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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have drawn a lot of attention and a lot of work has been done to provide an efficient communication infrastructure for these systems. This paper focuses on another -not so well studied- class of embedded networks: embedded networks used for control and automation purposes. In contrast to WSNs, these networks have a comparably stable infrastructure, with a low probability of node or link failure. The main challenge for the communication in control oriented networks is the heterogeneity of the underlying infrastructure and the resource constraints already known from WSNs. We propose an adaptable communication layer that leverages existing network protocols and at the same time provides a seamless communication over heterogeneous networks and an efficient and scalable network stack for individual nodes. We show the feasibility of this approach with a demonstrator for the smart energy management in a future home automation scenario.
Date of Conference: 22-25 Sept. 2009