The kernel of the Industry 4.0

27.11.2017 – Robert Brunet, Uniwersytet Rovira i Virgili

The kernel is the core of a computer’s operating system. Most probably the three main disruptive innovations of Industry 4.0 are: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. These three areas has several things in common but the main is that they run on the top of Linux Kernel.

When we are talking about Big Data, first thing comes in mind is the three Vs: volume, variety and velocity. Big Data is data that cannot be stored in relational database management systems (RDBMS) such as: SQL Server. Instead this data is stored in data lakes, such as: Apache Hadoop, which is an open-source software framework for storage and processing Big Data. Main Hadoop distributions are Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR, and Apache Hadoop is at the end an ecosystem with several components, such as: Apache Oozie, Apache Hive, Apache Sqoop, and Apache Hue among others. All of the sustained on the top of CentOS a specific Linux Operative System for Big Data.

Peter Sondergaard in 2014 said: “Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine”. This means that data without artificial intelligence is nothing. The good news is that in these last years, most of the statistical predictive algorithms have been put in practice, due to the evolution of computer’s CPUs and GPUs, as well as cloud computing solutions. Therefore, machine learning algorithms, such as: Naïve Bayes, Support Vector Machines, Decision Trees and specially Neural Networks, have become a reality. The programming languages used to deploy these predictive analytics models are: Java, Scala, Python and R. In most of the cases, specialist in this area, Data Scientists, used to work with Ubuntu, another specific Linux Operative System.

In Industry 4.0, data is the most valuable asset. Non company wants that they data will be stolen, modified or deleted. This is why cybersecurity has become the most important issue of companies. There are several ways to attack a system such as: password attach with brute force, or SQL injection. Normally for this purpose is used the tools that are coming in the Kali Linux distribution, a similar distribution of Ubuntu but with specific software for cybersecurity.

The Industry 4.0 as evolution has two main names: i) Linus Torvals (Helsinki, 1969), software engineer, who in 1991 create, and for a long time, principal developer of the Linux kernel and, ii) Tim Bernes-Lee (London, 1955), who in 1989 proposed a new information management system, the Internet.

The Industry 4.0 as revolution has these other two names: i) Elon Musk (Johannesburg, 1971) inventor of companies such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity and, ii) Mark Zuckerberg (New York, 1984) creator of Facebook and owner of Instagram and WhatsApp.

Therefore, if I have to point to the heart of the Industry 4.0, I consider that at the end most of these new disruptive innovations points to the Linux Kernel, which at the same time points to the UNIX, operative system that started the development on 1970 in Bell Labs.