Lo Bello, L.; Frey, G.: Guest Editorial Special Section on Information Technology in Automation. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, Vol.7, No. 4, November 2011, p. 688.

Guest Editorial

Autmation systems are increasingly taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by information technology to offer new and original functions and solutions. This Special Section on Information Technology in Automation focuses on the development, adoption, and application of information technology in automation systems and presents significant research works and new developments in several application domains. Nine papers are included in this Special Section. The paper “Real-Time Modeling for Direct Load Control in Cyber-Physical Power Systems” presents an innovative approach for modeling and control of electric loads based on real-time scheduling theory. The paper “How to Access Factory Floor Information Using Internet Technologies and Gateways” is a survey about the role of gateways for the integration of field-level networks and IP-based networks on the factory floor. The paper “A Novel Standard for Footwear Industrial Machineries” presents an XML-based Shoe Process INTeroperability Standard for the information exchanges in the shoe manufacturing chain, from shoe design to production control. The paper “Software Support for Building Automation Requirements Engineering—An Application of Semantic Web Technologies in Automation” shows how various functions like heating, ventilation, lighting, and related engineering standards can be integrated in the design process using semantic technologies. The paper “Semantic-Based Enhancement of ISO/IEC 14543-3 EIB/Konnex Standard for Building Automation” presents a service infrastructure integrated with the existing communication standard EIB/Konnex ISO/IEC 14543-3. The paper “Functional Analysis of Manufacturing Execution System Distribution” investigates the feasibility of MES functions distribution to find a balance between optimization and flexibility. The paper “A Dual Programming Model for Distributed Real-Time Java” focuses on a dual communication model for developing distributed real-time Java applications. The paper “Service-Oriented Infrastructure to Support the Deployment of Evolvable Production Systems” shows how the upcoming demand of evolvable production systems can be fulfilled by the introduction of a service-oriented infrastructure on the shop floor level. The paper “IEC 61499 as Enabler of Distributed and Intelligent Automation: State-of-the-Art Review” discusses the industrial and research activities around the IEC 61499 architecture for distributed automation. Many people have contributed to the successful completion of this Special Section and we would like to thank all of them. First and foremost, the authors of all the submitted papers (included in the final selection or not) for their interest in this Special Session, all the reviewers—at least three international experts in the field for each paper—for their valuable comments that significantly contributed to the quality of this Special Section, the authors of the included papers for addressing in due time the reviewers’ comments to improve the final papers. We owe much both to the former Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Richard Zurawski, for supporting the initial proposal of this Special Session and to the current Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Bogdan M. Wilamowski, for his precious guidance during the entire preparation and management of this Special Section.