However, due to the complexity of realistic plant dynamics, evolution support in the operational phase is still rather limited w.r.t, e.g., automatic detection of evolution potential or predictions of evolutionary effects. To overcome this limitation, future production automation systems should be situated in an evolution environment which is not just aware of its properties, but also aware of its evolution potentials. As an opportunity to turn into evolution-aware platforms, nowadays production systems are already increasingly becoming parts of industrial networks. Consequently, new potential for cooperation support arise, because evolution steps have likely already been carried out on a similar system within a similar context.
Therefore, the new LinkedFYPA²C project proposes to exploit such experiences inherent contained in a network by envisioning an associated community of coevolving systems with the following main contributions to software evolution. (1) Development of an interpretable knowledge base to describe evolution processes of a Knowledge Carrying Software. (2) Methods and processes to exchange evolution experiences in a Machine-to-Machine communication in order to assess already performed evolution steps of coevolved systems and predict their impacts with context-related reasoning techniques. (3) A robust and flexible runtime platform and middleware for evolution which allows continuous anticipation and reflection of evolutionary changes by cooperatively detecting evolution potential to proactively trigger knowledge exchange. Together, these contributions provide an autonomous and decentralized management of collective experiences about evolution to establish the networked neighborhood of production systems as an active evolution environment. This will allow for a human assisting evolution support by presenting context-related evolution steps and their predicted property changes to human operators in order to achieve a better guided, foreseeable and less risky evolution for networked (production) systems.