Building simulation/emulation environments for home automation systems

Building simulation/emulation environments for home automation systems,10.1109/MED.2011.5983093,G. Conte,D. Scaradozzi,R. Donnini,A. Pedale

Building simulation/emulation environments for home automation systems  
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The growing interest for developing intelligent and user-friendly systems that take care of various tasks in home management has forested, in the last years, the study of architectures and behavioral strategies for home automation systems. From a theoretical point of view, home automation systems present great complexity, due to their hybrid, distributed and heterogeneous structure, which makes the problem of allocating limited resources - like electricity, gas and water - very difficult. In this paper, we propose a general methodology for modeling, in a Multi Agent System fashion, home automation systems and for constructing an efficient simulation/emulation environment. Our approach employ an UML point of view for constructing models of individual appliances and domotic devices, called agents, whose structure replicates the coupling between real appliances and real actuated/monitored plugs. Generic models consist of a switched dynamics governed by a Petri net, which provides the interface between agents and with the environment. Glowing together, in a suitable way, the Petri net components of agents sharing a common resource, it is possible to define the structure of an overall system that describes concurrent use of that resource. In order to cope with constrains and limitation of resources, the overall system can be endowed with a suitable controller, giving rise to what we call an Home Automation System. Thank to their structures, abstract models and real appliances can be combined into emulation environment where the performances of controllers and related control strategies can be easily investigated. Our approach provide therefore a general methodology for supporting design and validation of control strategies for home automation systems.
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