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Discrete Control in the Internet of things and Smart Environments through a Shared Infrastructure

Mengxuan Zhao 1, 2 
2 CTRL-A - Control for Autonomic computing systems
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LIG - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble
Abstract : The Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Environments (SE) have attracted a lot of research and development activities during the last decade. Yet many present-day IoT/SE applications are still limited to the acquisition and processing of sensor data and its context, with control, if any, using either basic solutions or requiring human intervention, far away from the automatic control which is an essential factor to promote the technologies. This thesis targets to bring knowhow from control theory and reactive systems to the IoT/SE domain to achieve a solution with a formal method for the missing control aspect. We propose the extension of a framework in order to build a shared generic IoT/SE infrastructure offering high-level interfaces to reduce design effort, and enabling the self-configuration and adaptation of control applications over generic properties of the environment without human interaction by using general knowledge over the domain that applies to each target instance of IoT/SE system. In this extended framework, individual physical entities (including all relevant "things", appliances and subsets of space) may be grouped as virtual entities by shared properties to provide a higher level abstraction for control and other applications and better adaptation to lower level configuration changes. Requiring a generic common denominator solution shared by all IoT/SE applications in a given environment, we propose for this infrastructure, to model by finite state automata the target entities to be monitored and controlled, including both individual entities and their groupings, as well as things and space entities, to be able to apply discrete controller synthesis (DCS) technique over any of these at different levels of abstraction and granularity. DCS is a formal method which constructs automatically a controller, if it exists, guaranteeing the required control objectives regarding to the given system behavior model in terms of synchronous parallel automata. The existing BZR programming language and Sigali tools are employed to perform DCS and generate a controller in an automatic way. Necessary supporting software modules are proposed in the implementation such as the relation maintenance module keeping the correct association between individual entity instances and groups, and dispatching the action orders from the high level control to corresponding actuators. This module would evolve later to a more generic solution such as a graph data base including both the general knowledge base and specific environment instance relations. Conflict resolution between objectives of control coming from concurrent controllers is also indispensable due to the intended openness of the platform. A java based context simulator has been developed to simulate the home environment within several scenarios proposed for the validation, such as electrical load control and activity context adaptation.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 15, 2015 - 3:37:27 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 6, 2022 - 4:19:32 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 2:32:44 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-01163806, version 1


Mengxuan Zhao. Discrete Control in the Internet of things and Smart Environments through a Shared Infrastructure. Other [cs.OH]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAM011⟩. ⟨tel-01163806⟩



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