Objectives

Main Objectives

The lightweight and flexible IPAC middleware provides all services required for the deployment and execution of diverse applications in a collaborative nomadic environment. These services are supported by novel knowledge and ontology engineering techniques, dealing with interoperability, integration, and re-configuration / adaptation problems encountered in contemporary embedded platforms. Being collaborative, IPAC relies on short-range communications (e.g., ZigBee,DSRC,Bluetooth) for the ad hoc realization of dialogs between nodes. Being context-aware, IPAC relies on advanced sensing components thus, delivering highly innovative application architecture.

IPAC is based on sophisticated information dissemination algorithms. Specifically, it relies on rumour spreading techniques. Rumour spreading involves the propagation of information within a certain network. Information is ducted only to immediate neighbours that are interested in specific content (rumour). Therefore, IPAC incorporates recent research advances in the area of bio-inspired computing systems.

Mobile nodes in IPAC are specified and developed to be non-selfish with respect to information dissemination (a mobile incarnation of a peer-to-peer system). Specifically, the IPAC nodes operate in a collaborative fashion in order to diffuse contextual information and broader knowledge in their environment. A node propagates an information message received by another node across the network. In case that such message appears to be usable for the node, it can process it. An information message that is of no interest to an IPAC node has to be forwarded across the network for further processing. The same path is followed for the dissemination of new applications or application components after their development thus contributing to the deployment and use of new embedded applications. IPAC integrates techniques and algorithms for energy-efficient, autonomic node behaviour, advanced context awareness, embedded service/application modelling and efficient information dissemination.

Lastly, the IPAC consortium will research on the capabilities of different short rangecommunication schemes, will pursue their joint, seamless operation in a single computing unit andwill tune their parameters for optimized operation in the context of the IPAC environment.
Overall, IPAC will merge all the discussed techniques and algorithms in a single platform.Benefits will stem from the thorough study and optimization of the above areas


Potential IPAC Applications

IPAC is a flexible platform capable of implementing quite diverse application scenarios; the availability of multiple security levels provides the necessary versatility to handle diverse use cases. It may be used in simple messaging systems, such as advertisements or weather updates, in emergency updates, where authentication might be necessary, or even in a closed group of preauthenticated members where confidentiality is a prerequisite. Some of the applications scenarios envisaged are described below.

Vehicle Early Warning System (VEWS)

Cars, trucks and buses are equipped with various types of sensing elements, such as vision, GPS, temperature and light sensors. The vehicle is capable of continuously scanning the road floor and fusing such information with other details like temperature and ambient light. In countries like Greece, roads in the islands or in mountainous areas are typically tortuous (continuous sharp turns). Driving through such roads during the night is highly dangerous. Visibility is very low due to the shape of the road, cars approaching in opposite directions may collide (at the bend location), get off-road with unpredictable consequences, or their drivers may become totally ineffective due to the strong lights of the approaching vehicle. This is a life-critical application that could be easily handled through IPAC. IPAC either conveys a warning indication to the driver on the approaching vehicle or/and, automatically, performs the needed adjustments (e.g., light level adjustments). To increase system efficiency, avoid false alarms and unnecessary system intervention, the ambient light level and car velocity are sensed and fused with the overall system dynamic information. Another VEWS application that can be readily handled through IPAC is warning on hazardous road conditions. Such sensing requirement is handled through the vision sensor that the IPAC consortium can contribute for system integration and pilot testing. Sensor readings from this component are fused with outside temperature to confirm the existence of ice on the road floor. IPAC assists in the detection of icy segments and the automatic propagation of alarms to the vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

Crisis Management

Crisis situations arise constantly throughout the continent, either due to natural
(earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, wildfires) or human-induced incidents (warfare, industrial accidents, terrorist acts). The relief effort provision immediately after the incident will in most cases be problematic due to the lack of communications and information exchange infrastructure. The IPAC framework can provide the necessary ad hoc communication infrastructure in such areas, while also serving as the communication bridge between different humanitarian relief organisations. Vehicles assisting in crisis management are equipped with various types of sensing elements like the vision sensor and GPS receiver. Convoys evacuating the crisis area (outbound vehicles) accumulate dynamic information on random occurrences of the controlled disaster (e.g., smoke, fire spotting,destroyed
buildings). Such information is also fused with indications of human activity.
The outbound vehicle (or rescue team) has already served in the crisis area and therefore, cannot contribute to the newly detected crisis spot. Such information is automatically relayed to inbound vehicles or walking rescue teams to efficiently coordinate the crisis management effort at the micro-level.

Industrial Environments

Industrial automation, quality control and manufacturing provide a large field of potential IPAC applications. With the ever-increasing reliance on machine-built and operated assembly lines, IPAC can play a crucial role in providing the communication infrastructure between sensors, assembly-line machines, control-room, robots and human workers. The possibilities in applying IPAC to many fields of manufacturing, quality control, process monitoring, micro-calibration, etc. are numerous. Seamless communication can become a reality for the myriad of devices interworking in an industrial environment.

Advertising

The usage of IPAC in advertising can be explored in multiple inventive ways. In the traditional advertising approach, advertisement messages can be sent to all customers of a supermarket, mall or visitors of a zoo, etc. In a more direct marketing approach, customers near the toy area of the shopping centre can receive toy discount offers or invitations to certain promotional happenings. If interaction is enabled by the customer/visitor, discounts can be offered to the first responders to some questions propagated through the IPAC platform. In any case, the underlying infrastructure will be there to facilitate any creative idea in advertising.