On Dynamic Service Integration in VNA Architecture

Jin NAKAZAWA  Yoshito TOBE  Hideyuki TOKUDA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E84-A   No.7   pp.1610-1623
Publication Date: 2001/07/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Multi-dimensional Mobile Information Networks)
information appliances,  home network (HN),  middleware,  componentware,  VNA,  

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In forthcoming home network environment, computation capability will be embedded invisibly in home appliances, sensors, walls, ceilings, and floors. People will conduct various tasks using multiple devices simultaneously without consciousness of using computers. In this paper, first, we propose an application model named Virtual Network Appliance (VNA) model which simplify and expand device utilization. In the model, each device has VNA runtime system and function objects, called VNA components, running on it. A user task is defined in an application called VNA which is a logical appliance consisting of abstract function requirements and a message graph among them. Second, we propose Virtual Plug&Play mechanism which is a dynamic service integration mechanism in VNA model implementation. When a user conducts a task, he/she makes a VNA runtime system on a user-side terminal load a VNA definition appropriate for the task. Virtual Plug&Play dynamically discovers required VNA components and establishes the message graph as defined. Since XML documents are used to describe a VNA, users can share and customize it easily. We call the device integration done by Virtual Plug&Play top-down integration, which existing middleware do not aim at. Finally, we show that Virtual Plug&Play affords practical performance for top-down integration by performance evaluation.