Re: [smartobjectdir] Charter

Fred Baker <fred@cisco.com> Sun, 09 October 2011 11:34 UTC

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From: Fred Baker <fred@cisco.com>
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Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2011 07:33:51 -0400
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To: JP Vasseur <jpv@cisco.com>
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Cc: smartobjectdir@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [smartobjectdir] Charter
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On Oct 9, 2011, at 5:27 AM, JP Vasseur wrote:

> There are other terms in us, 6lowpan (sometimes used to refer to IP smart object network, although it does point
> out to a specific set of technologies, LLN (Low power and Lossy Networks, …).

I'll argue that those refer to a specific category of such networks, one using IEEE 802.15.4; there are a number of other link layer technologies in use that don't necessarily have the same characteristics and for which 6lowpan isn't obviously relevant. I see tying it to a specific MAC/PHY as a trap. The important thing for us is that IP (of which 6lowpan is a compression) transcends the MAC/PHY in use and potentially connects it to networks composed of more traditional technologies such as IEEE 802.3.

> Thanks for updating the charter, I would just propose to replace "telemetry and control" by "sensing and actuating".

Willing enough, although I again see a potential trap. When we talk about industrial automation, management of water displays like the Bellagio Fountains, and so on, "actuating" is a great word in it primary meaning of "cause (a machine or device) to operate"; that goes straight back to Latin. That said, not every "action" in a network is the movement of a device; it also might change the thresholds in the sensor or do some other non-physical thing - that for which we might use the term "configuration". I talk about "control", because it includes both. Similarly, sensing to me is somewhat limited; the obvious meaning would be to somehow measure some physical thing like movement or temperature. In a building control system, it the actions might also include reporting state, such as "you announced that lamp X should change state to 'on'; lamp X is now 'on'". In space communications, the paradigm has been for some time "command and telemetry"; someone tells a satellite or space probe to do something, such as turn a camera in a specific direction, and the continuous stream of data from the satellite/probe might include the direction the camera is pointed. We observe, eventually, that the command has had a certain effect because we see the change in the telemetry it reports. Hence I use the terms "control" and "telemetry", as they include "sensing" and "actuating" but are not limited to their meanings.

Other opinions?