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A Solution for Low Cost and High Performance Smart Home Networking

Yikui Zhang*, Lili Ye*, Liwei Zhu*, Yisheng Lai

*School of Computer Software, Tianjin University Tianjin City, 300072, P. R. China International School, Beijing University of Posts & Telecom Beijing City, 102209, P. R. China
Abstract Smart Home System is an intelligent home network combined with advanced communication technology to carry out effective control and information exchange. And home networking is the core to the implementation of a smart home system. This paper demonstrate a detail comparison and analysis of the wired and the wireless networking, making good use of the wired networking which is low-cost, high security, more stable, the wireless networking which is more flexible and more expansible. The purpose is to figure out a feasibility solution to meet the customers requirements and bring the highly-efficient, comfortable, safe, energy saving and convenient living environment to everyday life. The paper proposed an approach by using power line communication technology. It connects entire intranet and several wireless networking to connect home devices by existed power line, so that it reduces the cost and increase the security and performance of smart home. To show how the smart home networking could be used in peoples daily life, this paper also gives an example that is the dishes ordering system for housewife. The system will give the housewife some advices, connect households and the supermarket to support procurement requirements. Keywords-smart home; networking; low-cost; security wired networking; wireless



With the rapid development of computer networking communication technology, the demands of people for the comfortable and intelligent living are increasing. At the same time, there are more and more people concerning about smart home, especially the simple, flexible and reliable smart home network which has started to become the more important part for smart home. Smart Home is the highly-efficient, comfortable, safe and convenient living environment which uses a home as a platform and puts the buildings, automation and intelligentization in one [1]. It is also a user-friendly application based on computer network technology and networking communication technology. The purpose of smart home is to control the various devices to implement intelligent management through the touch screen, wireless remote controller, mobile phone, web browser or voice recognition system. At the same time, different devices can

communicate with each other in smart home. And it can still run and interact depending on the different states inside without the users command. Smart home is giving users the highest level of efficient, convenient, comfortable and security life. At the moment, as an advanced-technology, the smart home is still in its early stages. Firstly the solutions are not perfect enough and the products are not very mature. Secondly, there emerges a wide variety of smart home standards and alliances, lacking uniform standards. And the costs for smart home are relatively high, only few people can afford to enjoy the convenience brought from smart home. The ultimate goal of these advanced-technologies is to be widely used in peoples lives, to provide a comfortable, convenient and efficient living environment for human beings. Smart home could be regarded as a system which combines the different kinds of home information management sub-system by using network communication technology. Therefore, to achieve a smart home system, first of all, a communication network should be created at home so that it can provide the necessary access for the family information. Secondly, under the control of the operating system in the home network, smart home can achieve the controlling and monitoring for all the home network appliances by the corresponding hardware and software. Finally, a certain bridge needs to be used to construct a communication with the outside world so as to meet the supply of remote monitoring and information exchange. Smart Home System is an intelligent home network combined with advanced communication technology, sensing control technology and some embedded systems to carry out effective control and information exchange [2].So the implementation of smart home cannot be live without the intelligent home network. Both wired and wireless network are available for the intranet connection. This paper mainly does the comparison and analysis of these two kinds of networks in order to figure out a better and feasible solution which has a good performance and a low cost. Also, this paper gives an application example which is a housewife ordering system to show how the smart home networking is willing to be applied in peoples daily life to take the convenient life to everyone.



