WP0 - Programme Management
- The philosophy of this work package is to build a coherent team
between the three institutions, maximising the synergies available
within the programme while allowing partners to focus on their
core areas of expertise.
- The workpackages will produce an annual report that will be
available to the HEA and its nominated experts for review and
evaluation. The annual report will incorporate information on
the progress made to the realisation of the research programme
objectives during the reporting period. It will also address the
key drivers and collaborations developed throughout the reporting
period. It will conclude by providing an overview of its work
plan for the next period, including information on any major technical
developments that can impact on its programme goals.
WP1 - State of the Art
- This work package will provide an initial review of the state
of the art in key areas, and ensure that this information is kept
up-to-date on a rolling basis. The intention is to ensure that
the programme's work is not "blindsided" by industrial developments
or emerging standards. By maintaining a rolling surveillance activity
the programme will avoid becoming "fossilised" at an early stage
of device evolution - unacceptable in a fast-moving area.
WP2 - Architectural Approaches
- This work package will develop a suitable abstract Management
Architecture for design and implementation of the interconnection
of Management Smart-space Zones (or M-Zones).
- Real device characteristics will be collected from the WP4 test-beds
and used to provide a "library" of characterised devices. An additional
set of "possible" devices characterisations will be developed
to model potential future directions in technology - for example
portable video streaming clients or instant-messaging products.
Another interesting category of "possible" device is the management
device: a smart artefact whose sole purpose is to provide management
information or functions within a smart space.
- The interactions of the devices will also be investigated so
develop and refine the models underlying the simulation and trial
work being undertaken in WP4.
- This workpackage will define an initial M-Zone management architecture
in year one and continue to refine and update this architecture
throughout the work programme lifetime. The architecture is seen
as a key deliverable of the work programme.
WP3 - Modelling and Design
- The programme is founded on the notion that much of the previous
and current work in smart spaces has focused exclusively on the
creation of small, single smart spaces. A large amount of individual
analysis and design is performed to build such systems - they
are crafted rather than being engineered - and their final properties
are unclear during the design phase. Improving this situation,
in order to allow organisations accurately to predict the behaviours
and limitations of systems and their evolution, is the core target
for the programme.
- This work package will examine a number of possible approaches
to this problem, drawing the technical results in the other work
packages into a coherent engineering framework. Among the approaches
we consider potentially valuable are a set of guidelines for systems
designers contemplating new smart spaces, and a "smart space CASE
tool" allowing computer-aided software engineering of smart spaces
by allowing the implications of alternative design decisions to
be modelled and simulated.
WP4 - Experimental Platforms
- The goal of this work package is to construct and maintain an
evolving set of test-bed environments, one per partner, within
which to evaluate the tools and technologies developed. Although
expensive, such test-beds will allow the programme to address
the real-world engineering aspects of its research as well as
the theoretical underpinnings.
- Complementary to the test-beds, the simulation work package will provide
a purely virtual testing environment for investigating technologies.
The advantages and disadvantages of simulation are that it allows
experimentation with far larger and more complex systems than
can be constructed by a small project, can explore the implications
of yet-to-be-realised developments, but does not necessarily give
insight into the engineering aspects of deployment. For this reason
a combined testing and simulation framework is to be preferred.
WP5 - Evaluation and Dissemination
- The final work package of the programme will collect together the
evaluation aspects of the entire programme. This is preferable
to individual, per-package evaluation tasks as it allows the results
of experiments to be analysed against a complete set of deliverable
- Evaluation will be based around a set of scenarios - "stories"
describing possible interactions with a smart space. Each scenario
will be explored using the different techniques under investigation:
modelling, simulation and (where possible) implementation.
- This workpackage is also responsible for the dissemination of
the project results through conferences, workshops and journals
as well as through submissions to key standardisation work. In
addition an interactive website will be developed to support interaction
between the project and other internally renowned research teams
within the area of smart space management. By its nature the identification
of the dissemination channels is well be carried out in real time.
At the end of each year a report will be produced in the form
of a deliverable indicating the dissemination activities carried
out within the previous 12 months.
Policies for Management
- Adaptive Policies form the core of the management framework
being developed within the programme. Policy-based management
allows system engineers and administrators to state the functions
they wish to allow (or disallow) in a system, the properties they
wish to maintain, and so forth. The key is that this expression
occurs at the level of the system's observable behaviour rather
than in terms of implementation mechanisms, allowing the management
system to deploy a range of low-level approaches to realise the
high-level policy goals.
- Work on policies will develop a policy capture and expression
framework based on extensive previous work by the partners and
others. Policy expression must be sufficiently generic to allow
expansion but sufficiently specific to permit implementation,
since a policy which is stated but not monitored or enforced is
not useful. This is a difficult task, which will be helped by
the partners' extensive previous experience in the area.
- The second thread is to provide mappings
between the inputs and outputs implied by a policy system and
the three strands of management under investigation: WP2/3's abstract
model (providing extra constraints to the model), WP5's simulations
(allowing the effects of policies to be examined in a range of
situations), and WP5's test-beds (providing vital real-world engineering
information). This breadth provides the widest possible range
of analyses into different policy approaches and the assessment
of their impacts.