Invited Talk

Industrie 4.0: The Fourth Industrial Revolution Based on the Internet of Things

Wolfgang Wahlster
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

Location and Date

University College Maastricht (UCM)

Zwingelput 4, room B.0.014

January 16, 2015, 12:00-13:00h

Short CV of Professor Wolfgang Wahlster


Semantic technologies now enable mass customization for the delivery of goods and services that meet individual customer needs and tastes with near mass production efficiency and reliability. This is creating a competitive advantage in the industrial economy, the service economy, and the emerging data economy, leading to smart products, smart services, and smart data, all adaptable to specific tasks, locations, situations, and contexts. We argue that active semantic product memories will play a key role in the upcoming fourth industrial revolution based on cyber-physical production systems and the Internet of Things. Low-cost and compact digital storage, sensors and radio modules make it possible to embed a digital memory into a product for recording all relevant events throughout the entire lifecycle of the artifact. By capturing and interpreting ambient conditions and user actions, such computationally enhanced products have a data shadow and are able to perceive and control their environment, to analyze their observations and to communicate as software agents with other smart objects and human users about their lifelog data. Cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things lead to a disruptive change in the production architecture: the workpiece navigates through a highly instrumented smart factory and tries to find the production services that it needs in order to meet its individual product specifications stored on the product memory. In contrast to the classical centralized production planning and manufacturing execution systems, this leads to decentralized production logic, where the emerging product with its object memory is not only a central information container, but also an observer, a negotiator and an agent in the production process. A semantic service architecture based on a production ontology and ubiquitous microweb servers realizes intelligent match­making processed between emerging products and production tools. We illustrate this revolutionary production architecture with examples from DFKI’s fully operational Smart Factory. We show that Artificial Intelligence technologies such as semantic web services, production ontologies, multiagent systems, Big Data analytics, and intelligent multimodal user interfaces are key drivers of the fourth industrial revolution. Industrie 4.0 is a new funding scheme with a volume of more than 400 Million Euro, which I helped to prepare for the German government.



Wahlster, W. (2013) The Semantic Product Memory: An Interactive Black Box for Smart Objects. In: Wahlster, W. (ed): SemProM: Foundations of Semantic Product Memories for the Internet of Things. Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer, p. 3-21

Wahlster, W. (2014): Semantic Technologies for Mass Customization. In: Wahlster et al. (eds): Towards the Internet of Services: The THESEUS Research Program. Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer, p. 3-18