Customer: SIEMENS AG
Project name: Worldwide Advanced Network
Distribution Information System
(Workload Monitoring and Planning,
Forecasting, Workload Management-
Abbreviation: WAND IS (WLMP, Forecasting, WLMM)
Start Date: 2002
End Date: In progress
Tools and Platforms for Design and Development
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • ORACLE Server 9i
  • J2SE - Java Beans, Java Doc, JFC Swing, Java 2D, JNDI
  • JClass
  • WCL (Siemens Trademark)
  • C++
  • Rational Rose
  • MS Visual Studio 6.0
  • Borland JBulder 5 Enterprise Edition
  • Borland Application Server 4.5
  • Version Control System - CCC Harvest

WAND IS represents a huge automation project where a completely new mail processing facility will be introduced and brought into service. It realizes Dock-to-Dock management of the whole mail processing facility on the basis of production planning and control principles.

Workload Monitoring and Planning:The overall goal of WLMP is to support the Office of Exchange (OE) management in designing appropriate plans for the WAND OE operations - regarding resources and schedules. Because the planner has to keep control of the operations, WLMP supports the planner with hints, proposals and alerts but never sets plan changes active without the approval of the planner. The general planning strategy is based on the use of proven reference plans that are applied successfully under similar conditions of a selected reference day. The two central tasks for the planning process are:

  • To determine the required resources based on a given Mail Arrival Profile derived from the Transport Arrival Schedule Mail Arrival Profile.
  • To schedule the operations in an effective way, based on available resources and expected mail volume.Typically those planning steps have to be performed at different times, related to the operating day.

To be able to react to the resource request, resource planning has to be performed sufficiently ahead of the operating day. The decision about the appropriate time depends on the overall process and the specific resources. Scheduling the tasks requires a rather exact knowledge of the expected mail arrival profile and the available resources. As a consequence, scheduling is performed only a short time in advance of the Operating Day.The whole planning solution is strongly oriented to supervisor functions within WAND OE. Supervisors are the managers in WAND OE responsible for those areas that are assigned to them. Supervisors have to:

  • design and adapt Operating Plans.
  • put given plans into actions.
  • organize the effective use of personnel and the MPEs.
  • manage unexpected events.

Forecasting: The Forecasting component is designed to provide a predictive information on the following two questions:

  • Will the operation in the OE run into a critical operational state (e.g. buffer/staging space overflow, congestion) in the near future?
  • Will planned production targets be achieved? The answer to the second question will be condensed into two basic production progress indicators, workload and production volume, while the answer to the first one is coded into a number of capacity utilization parameters (buffer fill levels, transport link capacity usage).

Together they will be called Forecasting indicators. The production progress indicators are provided for a number of so-called processes which are selected according to their operational importance. The Forecasting indicators are computed, starting from given initial conditions to a near future, in the form of continuous time curves. The time horizon is configurable, though it is understood that accuracy will decrease with the extension of the horizon. A given Forecasting run - or sweep - will produce the entire time curves up to the configured horizon (e.g. 6 hours into the future). Every value on the curve, or just some of them, is/are compared with expected/planned values (production progress indicators) or system limits (capacity utilization parameters).

If the discrepancy exceeds a configurable limit, an alarm will be generated by the Monitoring Component Workload Management-Monitoring: the Workload Management-Monitoring (WLMM) system is responsible for identifying and visualizing of deviations of the current production from targets by recording key performance indicators (KPI) and comparing these KPI periodically with the planned KPI values. Additionally, the WLMM has the capability of identification and visualization of early warnings. They are computed by the Forecasting module for the near future.The WLMM has been developed with three tier application structure. It includes a subsystem for user management, a subsystem for Multilanguage support, a graphical representation of different type of data, modules for remote communication between client and server, a data repository module (application server) and a relational database.The WLMM software had to be configurable and extendable as much as possible to avoid the possibilities for further use as a basic software for building the custom applications for different clients.

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