|dc.description.abstract||Smart home systems (SHS) have become an increasingly important technology in modern life.
Apart from safety, security, convenience and entertainment, they offer significant potential
benefits for the elderly, disabled and others who cannot live independently. Furthermore,
smart homes are environmentally friendly. SHS functionality is based on perceiving
residents’ needs and desires, then offering services accordingly. In order to be smart, homes
have to be equipped with sensors, actuators and intelligent devices and appliances, as well as
connectivity and control mechanisms. A typical SHS comprises heterogeneous services and
appliances that are designed by many different developers and which may meet for the first
time in the home network.
The heterogeneous nature of the systems, in addition to the dynamic environment in which
they are deployed, exposes them to undesirable interactions between services, known as
Feature Interaction (FI). Another reason for FI is the divergence between the policies, needs
and desires of different residents. Proposed approaches to FI detection and resolution should
take these different types of interaction into account.
Negotiation is an effective mechanism to address FI, as conflicting features can then
negotiate with each other to reach a compromise agreement. The ultimate goal of this study
is to develop an Agent-Based Negotiation Approach (ABNA) to detect and resolve feature
interaction in a SHS. A smart home architecture incorporating the components of the ABNA
has been proposed. The backbone of the proposed approach is a hierarchy in which features
are organised according to their importance in terms of their functional contribution to the
overall service. Thus, features are categorised according to their priority, those which are
essential for the service to function having the highest priority.
An agent model of the ABNA is proposed and comprehensive definitions of its components
are presented. A computational model of the system also has been proposed which is used to
explain the behaviour of different components when a proposal to perform a task is raised.
To clarify the system requirements and also to aid the design and implementation of its
properties, a formal specification of the ABNA is presented using the mathematical notations
of Calculus of Context-aware Ambient (CCA), then in order to evaluate the approach a case
study is reported, involving two services within the SHS: ventilation and air conditioning.
For the purpose of evaluation, the execution environment of CCA is utilised to execute and
analyse the ABNA.||en