Abstractions, Architecture, Mechanisms, and a Middleware for Networked Control

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Executive Summary

This paper focus on the mechanism half of the policy mechanism divide for networked control systems, and address the issue of what are the appropriate abstractions and architecture to facilitate their development and deployment. This paper proposes an abstraction of "Virtual Collocation" and its realization by the software infrastructure of middleware. Control applications are to be developed as a collection of software components that communicate with each other through the middleware, called Etherware. The middleware handles the complexities of network operation, such as addressing, start-up, configuration and interfaces, by encapsulating application components in "Shells" which mediate component interactions with the rest of the system.

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