There exists a large set of interoperability standards in the home-networking domain. The advance of new technology (3G roaming devices) will result in newer standards. The incompatibilities of standards hamper their deployment within the home. FABRIC aims at developing an architecture in which several standards and technologies in the home networking context can be integrated. More than integration alone, FABRIC allows the management of the complete network to satisfy timing requirements. The result of FABRIC supports the longer-term vision on ambient intelligence to improve our quality of life. The focus in FABRIC is the improvement of the multi-media experience by extending the deployment of standards. The High Level Architecture (HLA), also known as the IEEE 1516standard, is taken as starting point for the FABRIC. HLA is chosen for its provision of loose but timed coupling between complex systems.
1. The interoperability of devices and services coming from different standards by providing a generic middleware layer incorporating issues such as service description and discovery, management of context-sensitive information;
2. The management of co-operating components, real-time issues coming from the wish to synchronise actions in the digital equipment with physical processes (e.g. the management of A/V streams satisfying real-time constraints to obtain a realistic viewing experience), Quality of Service management, security and interaction with the technical infrastructure;
3. Provision of a middleware layer that is distributed, has a small overhead in terms of memory footprint and energy, and provides good throughput and small latency. In addition, the resource requirements should be low enough for deployment in embedded systems.
Technology overview: The capabilities of the home networks have to be investigated with a special emphasis on common capabilities but different implementations and differences between the specifications. The HLA must be investigated with a view on the capabilities of the network standards and the requirements imposed for their exploitation. Application requirement analysis will provide an overview of the categories of possible applications that will execute on future home networks. Specific representatives of the categories will be analysed in more detail. Specification of the application and the underlying technology is provided. This implies filtering the results of the application requirement analysis and the technology overview. The expertise of the individual partners will be brought in to specify a challenging and representative result. The specification should address the components of HLA and how the structure of HLA will be mapped to the structure of the in-home network standards.
Architecture and Application design needs the attention of the partners that bring expertise in as many areas. A mathematical treatment of the streams is necessary to decide on algorithms to optimise throughput of the streams. The protocols to propagate decisions can be developed in reasonable independence. An important aspect is the integration in the context of HLA. This is the major difference between the approach taken in FABRIC and other efforts at combining heterogeneous home networks. Demonstrator will be delivered in this package with the purpose of running the application and observe its behaviour. The results combined with the invested effort will give a good impression of the viability of the approach taken here. Dissemination: At the end of the phase, articles will be written and presented at appropriate places to disseminate the results. Selected results can be used as input to standardisation bodies like IEEE and IETF.
M1(T0+6) Application requirements and technology overview descriptions;
M2(T0+8) Specification of architecture and application;
M3(T0+14) Description of first design and feedback to specification plus updated specification documents. Contribution to standardisation;
M4(T0+22) Documents that describe design;
M5(T0+30) A demonstrator with a comparison of results versus effort. Presentations to conferences, workshops and journals.
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