Smart Building Automation

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Application description

Home and Building Automation (HBA) is a growing research and industrial sector attracting efforts from several disciplines, coalescing into a research area known as Ambient Intelligence (AmI). A crucial issue for feasible and effective AmI solutions lies in efficient resource/service discovery for ubiquitous and pervasive computing contexts.
The integration of knowledge representation languages and reasoning techniques (originally devised for the Semantic Web) into standard HBA protocols can allow to offer high-level services to users:
  • the standards are enriched with an advanced service/resource discovery support;
  • exploiting non-monotonic matchmaking [8], the user profile -annotated w.r.t. a shared ontology- can be compared with house configuration (including devices settings and appliances behavior) so identifying the home features best fitting user needs;
  • the household equipments are autonomously able to reach the status that better satisfies users' activities or device requirements.
A semantic-based approach [1,3] is proposed, able to interface users and devices within an ontology-based service-oriented home appliance infrastructure in a fully automated fashion. The system exploits a semantic-based evolution [2] of EIB/KNX protocol [7,8] and the proposed approach has been implemented in a real testbed in order to test feasibility and prove benefits.
In [4,5], an agent-based evolution of that framework was defined, including a formal protocol for automated negotiation between user and device agents. A case study about power management in HBA was presented to better clarify the proposal and assess its effectiveness.

The proposed framework refers to the general architecture outlined in [6], and it is oriented toward a Smart Grid vision. Machine-to-machine communication and negotiation for energy management occur at three levels: Home, Building and Neighborhood. The Building level manages structures containing multiple Home units which share common facilities. Similarly, the Neighborhood level refers to the coordination among buildings in a commercial or residential block/district and to the interface toward external energy providers.
The overall goal is to favor the usage of energy produced in the proximity of consumers by exploiting cogeneration, microgeneration and net metering, so reducing costs of energy transport and storage.

Figure 1: Screenshots.


  1. M. Ruta, F. Scioscia, E. Di Sciascio, G. Loseto. Semantic-based Enhancement of ISO/IEC 14543-3 EIB/KNX Standard for Building Automation. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, Volume 7, Number 4 - nov 2011.

  2. M. Ruta, F. Scioscia, E. Di Sciascio, G. Loseto. A semantic-based evolution of EIB Konnex protocol standard. IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics (ICM 2011) - 2011.

  3. G. Loseto. A Semantic-based Pervasive Computing Approach for Smart Building Automation. 8th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2011), Poster Paper - 2011. [Best Poster Award]

  4. M. Ruta, F. Scioscia, G. Loseto, E. Di Sciascio. An Agent Framework for Knowledge-based Homes. 3rd International Workshop on Agent Technologies for Energy Systems (ATES 2012). In proc. of the 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2012) - 2012.

  5. G. Loseto, F. Scioscia, M. Ruta, E. Di Sciascio. Semantic-based Smart Homes: a Multi-Agent Approach. 13th Workshop on Objects and Agents (WOA 2012), Volume 892, page 49-55 - September 2012.

  6. M. Ruta, F. Scioscia, G. Loseto, E. Di Sciascio. Semantic-based resource discovery and orchestration in Home and Building Automation: a multi-agent approach. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, Volume 10, Number 1, page 730-741, 2014.

  7. M. Ruta, F. Scioscia, G. Loseto, E. Di Sciascio. KNX, a worldwide standard protocol for home and building automation: state of the art and perspectives. Industrial Communication Technology Handbook, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, page 1463-1481, 2014.


  1. KNX Association,

  2. S. Colucci, T. Di Noia, A. Pinto, A. Ragone, M. Ruta, E. Tinelli. A Non-Monotonic Approach to Semantic Matchmaking and Request Refinement in E-Marketplaces. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Volume 12, Number 2, page 127-154 - 2007.



Demo Video

Generation KNX Video Contest 2012 - Semantic Web of Things at Home with KNX

KNX Scientific Contest 2013 - Auto-adapting homes to context: a semantic-based evolution of KNX standard protocol

About Us


  • KNX Award 2012 Nomination
    The project "Semantic Web of Things at Home with KNX" by Michele Ruta, Eugenio Di Sciascio, Floriano Scioscia and Giuseppe Loseto was selected as a finalist of the KNX Awards 2012 in the category "Special". The KNX Award rewards worldwide the smartest KNX projects in home and building control, which stand out as regards innovation and technical progress. The KNX Award 2012 was held during the Light+Building fair 2012 in Frankfurt.

    KNX Awards 2012 Ceremony
    KNX Awards 2012 Pictures

Project coordinators

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