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The vision of smart homes is rapidly becoming a reality, as the Internet of Things and other smart devices are deployed widely. Although smart devices offer convenience, they also create a significant management problem for home residents. With a large number and variety of devices in the home, residents may find it difficult to monitor, or even locate, devices. A central controller that brings all the home’s smart devices under secure management and a unified interface would help homeowners and residents track and manage their devices.
We envision a solution called the SPLICEcube whose goal is to detect smart devices, locate them in three dimensions within the home, securely monitor their network traffic, and keep an inventory of devices and important device information throughout the device’s lifecycle. The SPLICEcube system consists of the following components: 1) a main cube, which is a centralized hub that incorporates and expands on the functionality of the home router, 2) a database that holds network data, and 3) a set of support cubelets that can be used to extend the range of the network and assist in gathering network data.
To deliver this vision of identifying, securing, and managing smart devices, we introduce an architecture that facilitates intelligent research applications (such as network anomaly detection, intrusion detection, device localization, and device firmware updates) to be integrated into the SPLICEcube. In this thesis, we design a general-purpose Wi-Fi architecture that underpins the SPLICEcube. The architecture specifically showcases the functionality of the cubelets (Wi-Fi frame detection, Wi-Fi frame parsing, and transmission to cube), the functionality of the cube (routing, reception from cubelets, information storage, data disposal, and research application integration), and the functionality of the database (network data storage). We build and evaluate a prototype implementation to demonstrate our approach is scalable to accommodate new devices and extensible to support different applications. Specifically, we demonstrate a successful proof-of-concept use of the SPLICEcube architecture by integrating a security research application: an "Inside-Outside detection" system that classifies an observed Wi-Fi device as being inside or outside the home.
Malik, Namya, "SPLICEcube Architecture: An Extensible Wi-Fi Monitoring Architecture for Smart-Home Networks" (2022). Dartmouth College Master’s Theses. 50.