Towards Dependable Home Networking: An Experience Report

As the success of the Web increasingly brings us towards a fully connected world, home networking systems that connect and manage home appliances become the natural next step to complete the connectivity. Althought there has been fast-growing interest in the design of smart appliances and environments, there has been little study on the dependability issues, which is essential to making home networking part of our daily lives. The heterogeneity of various in-home networks, the undependable nature of consumer devices, and the lack of knowledgeable system administrators in the home environment introduce both opportunities and challenges for dependability research. In this paper, we report the dependability problems we encountered and the solutions we adopted in the deployment of the Aladdin home networking system. We propose the use of a soft-state store as a shared heartbeat infrastructure for monitoring the health of diverse hardware and software entities. We also describe a system architecture for connecting powerline devices to enhance dependability, and a monitoring tool for detecting unusual powerline activities potentially generated by intruders, interferences, or ill-behaved devices.

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Publisher  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
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