FTT-MA: A Flexible Time-Triggered Middleware Architecture for Time Sensitive, Resource-Aware AmI Systems
Sensors 13(5) : 6229-6253 (2013)
There is an increasing number of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) systems that are time-sensitive and resource-aware. From healthcare to building and even home/office automation, it is now common to find systems combining interactive and sensing multimedia traffic with relatively simple sensors and actuators (door locks, presence detectors, RFIDs, HVAC, information panels, etc.). Many of these are today known as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Quite frequently, these systems must be capable of (1) prioritizing different traffic flows (process data, alarms, non-critical data, etc.), (2) synchronizing actions in several distributed devices and, to certain degree, (3) easing resource management (e.g., detecting faulty nodes, managing battery levels, handling overloads, etc.). This work presents FTT-MA, a high-level middleware architecture aimed at easing the design, deployment and operation of such AmI systems. FTT-MA ensures that both functional and non-functional aspects of the applications are met even during reconfiguration stages. The paper also proposes a methodology, together with a design tool, to create this kind of systems. Finally, a sample case study is presented that illustrates the use of the middleware and the methodology proposed in the paper.