Swarm Intelligence, a driving force in our ultra-connected world
Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos and member of the Scientific Community
Chief Architect, Distinguished Expert and member of the Scientific Community
Do van Rijn
Bid Executive at Atos
Posted on: 5 February 2020
In the previous blog article in our series on Swarm Intelligence, we demonstrated how swarm algorithms can empower you to take the right decisions faster than competition.
Let’s now close our tour of the Swarm Intelligence schools and explore how automation can help generate top class value from our ultra-connected world.
The data tsunami is disrupting B2B and B2C businesses
Waves of disruptions emanating from the digital revolution are fundamentally transforming traditional industries in the Business to Consumer (B2C) word, impacting first the media industry and trade, and more recently most of the other sectors. Exploiting the data that this revolution brings about is the new Eldorado. However, the digital revolution in the Business to Business (B2B) world has not taken-off that early and has only recently started with the emergence of intelligent machines essentially defining Industry 4.0.
A recent example of digital B2B development is the so called “digital twin”. A digital twin is the digital representation of a complete industrial product or process, covering its whole lifecycle, accompanied by a virtual representation. Digital twins allow for design optimization, process control, lifecycle management, predictive maintenance, risk analysis and many other features. We recently concluded a digital twin project for power generation using wind turbines, where we created a digital representation of a wind turbine across its entire lifecycle, from design, manufacture through to operation. The digital twin improves the performance of the power generation as it provides insights that help drive decisions for optimal maintenance.
Other building blocks of the digital revolution under way in the B2B environment are edge computing, Big Data, industrial data platforms, High Performance Computing (HPC), blockchain and high speed networks like 5G. They are key enablers for transforming services and manufacturing and for reshaping entire sectors of the economy.
The rise of Swarm computing
A key element in the B2B area is the increasing number of intelligent devices at the edge, i.e. outside data centers. We are even now at the point where the collective computing capacity at the edge is surpassing the centralized capacity. This shift is challenging current vertical architectures, promoting centralized clouds as owning all the intelligence.
Going even further, we are seeing the emergence of large computing continuums as computing capabilities in the cloud and at the edge becoming increasingly intertwined. Just as we see swarms in nature acting as intelligent collectives, the individual computing capacity of the devices at the edge will be complemented and supplemented by their dynamic cooperation with other objects in swarm communities acting as an intelligent whole.
Relying on swarm capabilities, these continuums will display the following features:
- highly resilient to external disturbances,
- fault-tolerant internally,
- self-optimizing the workload distribution,
- and self-adaptive to task changes.
A unique top value analytics capability
It requires us to consider the perspective of self-control and swarm-like operating machines with data analysis and context-specific decision-making capabilities far exceeding the level of human performance. The Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing trends will take advantage of this, leading to digital landscapes which are both highly distributed and highly integrated through their connectivity features. The consequences are manifolds and we must carefully anticipate the benefits and the risks, including the legal, ethical and societal impacts.
Furthermore, Swarm Intelligence characteristics - resiliency, decentralized, self-repairing and scalability - offer immense opportunities to resolve complex problems or complete tasks through the cooperation of fully distributed elements sharing the same objective.
Is your company on track to create top value from your information assets and stand out from the competition?
Learn more with our next blog article: Communities, swarming in the virtual world.
Read the full blog series here:
- The rise of the Swarm Intelligence era
- Swarm intelligence as an innovation booster
- Swarm Intelligence promises to make our life and business easier
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