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Datastructure for defining a device's interface and functionality in an M2M environment AND Mechanism for verifying a device's functionality in an M2M environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234906D
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-13
Document File: 16 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

To have devices communicate with each other without human interaction, it is necessary to solve two key problems: First, devices have to know the syntax and semantics of data involved in a transmission. Second, the devices have to understand the relevance and context of each others' messages. This publication proposes the use of a publish/subscribe protocol to address these two areas.

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Datastructure for defining a device's interface and functionality in an M2M environment

AND

Mechanism for verifying a device's functionality in an M2M environment

Introduction and Overview

Background/Prior Art

The background for this invention is disclosed in [1]. Without devices and components, adhering to a communication standard, the vision of Industrie 4.0 is not feasible. Businesses would have to set up proprietary communication architectures from scratch, which is the case at the moment. Therefore establishment of a standard, which describes both, device functionality and a mechanism for verifying the described functionality, is an essential requirement for Industrie 4.0 to become reality.

 The prior art for our invention is summarized in the referenced publications. [2] gives a good summary of the current state of research in the field of M2M communication and Subsection 2.3.2.3 of [2] shows a similar approach to our solution. [3] gives an example of how interface description is handled in the context of web services.

Problem Statement

To have devices communicate with each other without human interaction, it is necessary to solve two key problems: First, devices have to know the syntax and semantics of data involved in a transmission. This can become quite difficult, as in most cases two devices do not natively understand each other, since they use different, and often proprietary, bus systems, protocols and formats. Second, the devices have to understand the relevance and context of each others' messages. Even if the devices use the same communication architecture, they do not necessarily understand or grasp the logical relevance and context of the data transmitted.

 In summary, for M2M communication to be more flexible in terms of adaptability, scalability, installation speed and to be less error-prone, a Verification Process is needed, that can guarantee that devices can communicate with each other on the basis of a standardized communication architecture.

Key Ideas/Novelty

To solve the aforementioned M2M communication problem, we propose the use of a publish/subscribe M2M-Protocol, e.g. MQTT, which uses topics for communication. A machine manufacturer (M) defines his device's interface in an XML-document, the so 1


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called topic specification, in short Topic Spec1. The Topic Spec can be used for easy verification of device communicability and automated installation via device discovery. The verification can be done by the Verification Unit, which we describe in the section Verification Unit Functionality, by processing the XML document and thereby being able to simulate a communication partner for the device. The Verification Unit verifies that the device's output is in the format specified in the Topic Spec and that the device reacts correctly to the input generated from the software.

Methodology

The methodology that outlines our idea can be summarized in the following steps:


1. M decides to produce a devic...