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As the number of networked devices increases, configuration and maintenance becomes a critical problem. Assume that a person has a large number of devices including computers, printers, smart phones, home automation devices, smart energy meters, GPS navigators, cameras, etc. All the devices provide a set of services based on their capabilities. For instance, a smart phone may provide location service, telecommunications services, play mp3 and act as a camera. Every day, a new device is introduced to the market place. It is impossible for an average end user to keep track of this progress and configure all the devices. Machines have to understand each other, discover each other's capabilities and cooperate to provide high level services to the end user which may require various capabilities provided by various heterogeneous devices. That is why machine-to-machine communication becomes a critical enabler of various business sectors.

Machines serve piles of information without understanding the semantics. To enable machines to consume the content cognitively, Semantic Web was formally introduced in 2001. The goal was to make Web machine-understandable. However, it works on the HTTP.

WURFL, which is a sourceforge project, is a Device Description Repository (DDR), i.e. a software component which contains the descriptions of thousands of mobile devices. In its simplest incarnation, WURFL is an XML configuration file plus a set of programming APIs to access the data in real-time environments.

The main objective of this project is to distribute the metadata of the capabilities of the devices at the networking layer. The [Neighbor Discovery] (ND, [RFC-4861]) function can address the distribution of the missing information. The main aim of the ND is obtaining the link layer address of an IP address or vice versa. Moreover, the router configuration parameters like prefix, MTU are distributed with ND messages. The messages are placed in ICMPv6 packets and composed of Router Solicitation, Router Advertisement, Neighbor Solicitation, Neighbor Advertisement and Redirect messages. Each message type has zero or more options and some of them may appear multiple times in the same message. These options have the maximum length of 2K bytes like the Destination Options header. By using this extra space, missing metadata of the device capabilities may be distributed on request from neighbors inside a network.

Example scenarios are in [Scenarios].


Related

Home: RFC-4861
Home: Scenarios