The intelligent home networking mainly refers to the physical network. Currently, there are various of networking technology that can be used in smart home. Wired networking including Ethernet, HomePNA[3], HomePlug[4], IEEE1394, USB, etc. Wireless networking including wireless IEEE802.11 series, Bluetooth, HomeRF[5], ZigBee[6], UWB [7] etc. A. The comparison and analysis of the wired network Although the routing of wired networking is troublesome, but it is relatively mature, fast and stable. More importantly, its security is relatively high, and the cost is relatively low, which is really good choice to achieve the desired low cost and high performance smart home which can be more widely accepted by the general users. Some of the mainstream wired networks are summarized in TABLE I. 1) Ethernet: Ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LAN). It is widely used, the software and hardware resources are very rich, and the cost is relatively low. The advantage of Ethernet is that the technology is already very mature, and Ethernet networking devices can be easily purchased. The home control network can use the Ethernet as the backbone network ,and use the network adapter to achieve network interconnection. 2) HomePNA: The HomePNA [3] can be used for multiple computer users sharing Internet information, documents and networking games. The technology uses the reserved telephone plug on the house wall and has strong anti-interference. It can avoid extra works on wiring. But all the electric equipment must be based on the same lines, but the device plugs, such as living room phone line socket, the television and computer plug, are not in the required position, so the re-cabling is needed according to the requirement. At the same time, the kind of networking has many insufficient in line flexibility and bandwidth. 3) HomePlug: HomePlug is the family name for various power line communications specifications that support networking over existing home electrical wiring. And the HomePlug specifications were developed by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance [4]. Power line communication (PLC) technology enables information appliances to communicate through the power line, without additional wiring. And the cost of using power lines to achieve smart home network is very low. Power grid is the most extensive coverage network, and the technology can easily penetrate into every home and every place of the house. Network access point is the power outlet, which can be found everywhere and easily patched; no extra network lines are needed. Power line carrier communication is more easily achieved in automatic meter reading, home monitoring and power-lined electronic appliances. So it is the most convenient way to achieve intelligent home networking by power line communication technology.

The major benefit of power line networking is that users can easily establish a network using an existing home electrical wiring as the communication medium. Power outlets can be easily found around the room, there is no need to drill holes in walls or ceiling to route new wiring and, as a result, installation is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive. The most widely deployed power line networking devices are "adapters"[8], which are standalone modules pluged into wall outlets (or power strips or extension cords) and provide one or more Ethernet ports. In a simple home network, the Internet gateway router connects via Ethernet cable to a power line adapter, which in turn plugs into a nearby power outlet. A second adapter, plugged into any other outlet in the home, could connect via Ethernet cable to any Ethernetenabled device (e.g., computer, printer, IP phone, gaming station). Data communications between the router and Ethernet devices would be conveyed over existing home electrical wiring. More complex networks with multiple adapters can be implemented by plugging in additional adapters as needed. A power line adapter may also be plugged into a hub or switch so that it supports multiple Ethernet devices residing in a common room. Increasingly, the functionality found in standalone adapters is being built into end devices such as power control centers, digital media adapters, and Internet security cameras. It is anticipated that power line networking functionality will be embedded in TVs, set-top boxes, DVRs, and other consumer electronics, especially with the emergence of global power line networking standards [9]. Currently there are X-10[10], CEBUS (Consumer Electronic Bus) and LonWorks[11] as a representative of the system which use the power line networking as intermediary. 4) IEEE1394: The IEEE 1394 interface is a serial bus interface standard for high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer, frequently used by personal computers, as well as in digital audio, digital video, automotive, and aeronautics applications. IEEE1394 has a wide bandwidth and can support powerful isochronous transmission for multimedia streaming, it is easy to transmit a large Audio/Video (A/V) content in real-time. However, and IEEE1394 has limitations in terms of distance and mobility. It defines that the distance between two adjacent connected devices cannot be greater than 4.5 meters. Another drawback is the cost which is still relatively high. 5) USB: The USB (Universal Serial Bus) defines the cables, connectors and protocols used for connection, communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices. It was designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals, such as keyboards, digital cameras, printers, portable media players, disk drives and network adapters to personal computers, both to communicate and to supply electric power. USB has a significant advantage is that it support hot swaps, that means you can safely connect or disconnect USB devices when

starting up, achieve true plug and play. However, due to the internal constraints of USB technology, that only one master device can exist in a USB topology, which means two separate USB master devices cant communicate directly.
TABLE I. Performance Data Rate (Mb/s) Transmission Range Security Anti-jamming Capability Cost THE COMPARISON OF THE WIRED NETWORK Wired Networks
Ethernet Home PNA Home Plug IEEE 1394 USB

