Guidelines and Patterns for Building Hierarchical Automation Solutions in the IEC 61499 Modeling Language

Alois Zoitl and Herbert Prähofer

IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, 9:2387-2396

2012 · doi: 10.1109/TII.2012.2235449


The IEC 61499 modeling language pursues a component-based approach with modular building blocks coupled by ports and arranged in a hierarchical manner. Like similar approaches, the IEC 61499 language does not define how functional hierarchies of upper- and lower-level functional entities should be built. In this paper we outline structuring principles for IEC 61499 programs with purely hierarchical control architectures. We present elementary design guidelines for structuring automation solutions in several hierarchical layers, outline which elements of the IEC 61499 language to use, discuss patterns that arise when implementing hierarchical control solutions, and illustrate the approach with a case study.