Teresa Zotti is Scientist at Philips Lighting Research in Eindhoven focusing on IoT protocols and architectures for constrained devices in Building Management Systems and on data semantic models and ontologies for cross domain applications in Smart Buildings. Teresa finished here Master study with the thesis about “Commissioning aspects of ZigBee-based networks with focus on interoperability”. Teresa is Chair of the resource model working group within the Fairhair Alliance and voting member of the ASHRAE SSPC 135 (aka the BACnet committee).
The Fairhair Alliance Facilitating the Internet of Things for Commercial Buildings
The Fairhair Alliance is an alliance of leading companies from the Lighting, Building Automation and IT industry, which aims to facilitate the ‘Internet of Things’ for buildings. It contributes to the realization of this future by providing specifications of application services for building automation systems that are interworked by means of an IPv6 network infrastructure. The specifications build upon work coming out of the IETF, restricting existing RFCs as dictated by the requirements of the building automation industry, or driving new RFCs.
Completed, these specifications address all needed application services, ranging from security, discovery to network management. The aim is to contribute these specifications for adoption by major building automation ecosystems, such as BACnet, KNX and ZigBee. Next to the obvious efficiency advantage, this harmonized approach enables co-existence of devices out of different ecosystems on the network. Our work thus facilitates the realization of a common, wireless, infrastructure for building control, enables integration with IT, brings building domains closer to each other and breaks down existing barriers to more advanced building and lighting control.
The talk outlines motivating requirements and the basic Fairhair Architecture, and addresses the following services and concepts.
- The Fairhair application framework. This framework sits on top of a generic UDP/IPv6 service that provides a medium-independent transport over wired or wireless physical interfaces. Although Fairhair does not prescribe any specific physical interface it is particularly designed to work with resource-constrained interfaces. To interface to the UDP/IPv6 stack, Fairhair uses services provided by the IETF CoAP protocol [RFC7252] for resource-constrained devices.
- The Fairhair Application Service sublayer defines mechanisms for application services including network management, service discovery and security. These all operate on resources that are described according to a framework provided by the Fairhair resource model.
- Service discovery is based on standard IETF CoAP discovery using Link Format (RFC 6690); adapted to meet requirements from the building automation and lighting industry. Fairhair supports a distributed discovery usually via multicast queries to the “/.well-known/core” resource of devices as well as unicast queries and registrations to a central resource directory (draft-ietf-core-resource-directory).
- The security architecture is based on state-of-the-art IT technology, appropriating the technology for wireless mesh networks. It builds on public key cryptography (IEEE 802.1ar) supporting strong device identities; the protocol flow to bring devices automatically onto the network is based on ANIMA (draft-ietf-anima-bootstrapping-keyinfra). Application layer security is based on DTLS (RFC 6437) and adapts the well-known TLS. Additional extensions are developed to secure group communication, e.g. as in COSE (draft-ietf-cose-msg).
Early 2017, Fairhair has completed its first three draft specifications. These drafts address the Fairhair framework for Resource Modeling, as well as protocols for Resource Discovery, and Security. The talk thus introduces these specifications and constitutes an invitation to comment on the scope and direction of the Fairhair Alliance.