Group of companies “Knowledge Genesis” started working in 1990 in Samara, when a research and production company “ArtLog” was founded by researchers and engineers of the Laboratory of modelling and automation of lasing systems of P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Samara branch), the Laboratory of Intelligent systems of A. A. Blagonravov Institute of Machines Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as aerospace enterprises.
Focus area of the company was creating artificial intelligence systems for teaching and other applications.
Step 1: Teaching systems
“ArtLog” company developed the first Russian series of multimedia student books, encyclopedias and reference books for PC with the use of methods and means of mathematic modelling, 3D graphics and animation. The series consisted of more than 50 titles of multimedia discs, including multi-agent teaching system on physics for middle school (kinematics, mechanics, optics), multimedia encyclopedia about Samara in three languages “Samara: culture of province”, computer student books for engineers on pressure and temperature sensors, accelerometers, vibration and shock sensors, published in volume form in England and Germany. Besides, it included multimedia systems for unemployed citizens designed for Samara Employment Center, the Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation and the World Bank; education and reference systems for Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation, “AvtoVAZ” company, “SamaraEnergo”, Bezymyanskaya thermal power station, and a number of other companies.
At the first stage, one could already see the great opportunities and wide prospects of application of multi-agent technology for creation of intelligent teaching systems, which could flexibly adapt to students’ behavior and results.
However, at that time the administrative reform and creation of digital government began in Russia, which set new scale tasks for the developers.
Step 2: Digital Government
In 1997 software engineering company “Knowledge Genesis” was established, which won the federal competition organized by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation on creation of Digital Government of Samara region.
The multi-agent system for managing social life based on social passports and plastic cards of Samara region citizens was developed and implemented in the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development of the region. It resulted in creation of the common knowledge base of social federal, municipal and local laws, which is used for charging individual grants and payments to war and labor veterans, multiple children families, single mothers, retired people and other categories of socially insecure citizens.
Each citizen has his personal account in this system and a program agent keeping an eye on new laws that can apply to the user.
The developed system won the Gold medal of the Innovations and Inventions Congress “Eureka” in 2003 in Brussels. In 2007 the system was also nominated for the State Prize of the Russian Federation by the Government of Samara region.
Nowadays the system serves people of Samara region via the Internet from more than 200 Internet-booths located in cities and small towns of Samara region. More than 37 categories of urban and village residents, who have entitlement to benefits, but cannot always understand numerous laws, have the possibility to receive social support with the help of this system.
Step 3: Transport Management
In 2000 specialists of software engineering company “Knowledge Genesis” in consortium with George Rzevski, professor of the Open University, and foreign investment funds established a new company “Magenta Technology”, Ltd in Great Britain, London.
The first generation of multi-agent systems for managing resources in transport enterprises was derived from laboratories of this company for industrial implementation for such large companies as Tankers International, Addison Lee, Avis, GIST and others.
In 2008 a new company Maxifier was founded (Great Britain, London) based on Magenta Technology, for managing Internet advertising campaigns, which successfully provided its products to such large news agencies of the world as Channel Four and others.
However, due to differences in approaches to development of mutual business and multi-agent technology, the team had to start all over again in 2009.
Step 4: Resource management in real time
The year 2009 was dedicated to new research and forming a new team of developers able to solve complex tasks.
One of the first Russian customers was Rocket and Space Corporation “Energia”, where the problem of cargo flow management of the International Space Station (ISS) was very critical.
Besides, by 2010 first partners appeared for entering the new IT-market which was only forming in Russia.
Thus, in 2010 software engineering company “Smart Solutions” was founded, specializing in development of multi-agent technology for resource management.
During a short period of time (2010 – 2016) the following first products were developed which went through first pilot stages and then, test and industrial implementation:
- Smart Trucks – cargo transportation management;
- Smart Factory – workshop management of industrial enterprises;
- Smart Projects – management of research and development works for enterprises;
- Smart Supply Chain – supply network management;
- Smart Field Services – mobile team management.
