Recently, appliance networks have been widely adopted in many home applications. Usually, an appliance network requires a server. However, as the number of network users increases, there is not only the problem of costs due to extension of the server and the increase in power consumption, but also the problem that the functions of appliances are restricted when the connection to a server is unavailable. This paper presents a hybrid appliance local network (HALN) communication architecture to tackle the problems with server-based appliance networks. The HALN architecture is designed to remove and/or minimize the utilization of servers by offering the capability of communicating directly with other appliance products. The proposed architecture can also be integrated with existing server-based communication architectures. The HALN architecture is based on the simple service discovery protocol (SSDP) and HTTP protocol (RESTful HTTP server/client architecture) technologies. The effectiveness of HALN is experimentally demonstrated using a smartphone and a set of Linux-based Wi-Fi modems on which the functions that can be provided by typical appliances are implemented. Using the proposed architecture, the communication reliability is also improved by 1.6% as compared with that of an existing server-based communication architecture.
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