• Preprint 316

Technical Report 316, c4e-Preprint Series, Cambridge

The Digital Lab Facility Manager: Using dynamic knowledge graph technology to automate operations of research laboratories

Authors: Simon D. Rihm, Yong Ren Tan, Wilson Ang, Hou Yee Quek, Xinhong Deng, Michael Teguh Laksana, Jethro Akroyd, Sebastian Mosbach, and Markus Kraft*

Reference: Technical Report 316, c4e-Preprint Series, Cambridge, 2023

Associated Themes:
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  • A novel framework for digitalising management of research facilities is demonstrated.
  • BIM, BMS, assets, and domain knowledge are integrated via semantic web technology.
  • Effective deployment and integration of IoT sensors in distributed control systems.
  • Energy efficiency in fume hood air supply by deploying a human-in-the-loop approach.
  • Dynamic knowledge graphs facilitate use of unified user interfaces for managers.

Graphical abstract Automation in facility management is critical for enhancing efficiency and sustainability. However, significant challenges in interoperability and adaptability of digital tools are prevalent, particularly for specialised facilities like research laboratories. This paper presents a novel framework for digitalising and automating the management of specialised research laboratories using The World Avatar, a general all-encompassing dynamic knowledge graph. This framework is a versatile tool empowering users to effectively utilise data across various systems and formats without restricting them to a single software or protocol. Employing agents and ontologies, it enables seamless data sharing, computational reasoning, and gradual automation of tasks, addressing obstacles in interoperability and adaptability. Showcasing the capabilities of this approach, we tackle some common challenges in lab facility management, including cost-effective IoT sensor network integration with an existing BMS system and efficient airflow management for fume hoods via `human-in-the-loop' interventions. We also developed unified platform-agnostic interfaces that complement the framework. These advancements represent a significant stride in the holistic digitalisation and automation of facility management, setting a foundation for future research facilities to achieve operational excellence and sustainability.


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