The RUNES Middleware: A Reconfigurable Component-based Approach to Networked Embedded Systems

Conference: PIMRC 2005 - 16th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Personal Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
09/11/2005 - 09/14/2005 at Berlin, Germany

Proceedings: PIMRC 2005

Pages: 5Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Costa, Paolo; Picco, Gian Pietro (Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy)
Coulson, Geoff (Lancaster University, UK)
Mascolo, Cecilia; Zachariadis, Stefanos (University College London, UK)

Miniature computing devices are being embedded in an increasing range of objects around us including home appliances, cars, buildings, and people. Furthermore, the networking of such embedded environments is enabling advanced scenarios in which devices leverage off each other and exhibit autonomous and coordinated behaviour. Recent developments in wireless networking are pushing these trends even further by simplifying deployment, and enabling new applicative scenarios, as witnessed by the recent surge of interest in wireless sensor networks. However, research into such networked embedded environments has focused almost exclusively on the development of miniaturised devices with increasingly powerful and general capabilities. As a result, the software fabric that ultimately makes innovative applications possible has tended to be overlooked. Instead, software is developed in an ad-hoc fashion, with little or no provision for reusable services and abstractions. Furthermore, even where attempts are made to provide such features, the wide range of devices involved in networked embedded environments inevitably leads to significant complexity in appropriately configuring, deploying, and dynamically reconfiguring the software. There is therefore a need for a programming platform with abstractions that are able to span the full range of heterogeneous embedded systems, and which also offers consistent mechanisms with which to configure, deploy, and dynamically reconfigure networked embedded systems software. The work discussed in this paper is addressing the need for such a programming platform. The work is being carried out in the context of the EU-funded RUNES project (Reconfigurable, Ubiquitous, Networked Embedded Systems), which has the general general goal of developing an architecture for networked embedded systems that encompasses dedicated radio layers, networks, middleware, and specialised simulation and verification tools.