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Title: A system for controlling, monitoring and programming the home
Author: Maternaghan, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 7179
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2012
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As technology becomes ever more pervasive, the challenges of home automation are increasingly apparent. Seamless home control, home monitoring and home programming by the end user have yet to enter the mainstream. This could be attributed to the challenge of developing a fully autonomous and extensible home system that can support devices and technologies of differing protocols and functionalities. In order to offer programming facilities to the user, the underlying rule system must be fully independent, allowing support for current and future devices. Additional challenges arise from the need to detect and handle conflicts that may arise among user rules and yield undesirable results. Non-technical individuals typically struggle when faced with a programming task. It is therefore vital to encourage and ease the process of programming the home. This thesis presents Homer, a home system that has been developed to support three key features of a home system: control, monitoring and programming. Homer supports any third-party hardware or software service that can expose its functionality through Java and conform to the Homer interface. Stand-alone end user interfaces can be written by developers to offer any of Homer's functionality. Where policies (i.e. rules) for the home are concerned, Homer offers a fully independent policy system. The thesis presents a custom policy language, Homeric, that has been designed specifically for writing home rules. The Homer policy system detects overlaps and conflicts among rules using constraint satisfaction and the effect on environment variables. The thesis also introduces the notion of perspectives to ease user interactivity. These have been integrated into Homer to accommodate the range of ways in which a user may think about different aspects and features of their home. These perspectives include location, device type, time and people-oriented points of view. Design guidelines are also discussed to aid end user programming of the home. The work presented in this thesis demonstrates a system that supports control, monitoring and programming of the home. Developers can quickly and easily add functionality to the home through components. Conflicts can be detected amongst rules within the home. Finally, design guidelines and a prototype interface have been developed to allow both technically minded and non-technical people to program their home.
Supervisor: Turner, Kenneth Sponsor: Department of Computing Science and Mathematics ; SICSA ; MATCH
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Home Automation ; Policies ; End user programming ; Programming techniques