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Title: An online environmental approach to service interaction management in home automation
Author: Wilson, Michael E. J.
ISNI:       0000 0000 4392 6891
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2005
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Home automation is maturing with the increased deployment of networks and intelligent devices in the home. Along with new protocols and devices, new software services will emerge and work together releasing the full potential of networked consumer devices. Services may include home security, climate control or entertainment. With such extensive interworking the phenomenon known as service interaction, or feature interaction, appears. The problem occurs when services interfere with one another causing unexpected or undesirable outcomes. The main goal of this work is to detect undesired interactions between devices and services while allowing positive interactions between services and devices. If the interaction is negative, the approach should be able to handle it in an appropriate way. Being able to carry out interaction detection in the home poses certain challenges. Firstly, the devices and services are provided by a number of vendors and will be using a variety of protocols. Secondly, the configuration will not be fixed, the network will change as devices join and leave. Services may also change and adapt to user needs and to devices available at runtime. The developed approach is able to work with such challenges. Since the goal of the automated home is to make life simpler for the occupant, the approach should require minimal user intervention. With the above goals, an approach was developed which tackles the problem. Whereas previous approaches solving service interaction have focused on the service, the technique presented here concentrates on the devices and their surrounds, as some interactions occur through conflicting effects on the environment. The approach introduces the concept of environmental variables. A variable may be room temperature, movement or perhaps light. Drawing inspiration from the Operating Systems domain, locks are used to control access to the devices and environmental variables. Using this technique, undesirable interactions are avoided. The inclusion of the environment is a key element of this approach as many interactions can happen indirectly, through the environment. Since the configuration of a home’s devices and services is continually changing, developing an off-line solution is not practical. Therefore, an on-line approach in the form of an interaction manager has been developed. It is the manager’s role to detect interactions. The approach was shown to work successfuly. The manager was able to successfully detect interactions and prevent negative interactions from occurring. Interactions were detected at both device and service level. The approach is flexible: it is protocol independent, services are unaware of the manager, and the manager can cope with new devices and services joining the network. Further, there is little user intervention required for the approach to operate.
Supervisor: Magill, Evan H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Home automation ; Open Services Gateway Initiative ; Computing science Ph.D. thesis ; Feature Interaction ; Service Interaction ; Home automation ; OSGi ; Open Services Gateway Initiative