As you can see from the list, moving from problems and demands of separate enterprises in various fields to creation of intelligent systems for solving various tasks of enterprises stated above, we gradually came to the “supertask” of creating integrated distributed network-centric intelligent system Smart Enterprise. It consisted of the systems mentioned above (“system of systems”) which interact with each other via a common enterprise bus according to p2p principles (“equal-to-equal” and “every-to-every”) which can be applied practically to any modern enterprise where there is room for innovation projects, product manufacturing and storage, transportation of products, raw materials or components, maintenance and operation of products, etc.
Besides, we have lately developed a range of other solutions for aerospace industry, Russian Railways, the Ministry of Defense and other application spheres which will also allow for adaptation or extension of our systems to the needs of various consumers.
In the course of this work, our team has expanded from a group of 5-7 like-minded people to a company of 150 employees.
In 2011 our company became a prize-winner of the competition “The Best Company 2011” and the competition “The Best Innovation Company” in 2012 organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Samara region. “Knowledge Genesis” was acknowledged as the “Best IT-company of Samara region” and got the prize of “Expert” journal in 2013.
In 2013 the company came 2nd in the TOP-10 of the best Russian innovative companies and came 5th in the TOP-10 of Russia’s fast-growing high-tech companies. The rating was conducted by The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR) together with the world-famous company “PricewaterhouseCoopers”.
TV-Channel “Russia24” made a video about multi-agent products and technology of the company as part of the program “Technopark”
In 2014 Smart Solutions became a winner of the National prize of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in entrepreneurship “Golden Mercury” in the following nomination: “Best enterprise-exporter in international innovative cooperation”.
A brief history of our development can be found in the article “Organization of a thinking swarm” by Irik Immamutdinov in the “Expert” journal (November, 2014).
Step 5: From managing enterprises to managing groups of robots
Further development of innovation business resulted in appearance of several new technological directions and creation of “Knowledge Genesis Group”.
One of the new developing directions was creating intelligent systems for managing groups (swarms) of robots, including spacecrafts, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).
At this stage in 2013-2015 software engineering companies “Multi-agent technology” and “Network-centric platforms” were established.
Moreover, a number of independent developer companies have joined the Group of companies, which now create and implement their own intelligent systems together with us.
In 2014 the Group has set up the office in England and in 2015 – in Finland in order to introduce the developments to foreign market.
In 2016 “Knowledge Genesis Group” has established head office in Moscow.
Step 6: On the way to pattern recognition
For 2016-2017 we are planning to develop intelligent systems for pattern recognition, which will expand resource management and interact with it just like left and right brain.
There is a great number of applications of such systems for solving complex problems of pattern recognition, which will be based on principles of self-organization and evolution as well: from pattern recognition in images to extraction of hidden knowledge out of data or understanding texts in natural language.
We are sure that developed models, methods and means can be efficiently used in the stated spheres of new developments.
Step 7: All-round smart Internet of things and people capable of self-learning
As we see it, the developed intelligent systems have to combine possibilities of planning and pattern recognition, and that is what we are going to do at this stage.
For example, each spacecraft has to be able to recognize image patterns efficiently on the board while solving problems of remote Earth sensing instead of transmitting them to the Earth for processing. Depending on the result, it has to reschedule image acquisition, for example, if fog did not allow for shooting of a necessary object.
While solving problems of production planning, such new opportunities will enable systems to learn in the course of work: for example, if an employee was assigned to do micron assembly operations and made defective goods three times, next time the system should not assign such operations to him.
Such opportunities will significantly increase the quality and efficiency of tasks to be solved by intelligent systems of the considered class.
At this stage in 2016-2018 we are also planning for integration of intelligent systems for managing enterprise resources and managing groups of robots, working in a coordinated manner based on principles of smart Internet of things and people.
This perspective forms a new vision of Industry 5.0 – as a strategic prospect for development of future enterprises.