of rule programming and XML.

2. Scientific objectives

From a scientific point of view, the important challenges addressed in the project are:

  1. To integrate constraint programming and rule based systems in order to achieve an expressive and efficient knowledge modelling language for stating business rules from the area of warehouse management. The challenge is to come up with rules that can be used as constraints in order to generate solutions that respect business and operational rules.
  2. To demonstrate the cooperation between packing solvers and virtual reality tools in order to solve complex placement problems interactively.
  3. To define a small number of generic constraints that will address complex placement problems involving both spatial placement constraints and time constraints (e.g., objects may be moved through time).
  4. To exploit rules for integrating the dimension of networking in a networked WMS. 
Net-WMS will then have for scientific and technological objectives to:
  • Develop a constraint knowledge modelling language for packing rules in a WMS.
  • Create a specification for Packing representation, modelling and data transferring. The specification includes a new mark-up language (PackingML) as a XML extension, and a toolkit for managing and communicating PackingML documents. This will be a major result where knowledge rules can be edited, transferred through the Web or pretty printed. This result will be made available as open source in order to contribute to the standards in the WMS domain, thus enabling a standard form of data representation and communication between networked components.
  • Develop new global constraints in the open source Constraint Programming (CP) system Choco.
  • Develop a co-operative optimisation solver taking full advantages of corporate knowledge asset and major optimisation technologies such as CP, Mathematical Programming (MP) and heuristic techniques. - Develop a simulation-based performance analyser fully integrating the enterprise knowledge asset and a simulation-based rule programming system for optimisation of operating rules, mainly allowing the user to build scenarios using “what-if” analysis.
Net-WMS objectives will also contribute to open-source and world-wide co-operation:
  • All developments carried on the open-source Constraint Programming Choco (choco.sourceforge.net) will be available as open-source for the community.
  • All the underlying XML-DTDs of Net-WMS will also be available to contribute to standards.