10-1000 100m Good High Medium

10 300m Good Medium High

210 300m Good High High

4003200 4.5m Normal Low Low

12-480 5m Normal Low Low

These technologies are still continued to be developed, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is difficult to decide in what choose which family internal technology and how to integrate the technology to build a home network is a hot topic. B. The comparison and analysis of the wireless network The wireless networking solve the restrictions of network cabling , while the expansion and flexibility of wireless is relatively strong , once arrangement of wired network completed, it cannot be changed, but the wireless is flexibly to be increase accessing device conveniently. Although there are various wireless networking technologies emerging, but we just cannot say which is better between wirelesses and wired. And we should make a good choice according to the demand situation to find better solutions. The major wireless networkings are summarized in Table 2. 1) Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs) with high levels of security. Bluetooth is based on low-cost short distance connection, which can support both point to point and point to multipoint connection. In this way, we can connect many Bluetooth devices wirelessly to form a pieonet , and many pieonet can inter-connect to form a scattemet. Thus a flexible and multi-level topology structure is formed to achieve fast communication among devices. Bluetooth adopt advanced technologies such as FHSS and TDMA to construct ways of communication among information systems. By using FHSS, Bluetooth can achieve high immunity from interference. Besides, Bluetooth possesses qualities such as low power usage, low cost, small size, and adaptable to nearly all devices in all situations. In the future we can expect information exchange and cross operation among portable devices from different manufacturers [12]. 2) WiFi: WiFi is a wireless technology which is based on IEEE 802.11 standard. WiFi is a short distance wireless technology within office and house in the same way as

Bluetooth. Although the data security is not better enough compared with Bluetooth, WiFi has larger coverage. It is estimated that WiFi can cover an area of about 300 inches (about 90meters),thus it is enough to satisfy domestic need, which have made it the most accepted wireless communication technology. Moreover, WiFi can reach a rate of 54mbps to satisfy both individual and social information need mechanism. 3) HomeRF: HomeRF (home radio frequency) is a developmental industry standard which is specifically designed for the home wireless LAN. HomeRF products are using the shared wireless LAN technology (SWAP) (Share Wireless Access Protocol), combined with the features of DECT (Digital Exchange Cordless Technology) and IEEE802.1l, and providing the support capabilities to voice and data services. HomeRF is ideal for home networking environment [5]. With the radio frequency technology, data will be received accurately and reliably, without objects blocking the signal transceiver, as long as in the system coverage, regardless of any position or angle. This system can reach the coverage of up to 100m in an open environment. But in houses 30m remote control range is the maximum limit of radio frequency technology, and if it goes beyond this distance, wireless signal is susceptible to interference by the same frequency and the signal is weakened, and this is one of the largest radio frequency technology flaws. At the same time, although HomeRF technology is designed for home users of wireless LAN, but it is mainly used for computer-based home networks, and the price is relatively high. These all will cast some adverse effects on the future development of HomeRF[13][14]. 4) ZigBee: ZigBee is a new wire-less internet technology which is labeled by low rate, short range and low power consumption. Its characteristics are short range, low complexity level, self-organization, low power consumption, low data rate, low cost. ZigBees solutions support for 255 nodes per network, multiple networks can be connected into large networks. Using ZigBee technology, transmission distance can reach about 100 meters, which is related to power output and environmental characteristics. Although the data transfer rate is only 250kb/s, but in some application fields in which high-speed transmission is not required, such as interior lighting and air conditioning systems controlling, gas meter reading, computer peripherals, and sensors. Clearly, just with ZigBee transmission network one cannot complete the main function of the home network, so locating ZigBee in the complementary networking technologies is more appropriate [15]. 5) UWB: UWB (Ultra Wide Band) is ultra-wideband wireless technology. UWB support IEEE802.15.3 streaming media protocol, the rate is higher than IEEE 802.1la, IEEE802.llb and considered to be the replace of Bluetooth and wireless LAN communication technology. Different

from Bluetooth and WiFi which are relatively narrow bandwidth conventional wireless systems, UWB can transmit a series of very narrow, low-power pulses on broadband. Wide spectrum, low power and pulsed data give UWB the ability to cause less interference than the traditional narrow-band wireless solution, and the ability to provide indoor wireless environment the same performance as the wired one. And it is worth mentioning that, UWB also enjoys a relatively better confidentiality.
Bluetooth WiFi Home RF ZigBee UWB

