Case Study

In this section, we discuss a completely implemented case study of blockchain in a smart home application.


Blockchain technology allows the easy integration of multiple IoT devices from a diverse range within the smart home. The conceptual framework consists of four layers. Figure 11.4 shows a smart home based on the blockchain framework. The four comprising layers are:

i. Primary data layer

ii. BC layer

Smart Home Framework

FIGURE 11.4 Smart Home Framework.

iii. Applications layer

iv. UI layer

Layer 1: Primary Data Layer

The IoT information source layer creates information from devices that assume an indispensable job in monitoring the state, condition, and inhabitants of a smart home. These devices are generally arranged into three principle classes: sensors, sight and sound, and social insurance. Sensors measure ecological elements. For instance, the indoor regulator is utilized to gauge and control room temperature. Information gathered from all these devices is combined and stored in an incorporated server, installed on the next layer as a blockchain platform.

Layer 2: BC layer

Blockchain innovation lives at the head of the IoT biological system and comprises two significant segments: the blockchain information structure, and a smart agreement. Hash values cryptographically associate blocks.

Layer 3: Applications Layer

The application layer is made to encourage different smart applications for smart homes, along with their collaboration with blockchain platform. It is the most important layer for incorporating smart applications for smart homes, for example, data marketplace, access management, homecare and healthcare interoperability, and automated utility payment and smart city services. Vast numbers of these developing applications are utilizing blockchain, and some are as yet under examination.

Layer 4: UI Layer

Ultimately, at the head of the pecking order comes the customer layer, which permits outsider partners to profit by blockchain-based smart home applications, for example, a microgrid, retail shops, specialist co-ops, caregivers, etc.

Proposed Model

In this modern digital era, the installation of sensor-based devices incorporated with IoT platforms and automation technology has become attractive and essential in a smart home. Home automation and smart homes set up with distinctive IoT devices depend upon gateways for their assembled working and collaborative task accomplishments. The gateways play a vital and indispensable role in the smart homes [13]. Nevertheless, there are different security vulnerabilities to which the IoT-based smart home is exposed by being connected to the internet. For example, eavesdroppers can access the private cameras of a smart home and breach the privacy of home members. We propose a novel smart home gateway architecture based on blockchain, to address and resolve all such security issues. The proposed gateway architecture counters all vulnerabilities anticipated in smart homes. The proposed framework consists of a layered stack of three levels. Level 1 contains all the devices, Layer 2 carries the gateway, and Layer 3 contains the cloud itself [14]. Layer 2 is proposed to have the most crucial component, i.e., the blockchain. It is responsible for accepting data and exchanging the information blocks. It supports the decentralization of information processing. The blockchain available at Layer 2 provides the authentication and authorization of the bulk data coming from an outside network to the secured inside network of the smart home. It provides reliable communication between household devices and external devices [15]. We advocate the implementation of the proposed framework on the Ethereum blockchain. In this study, the development, implementation, and performance evaluation considering the security, response time, and accuracy is done. From the experimental results, we infer that the proposed security model for a smart home based on blockchain outperforms current state-of-art techniques.

IoT devices [16,17] installed in smart homes are associated with one gateway. From that gateway, a unique identifier is allotted, as a device ID. These communication channels and IoT devices are assigned fixed IDs and have the cryptographical ability to work encryption and decryption computations w'ith PKI and SHA2. The selection of certificates, data representational structures for device and their interconnections are shown in Figure 11.5.

1. Devices confirmed by a gateway should consistently be confirmed intermittently. The Dn in the device layer endeavors to enroll straightforwardly with or naturally interface with the gateway. The gateway requests an ID from the device that is connected or requested, to acquire data about the connected device.

Proposed Gateways in Smart Home Model

FIGURE 11.5 Proposed Gateways in Smart Home Model.

  • 2. The device’s gateway executes a cryptographic calculation to scramble the passage data to the device and sends the message. Devices translate the encrypted messages, with the help of previously shared keys.
  • 3. Encrypted messages containing passage data are unencrypted and sent to the unregistered or unencryptable entryway when they are received.

Smart Home System: An Illustration

This section demonstrates how the proposed model implements security. Let us consider an illustration. A visitor wants to enter the home. A cat (pet) is inside the home, it is dinner time for the pet, and it is alone. The visitor is there to feed the hungry cat. Now, the visitor can be permitted modified granted access to the home. Figure 11.6, shows the steps following which our proposed blockchain-based framework allows secure access:

1. The visitor knocks on the door. There is an access control list, on which levels of access are assigned to different users. Level_l (highest priority) is assigned to the owner; Level 2 is assigned to the spouse and children, and so on. Now,

An Illustration

FIGURE 11.6 An Illustration.

this new visitor has Level 0, meaning no access to the home. So. at step (1). he requests permission to let himself in.

  • 2. The request from the visitor ticks the home server. The home server checks the access control list (ACL) and also forwards the details of the request to the blockchain, to verify the policies for that particular type of visitor.
  • 3. Now, the policy header plays its role. This part of a blockchain stores all the access control lists, along with details of the devices attached and of the control policy’s implementation.
  • 4. The admin comes into play at this point, when the request ticket moves to admin from the security system. Now, admin can favor or deny the request.
  • 5. The visitor is allowed to enter the home, after which the blockchain will add all the information in the policy header.
  • 6. The visitor can feed the cat inside the house, with restricted permission, as per the access control policies and permissions.

In this way, controlled access is being implemented to avoid security breaches, using the blockchain system and its characteristic functions.

Experimental Results

This section describes the experimental setup for the execution of the proposed framework. The emulating environment is set up using Mininet [18]. It emulates the open switches and connecting nodes, such as sample IoT devices. The platform is installed as a Linux server, by using 15 desktops. The configuration for each desktop is an i7 processor and a 64 GB DDR3 RAM. The SDN controller is run to configure the gateway. It is run in autonomous VMs. An Amazon EC2 cloud data server [ 19] is employed for cloud services. The proposed framework is implemented using the Ethereum blockchain [20]. For performance evaluation [21], the metrics of this decentralized system are compared with the traditional centralized one. The competing centralized framework is being implemented using an Amazon EC2 cloud server and its gateway [22,23]. The presentation assessment is plotted in Figures 11.7 and 11.8, wherein standard evaluation estimations of the security, which are response time and precision as accuracy, are assessed with the variation of data traffic quantity.

From Figure 11.7, it is clear that the proposed architecture performs better than the current state-of-art-architectures. The faster response time in our proposed architecture is due to the fact that the gateway lies near the device and hence responds faster [24-27].

Figure 11.8 shows that the proposed model has better performance with increasing loads, compared to the centralized model.

Response Time

FIGURE 11.7 Response Time.


FIGURE 11.8 Accuracy.

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