Modelling and Controlling Smart Residential Environments (completed)

Keywords: Smart Residential Environments, Smart Entities (Objects and Appliances), Sensors, Actuators, Web Services Composition and Orchestration, Ontology, Domain Specific Language.

Summary: The domain of smart residential environments (SRE) like smart homes constitutes a typical example of an environment characterized by complex requirements with regard to context awareness, heterogeneity, interoperability, discovery, appliance control and orchestration, as well as easy service management for end users. Innovative development paradigms have been suggested to meet these new demanding conditions. One is service oriented computing, which has been proposed as a new solution for heterogeneous and changing environments. As a consequence, service composition and orchestration research explores ways to combine available services and smart objects to work together to solve complex problems such as energy control, security, health care, etc.

In spite of a number of attempts concerning the control of smart environments, problems remain. These are mainly related to issues of how to describe the smart environment and devices that users, respectively, live in and interact with. There is also the problem of interoperability, heterogeneity, discovery, and the orchestrating and executing of services in SRE, allowing users to control it in both a transparent and abstract way.

To overcome these deficiencies and limitations, this thesis proposes a generic framework for SRE (GF4SRE) architecture offering generic and flexible components that simplify the development of control scenarios in smart environments. The main components consist first in defining a generic Ontology for a Smart Residential Environment (Ont4SRE) and then in using it within a Domain Specific Language (DSL) called Generic Process Language for Smart Residential Environments (GPL4SRE) to build generic process templates orientedtoward users’ goals. Additionally, a translator is provided to convert the templates intoexecutable ones, and a process execution engine with the capability to execute them.

To address the challenges related to the interoperations between the physical world and digital world across a heterogeneous hardware and software platform, the web services with semantic annotations and their emerging technologies are used. They integrate low-level decoupled services with high-level control processes by providing semantic awareness, and service filtering capabilities.

Concerning the discovery of the physical world, a semantic-based discovery and lookup infrastructure that takes into account the particular context of smart environments is proposed. Finally, to evaluate the advantages of applying the proposed framework, the proposed architecture has been implemented and tested through a case study realized in the field of smart residential environments - in particular for security and energy saving scenarios.