An implementation of the PEIS Ecology concept (see README) with the middleware kernel, utilities and small set of components
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README.md

README.md

PEIS Ecology

The PEIS Ecology project is a research project that started 2004 at the Centre for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems. Several European FP7 projects have built on the infrastructure provided by this project and some of the softwares developed within the original PEIS Ecology project have there been extended and further maintained.

This git repository is a public release of the latest state of many of the softwares developed within these projects and although not maintained and in many cases not usable without very specific hardware setups this software is released in the hope of beeing useful for other researchers or hobyists.

Apart from where otherwise noted the softwares within these archives is released under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2 (GPLv2).

Brief concept of PEIS Ecologies

  • A common vision in the field of autonomous robotics is to create a skilled robot companion that is able to live in our homes and workplaces, and to perform physical tasks for helping us in our everyday life.

  • Another vision coming from the field of ambient intelligence, is to create a network of intelligent home devices that provide us with information, communication, and entertainment.

  • This project aims at combining these two visions into the new concept of an Ecology of networked Physically Embedded Intelligent Systems, or PEIS (pronounced [peIs] like in 'pace'). The PEIS-Ecology will provide cognitive and physical assistance to the citizens of the future, and help them to live a better, safer and more independent life.

The PEIS-Ecology approach belongs to a trend which is becoming rather popular in the area of home and service robotics: to abandon the idea of having one extremely competent isolated robot acting in a passive environment, in favor of a network of cooperating robotic devices embedded in the environment. In the PEIS-Ecology approach, advanced robotic functionalities are not achieved by the development of extremely advanced robots, but through the cooperation of many simple robotic components.

The PEIS-Ecology approach takes an ecological view of the robot-environment relationship, in which the robot and the environment are seen as parts of the same system, engaged in a symbiotic relationship toward the achievement of a common goal, or equilibrium status. We assume that robotic devices (or PEIS, for Physically Embedded Intelligent Systems) are pervasively distributed throughout the working space in the form of sensors, actuators, smart appliances, RFID-tagged objects, or more traditional mobile robots; and that these PEIS can communicate and collaborate with each other by providing information and by performing actions. Humans can also be included in this approach as another species of PEIS inside the same ecosystem.

Overview

From a pragmatical point of view, the implementation of PEIS Ecologies requires both a set of infrastructure tools and standardized methods for communication, as well as a vast set of specific programs "components" running on the different pieces of hardware that was built up for this project. These can be classified as follows:

  • The PEIS Kernel

  • Utility programs: tupleview, peisinit

  • PEIS Components: all other programs that perform actuation/sensing or modelling/deliberation of data.

The PEIS kernel

This is a very small software library with a small memory and CPU footprint portable to almost all posix compliant systems. This library provides the basic communication mechanism which the different subsystems of a PEIS Ecology uses for all communication.

The library will connect all devices that are reachable on any found local networks, and when relevant connect different local networks, in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. On top of this P2P network a number of services is provided, the most important of which is the implementation of a distributed tuplespace. Another service is to assign unique integer ID numbers to all running programs (PEIS-ID) which is used in the addressing scheme.

The distributed tuplespace is a (non-persistent) key-value database which is used as a means of communication. The distribution mechanism depends heavily on the addressing scheme for keys and ensures that data are only sent to relevant devices and that any part of the network can temporarily leave the P2P network and rejoin seamlessly. The distribution mechanism is based on partitioning the allowed namespace of keys to a format of .(.)* and where the first ID part of each such key decides the component that maintains a master copy of the latest value for that key.

Tupleview

Tupleview is a program for inspecting (and/or modifying) the latest tuple values in any of the different components running on the network, as well as for performing various network diagnostics.

PeisInit

PeisInit can be seen as a PEIS equivalent of the inetd services of classical unix systems. It performs the job of starting/stopping the relevant components (installed softwares) available on machines in the network. Although the job of PEIS Init can be performed manually by logging in through SSH this provides a simpler and safer mechanism for starting, monitoring stdin/stdout/aliveness and termining the processes for any PEIS component on any of the machines in the PEIS network.

INSTALLING

Peiskernel

Compiling the peiskernel requires some dependencies - assuming an Ubuntu-like distro:

sudo apt-get install libtool sudo apt-get install autotools-dev

To compile, run some configuration scripts first:

cd peiskernel/G6 ./autogen.sh ./configure

Then, compile and install:

make sudo make install

To let your system know of the new library in the current session, you can:

sudo ldconfig

To test, run the peismaster:

peismaster

Tupleview

For tupleview, you need the following dependencies:

sudo apt-get install libglade2-dev

To install:

cd tupleview/G6 ./autogen.sh make sudo make install

To test, run a peismaster and start tupleview:

peismaster & tupleview

You should see the peismaster component in tupleview.

PEISJava

You need the ant build system to make and install the PEISJava binding:

sudo apt-get install ant

To make install:

cd bindings/PEISJava/G6.1 ant all sudo ant install

To test, run:

java -jar dist/PeisJava.jar

Documentation

To generate API docs, use doxygen:

cd peiskernel/G6 doxygen doxygen.conf

You will now find the HTML docs in peiskernel/G6/docs/html/index.html

After having generated docs with doxygen, yuo can install man pages:

cd peiskernel/G6 sudo ./install-manpages.sh