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PhD defence by Rune Torbensen


Time & Place: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 13.00
Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, room B3-104

On the emergence of pervasive home automation

Home automation could be useful in a number of use cases: Comfort, energy savings, security, and eldercare. This work presents an analysis of market actors and home automation technologies. A vision called Pervasive Home Automation (PHA) is the scenario where all electronic devices in the residence are able to communicate and cooperate as services on a common home network. The strategy to foster a PHA market is based on the hypothesis that if the necessary means, i.e. tools, protocols etc., are available then more actors would enter. The following contributions are presented as such necessary means: The Interoperable Home Automation Platform (IHAP) outlines a way to connect different wireless networks into one heterogeneous network. The infrastructure is distributed via generic IP room bridges and expandable via modules so that new data-communication technologies can be connected. In addition, an IHAP compatible flexible communication software framework that supports wireless end-device development is proposed. To allow automatic default system configuration, devices entering the IHAP must provide a descriptor. There is full support for legacy and future innovative end-devices via the presented Open Device Service Description Language. An idea is presented to bootstrap this new PHA market with open source drivers for legacy technologies. The ‘Trusted Domain’ (TD) security system grants access for remote control of end-devices by smartphones, etc., which together with the home gateways become the trusted members of a home network capable of spanning several physical network segments. To include new members, via the Internet, a new user-friendly method for establishing trust between remote devices is presented. TD member changes are distributed in a resource-efficient way via a formally verified update protocol. A new secure end-to-end resource-efficient communication protocol called Secure Embedded Exchange Protocol (SEEP) is also presented, as a simple and formally verified alternative to protocols currently used. The hypothesis that Pervasive Home Automation is technically feasible for heterogeneous residential networks has been shown through the presented results and solutions.

Assessment Committee:
Associate Professor Jens Dalsgaard Nielsen, Dep. of Electronic Systems, Aalborg University, Denmark (chairman)
Associate Professor Christian Damsgaard Jensen, Technical University of Denmark
Professor Rolando Bianchi Bandinelli, Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa

Associate Professor Henrik Schiøler, Aalborg University, Denmark

Associate Professor Jan Dimon Bendtsen, Aalborg University, Denmark

After the defence there will be a reception in C3-205 - All are welcome!

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