Manufacturing has been identified as a key pillar of the Singapore economy. However, competition in manufacturing has increased dramatically across the entire Asia pacific region and the rest of the world. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a growing demand for advanced information and communication technologies (ICT) to support massive transformation of various aspects of the entire manufacturing industry.
Driven by the aforementioned industrial needs and government investment, some specific AI research focus areas include responsive supply chain, adaptive enterprise, and robust shop floor. The problems in these areas include the difficulty to accurately predict future demands, causing overstocking (responsive supply chain); multiple ad hoc changes in schedules causing nonoptimized resource allocation and inaccurate schedules (adaptive enterprise); and low overall equipment effectiveness due to high maintenance and setup time (robust shop floor). AI research that contributes to addressing these challenging problems includes machine learning and data analytics, agent-based simulation and optimization, verification, visualization, and sampling and fusion.
Nanyang Technological University, partnering with Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech, A*STAR), has set up the Joint Lab on Complex Systems to conduct research on agent-based models for complex adaptive systems, large-scale multi-objective optimization, game theory for optimal solutions, heterogeneous data mining and machine learning, large-scale feature extraction and reduction.