Frequency Band


2.4G Hz 3.6G Hz 5GHz 144M b/s 90m 50 High WPA Low High


2.4GH z 868M Hz 915M Hz 250Kb /s 10m100m 255 Low AES128 High Low

Max Data Rate Transmission Range Accepted Nodes Power Encryption Algorithm Security Cost

3Mb/s 10m100m 8 High SAFER+ Medium Medium

10Mb/s 50m 127 Medium Blowfish High Medium

3.1GHz 10.6GH z(Amer ica) 6GHz10GHz( Europe) 100Mb/ s 10m Low _ High Low

In general, WiFi suits well in the enterprise wireless network in offices; HomeRF can be applied to deal with mobile data in families and communications between the voice device and the host; Bluetooth technology can be applied to any occasion in which wireless solution can replace cables; ZigBee transmission network itself cannot achieve the main functions of home network, so it is complementary networking technology; UWB in every respect has strong advantages, so it is the ideal wireless networking technology. III. DESIGNING THE SMART HOME NETWORKING Intelligent home network is the most important context of the smart hone.In the smart home network there exists highspeed data devices such as stereo, TV, video camera, and general-speed data devices such as media phone, cordless phone, entrance guard system, while there are also remote meter directly-reading systems, fire or burglar alarm, lighting, electrical control systems all of which are low-rate data devices. From a users perspective, user is more inclined to the compatible parts which are low-cost, easy to use, highly reliable, flexible and scalable and support a variety of applications. Therefore, the compound networking which combines the high-speed, stable, low cost and convenience of wired networking with the more flexible wireless networking will be more suitable for the average home user.

According to the requirement, the variety of devices in smart hone can be divided into three categories: one based on video phone, cordless phone, mobile device, laptops, represented by the information device; one is a TV, digital cameras, stereo represented by the traditional entertainment device; third category includes refrigerators, washing machines, and related home control devices [16]. For entertainment applications, such as audio and video, require the network to provide high-bandwidth, real-time, synchronous transmission, this kind of devices can choose IEEEl394, UWB technology, Ethernet. For computing and data communications applications, such as computers, voice services, transmission rate requirements in the tens of kbps to several Mbps, the previously described techniques to meet a lot of data, this kind of devices can choose wired HomePNA, Ethernet networking technology, wireless Bluetooth, WiFi, HomeRF, etc., For home automation in the low-speed control applications, such as the three meters(gas, water, electricity) reading, lighting control, theft prevention, fire alarm, etc., demands dozens of kbps of bandwidth, PLC and the latest ZigBee technology are good choices. As for the choice of the wireless and wired networkings, should be refer to the specific applications, the wiring convenience, the cost, the reliability, the power and so on. Wired networking has to wiring the cables, but it has little signal attenuation and strong interference immunity. Wireless eliminates cabling, and it is more flexible, but inevitably will face security problems. However, the overall trend from the wireless network technology and demand ratio is continuously increasing. The biggest problem of wired networking technology is facing the wiring problem. In the long run, the wired networking technology has the characteristics of low-cost, high-speed, stability, security advantages, that wireless cannot win at all times. In order to establish of intelligent networking of the smart home and the communication among smart devices both indoor and outdoor. It also needs to access the Internet through a web browser. This can monitor the various intelligent smart home devices when user is outside. So that a home gateway should be used for this purpose. Home gateway is the communication centers of the home network. Front of the home network is connected to home gateway, home networking can be connected through the gateway , the gateway is also a configured master node to control the entire network, Each subnet can use different physical media and communication protocols, and gateway master node should be compatible to all communication protocols. Different subnets devices can be communicated with each other to achieve intelligent home control. In order to enable embedded intelligent devices connecting to the Internet, home gateway needs to support TCP/IP protocol and provide web services. So that can enable users to access server running on the gateway through the network to achieve the remote access and control of these embedded devices. Currently, there are two ways for family to access the Internet, through PC or via Ethernet embedded controller. The advantage of the former one is that there are a lot of available hardware and software resources. However, for the smart home network, the users would prefer

