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Communication requirements and use of Information-centric Networking (ICN) approach for synchrophasors streaming


Information-centric networking (ICN) is a new networking approach that aims to solve some fundamental issues of the current host-centric Internet infrastructure. The rationale behind ICN is that information consumers are mainly interested in the information itself rather than the explicit network location of the data/content source (e.g., the host IP address). The primary concerns of the network will no longer relate to the reachability of specific hosts but more on the efficient information dissemination and retrieval.  The ICN design focuses on information/data where information is published, resolved, delivered and stored natively based on names rather than on explicit host locations.

Contribution to the CIGRE WG C4.34

Wei Koong Chai, Konstantinos V. Katsaros and Mario Paolone on behalf of the C-DAX consortium ( December 12, 2014

ICN example for synchrophasor data streaming: C-DAX

C-DAX[1] is an ICN-based middleware platform with a topic-based publish-subscribe engine that decouples data producers and consumers in time and space. PMUs as publishers and PDCs as subscribers, are clients to the C-DAX platform. In C-DAX, a topic represents a group based communication session for data distribution, e.g., a topic used by PMUs to publish their measurements towards interested PDC(s) in RTSE operations. The platform enables scalable and flexible (re)configuration of PMU data communication to maintain seamless full observability of power condition in complex and dynamic situations. Besides providing inherent security protection by obscuring target hosts, the decoupling of the communicating end hosts massively simplifies the configuration complexity of multipoint-to-multipoint communications in a decentralized manner. It eliminates the need to establish and maintain multiple and distinct point-to-point communication connections, thus achieving better system scalability in PMU-based RTSE communications. Emulating the function of multicast [17], C-DAX enables the forming of topic groups, for the replication of PMU data to all interested subscribers, saving the need for repeated unicast transmissions per subscriber. This is especially beneficial for the support of flexible topologies in ADNs. Fig. 2 shows the C-DAX architecture for supporting a PMU-based RTSE application.


C-DAX consists of a control and a data plane:

As can be seen, the management of the PMU-based RTSE communication (including initial configuration and run-time reconfiguration) is completely based on the logical topic rather than the manipulation of explicit point-to-point communication points. Such a scheme offers increased scalability and flexibility in handling power grid topology dynamicity during normal operations.