CaaS: Enabling Control-as-a-Service for Time-Sensitive Networking


Flexible manufacturing is one of the core goals of Industry 4.0 and brings new challenges to current industrial control systems. Our detailed field study on auto glass industry revealed that existing production lines are laborious to reconfigure, difficult to upscale, and costly to upgrade during production switching. Such inflexibility arises from the tight coupling of devices, controllers, and control tasks. In this work, we propose a new architecture for industrial control systems named Control-as-a-Service (CaaS). CaaS transfers and distributes control tasks from dedicated controllers into Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) switches. By combining control and transmission functions in switches, CaaS virtualizes the industrial TSN network to one Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). We propose a set of techniques that realize end-to-end determinism for in-network industrial control and a joint task and traffic scheduling algorithm. We evaluate the performance of CaaS on testbeds based on real-world networked control systems. The results show that the idea of CaaS is feasible and effective, and CaaS achieves absolute packet delivery, 42-45% lower latency, and three orders of magnitude lower jitter. We believe CaaS is a meaningful step towards the distribution, virtualization, and servitization of industrial control.

In Proceedings of the 42nd Annual IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications
Research Assistant Professor

My research interests include AIoT, edge computing, and mobile security.