convenient access to services, not the power-consuming and high-cost PCs. Moreover, embedded system is more flexible and mature than PC. Embedded operating system has the advantages of high efficient, real-time, multi-tasks and reliable. And there are some matured embedded operating system existed in the market, such as VxWorks, WinCE, Linux, uCLinux. To reducing the OS cost, high-performance open sources embedded operating system can be chosen to support TCP/IP protocol and run Internet service applications on the gateway. By comparing and analyzing several mainstream wired and wireless networks mentioned above. From users perspective, ordinary users want to buy the safest product in the cheapest price. To meet the wide spread of the smart home to the average users home, This approach tries to reduce the total costs and achieve high security. The comprehensive solution for network arranging is shown in Figure 1.

manufactured smart devices come up with Bluetooth for device intercommunication. At the same time, this approach chooses UWB technology to achieve networking communication for the high-speed devices. UWB and Bluetooths effective distance and power dissipation is similar, but UWBs transmission rate is hundreds of times than Bluetooth transfer rate, and the bandwidth is also wider. Whats more, UWB has stronger anti-interference, better security, so UWB is undoubtedly the best choice for the high rate devices in the near future. ZigBee is the best choices for the low-rate devices without the requirement of high-speed such as indoor lighting, electrical control, three meters reader, security systems and so on. The main characteristics of ZigBee are low-power, low cost, transmission distance up to 100 meters, supporting for more network devices. And multiple networks can also form large networks. From these characteristics of view, it is the most suitable communications technology for low-rate equipment. So ZigBee is the best choice for this approach for low-rate home devices. IV. AN APPLICATION DESIGN FOR THE SMART HOME NETWORKING

Figure 1. The design of the smart home.

For each family, the power line network is ready-made without the need to rebuild, so it is very convenient .The investment of PLC and maintenance costs of the power line is relatively low. At the same time, power line is also the most extensive coverage of the network, which can easily permeate everywhere in house. And its coverage is the largest than any other network in house. One of the biggest advantages of it is the "plug and play", accessing to power is equivalent to accessing to the network. Users will enjoy the life with an immediate high-speed network from PLC as long as it can connect to any power outlet of the room. Therefore, this approach chooses PLC as an optimal choice to connect various smart devices indoor. According to the classified categories of home devices, this approach chooses Bluetooth to achieve communications for the moderate rates information devices. Bluetooth has the advantage of low power and low-price, which is better fit for the sharing and interaction of information. Currently, Bluetooth technology is quite mature so that many

The purpose of the design of the smart home networking is that applied in the peoples daily life for improving the living quality and convenience. Housewife is a very important group. How to help housewife cook dishes conveniently is a very good prospect. So based on this demand, the technology was used in the intelligent household system for dishes ordering. The terminal has been made and it will connect to the intelligent household system though the power line socket, which reduces the cost of wiring. Whats more the intelligent terminals have built-in wireless module which will communicate with other wireless devices. The application on the wireless device for housewife was added so as to achieve the related operation of quick and safe ordering. The main functions of the intelligent ordering application are described as follows. And the design is shown in the Figure 2. And how the intelligent home system applied is shown in Figure 3. Firstly, when housewife did not know what dishes should she cooks, the intelligent system will give the housewife some recommendations according to the current situation, such as time, seasons and some physical conditions. When the user likes the dish, he could set this dish into a special list. Second, when the housewife doesnt know how to prepare a dish, she can find the method by searching through the key words. And the detailed materials, cooking method and attentions will be shown. Third, when housewife face a pile of raw material but dont know what to cook, she only needs to open application and choose the ingredients she currently have. The system can analyze these ingredients and recommend the dishes from these ingredients which also close to the user preferences. After housewife has finished ordering, this intelligent system can be automatic clearing the weight of all kinds of vegetables, and upload classification to the terminal which also connected to the wireless terminal of the refrigerator. After the system automatically eliminates the weight of the various dishes in

