BuildingRules: A Trigger-Action Based System to Manage Complex Commercial Buildings

Alessandro Nacci, Bharathan Balaji, Paola Spoletini, Vincenzo Rana, Rajesh Gupta, Donatella Sciuto and Yuvraj Agarwal
CS2014-1008
December 21, 2014

Modern Building Management Systems (BMSs) provide limited amount of control to its occupants, and typically allow only the facility manager to set the building policies. In this context, we present BuildingRules, a system which provides an intuitive interface to the occupants of commercial buildings to customize their office spaces using trigger-action programming. BuildingRules automatically detects conflicts among the policies, expressed by the occupants, by using the Z3 SMT solver, and leverages an open source web service BMS (BuildingDepot) to provide access control and actuation services in a building. BuildingRules has been designed to scale for large commercial buildings, as it supports grouping of rooms for ease of policy expression, a scalable backend for resolving conflicts, and a simulator that shows the actuation of rules on a timeline. We tested our system with 23 users across 17 days in a virtual office building, and evaluate the effectiveness and scalability of BuildingRules.


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