the refrigerator, information is integrated and sent to buy vegetables in the on-line vegetables store. On-line vegetables store will delivery door to door, which largely make the convenience of housewife. Then it initially realizes the intelligent of the household system.
Housewife starts the order application Search the main order

automatic fire system in the kitchen with the chips of temperature-sensing and gas timing. Through the wireless transmission of the situation, people in the bedroom can grasp the trends of kitchen. If people are not at home, they can automatically start alarm system and emergency system so that decrease the risk and losses to the minimum. In a word, with this technology of the intelligent household system can be used by the common people and promote the development of intelligent life. V. CONCLUSION In this paper, smart home has been gradually popular, it must be more widely accepted and used with the increasing needs of the energy saving, comfortable, convenient and intelligent living. In this paper, a comparison and analysis to the current intelligent home networking of wired and wireless is presented. According to the trend of the smart home networking, the approach put forward the solution to fulfill the cheaper and safer smart home. The combination with wired and wireless networking will make good use of their respective advantages and shortcomings. And it provides a reference solution for the smart home design with low cost and high performance. The proposed integrated networking model may certainly become the mainstream for smart home networking in the future. REFERENCES
[1] [2] Qi Zhen-xing, "Discuses the development of Chinas Smart Home", Guangxi Journal of Light Industry Press, 2009, pp.63-64. Wen-Yang Wang, Chih-Chieh Chuang, Yu-Sheng Lai, "A contextAware system for smart home applications". Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2005, pp.298-305. Wikipedia, Home RF Working Group, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Baidupedia, PLC product introduction, IEEE Standards Association, "IEEE P1901 Working Group." Web. 30 June 2010. Information about X-10, LonWorks technology information brief introduction, A. Omre, "Reducing healthcare costs with wireless technology", Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, June 2009, pp. 65-70. Miyahara,Y., "Next-generation wireless technologies trends for ultra low energy", Low Power Electronics and Design 2011 International Symposium on, 2011, pp.345. Lansford,J., Bahl,P., "The design and implementation of HomeRF: A radio frequency wireless networking standard for the connected home", Proceedings of the IEEE, 2000, pp.1662-1676. Jianpo Li, Xuning Zhu, Ning Tang, Jisheng Sui, "Study on ZigBee network architecture and routing algorithm", Signal Processing System 2010 2nd International Conference on, 2010, pp.V2-389-V2393. Wang Kun, "Research and Implementation of Embedded Home Gateway Based on Bluetooth", Computer knowledge and technology, 2007, pp.20-44.

Search the menu by the materials

Choose the need of items

Search the menu she onced labeled like Transport the materials to the housewife

Show the possible order of her intentions

Search the menu by the name of dishes

Show all the dishes she onced liked

Ensure the order she will choose

Show the information of making the dish Calculate the rest need of all the kind of materials by connecting to the application of refrigerator Upload the information to the internet Vegetables store

Choose some of these she will make this time

Figure 2. The design of intelligent ordering.


Web Browser

The Intelligent Ordering System Delivery The On-line Supermarket

Hand-held terminals

[3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Figure 3. How the intelligent ordering system communicate.

The advantages of this intelligent order application are actually achieved "low cost". Because the system use the power line which can save the cost of the rebuild of the wiring, which satisfies the needs of housewife, and it meets a lot of the housewifes requirements. Another advantage is the high performance of this technology. In terms of speed, it adopts the technology of combination of wired and wireless, which is faster than the traditional simple wireless. From the anti-jamming and convenient aspects, wireless information is easy to be intercepted by people, give away the important information. So in the terminal server section, the system adopt to the power line transmission is the way to ensure the security of the information exchanging. The future design about the intelligent household system should also be considered. All of these are based on the proposed technology with low cost and high performance, such as the design can apply this technology on the