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Patent Application Titled "Network Analysis Assistance Device, Network Assessment Device, Network Analysis Assistance Method, Network Assessment...

March 4, 2014



Patent Application Titled "Network Analysis Assistance Device, Network Assessment Device, Network Analysis Assistance Method, Network Assessment Method, Network Analysis Assistance Program and Network

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Komiya, Noriyuki (Tokyo, JP); Nakata, Masanori (Tokyo, JP); Ochiai, Akihiro (Kanagawa, JP), filed on April 18, 2012, was made available online on February 20, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Mitsubishi Electric Corportion.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In recent years, a building management system has been know that comprehensively manages, observes and controls equipment such as air conditioning equipment, lighting equipment and/or the like installed in a building. In this type of building management system, in general a central monitoring device connected to a higher-order network controls, via a gateway, multiple equipment connected to a lower-order network (for example, see Patent Literature 1).

"The above-described central monitoring device, gateway device and various equipments constituting a building management system in general are supplied from various different vendors. It is possible that each vendor has sufficiently accomplished action validation testing on the devices that vendor supplies, but it is not easy to accomplish action validation testing sufficiently encompassing the state after the system has actually been built.

"Consequently, there are numerous cases in which a system is built and then unforeseen troubles arise after actual operations begin, and in responding to these, the necessity arises of collecting and analyzing electronic messages flowing on the network in order to confirm that state and specify the locations of troubles occurring and the content of the troubles. That is to say, in the higher-order network and the lower-order network, it is necessary to investigate what kinds of phenomena are occurring in each and what the respective cause-and-effect relationships are."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Technical Problem

"In this type of technology conventionally, the electronic messages of multiple networks were respectively collected separately. Consequently, the operator needs to accomplish work linking the collected electronic messages of the respective networks, creating the problem that this is extremely labor intensive.

"Conventionally, in communications tests between multiple networks having this kind of differing protocols, it was necessary for the operator to create test electronic messages manually, which was extremely labor intensive. In addition, a great deal of labor was also necessary in the work of determining whether or not the test results are correct.

"In consideration of the foregoing, it is a first objective of the present invention to provide a network analysis assistance device and/or the like for collecting and associating electronic messages travelling along multiple networks having different protocols, and from the results of this association to determine whether or not mutually sending and receiving electronic messages between the multiple networks is accomplished normally.

"In addition, it is a second objective of the present invention to provide a network test device and/or the like for automatically accomplishing creation of test electronic messages and assisting in test verification, in communications tests for multiple networks having different protocols.

"Solution to Problem

"In order to achieve the above-described first objective, the network analysis assistance device according to the present invention is a network analysis assistance device for assisting analysis of networks in a system comprising a first device, a gateway device and a second device, the network analysis assistance device comprising:

"first electronic message collection means connecting to a first network to which the first device and the gateway device are connected, and collecting electronic messages traveling on the first network;

"second electronic message collection means connecting to a second network to which the gateway device and the second device are connected, and collecting electronic messages traveling on the second network;

"a mapping table in which the correlation between an electronic message travelling from the first network to the gateway device and an electronic message travelling on the second network from the gateway device, and the correlation between an electronic message travelling from the second network to the gateway device and an electronic message travelling on the first network from the gateway device, are defined;

"electronic message association means associating electronic messages collected by the first electronic message collection means and electronic messages collected by the second electronic message collection means, with reference to the mapping table; and

"status analysis means determining whether or not receipt of electronic messages between the first network and the second network is accomplished normally, from the results of the association by the electronic message association means.

"In addition, in order to achieve the above-described second objective, the network test device according to the present invention is a network test device for testing operation of a gateway device connecting a first network and a second network, this network test device comprising:

"first electronic message receiving means connected to the first network for receiving electronic messages traveling on the first network;

"second electronic message receiving means connected to the second network for receiving electronic messages traveling on the second network;

"received electronic message storage means storing electronic messages respectively received by the first electronic message receiving means and the second electronic message receiving means;

"mapping information creating means estimating the correlation between input electronic messages input into the gateway device from the first network and output electronic messages output on the second network from the gateway device, based on multiple electronic messages stored in the received electronic message storage means, and creating mapping information consisting of information obtained as a result of estimation;

"an object information database in which properties and property values are correlated in levels for all or a portion of the objects managed by the gateway device;

"test electronic message creating means creating an input electronic message for test based on the mapping information and the object information database; electronic message sending means outputting the input electronic message for test to the first network; and

"test result determining means determining whether or not the test results are normal, based on one or multiple electronic messages stored in the received electronic message storage means after output of the input electronic message for test by the electronic message sending means, and the mapping information.

"Advantageous Effects of Invention

"With the present invention, it is possible to accomplish collection and association of electronic messages travelling across multiple networks and from the results of that association to determine whether or not receipt of the electronic messages among the multiple different networks was accomplished normally, so maintenance work in an equipment management system or the like can be made more efficient.

"In addition, with the present invention, test data for accomplishing communications tests on multiple networks having differing protocols is automatically created and assists in test verification, so it is possible to greatly reduce the burden on workers and to make maintenance work in the equipment management system or the like more efficient.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a drawing showing an entire composition of an equipment management system in which a network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1 of the present invention is incorporated;

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a composition of the network analysis assistance device shown in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3A is a block diagram showing a composition of a first electronic message collector shown in FIG. 2;

"FIG. 3B is a block diagram showing a composition of a second electronic message collector shown in FIG. 2;

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing a composition of an electronic message associator shown in FIG. 2;

"FIG. 5 is a drawing showing one example of a mapping table according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 6 is a drawing showing one example of a request-response rules table according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 7 is a flowchart showing a proceeding of an inter-network correspondence process according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a proceeding of a status analysis process according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 9 is a drawing for explaining delay time;

"FIG. 10 is a drawing for explaining frequency distribution data;

"FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing a composition (part 1) of an electronic message associator in a variation of the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 12 is a drawing showing one example of an instance correspondence rules table in the variation shown in FIG. 11;

"FIG. 13 is a drawing for explaining electronic message association using the instance correspondence rules table in the variation shown in FIG. 11;

"FIG. 14 is a drawing showing another example of the mapping table according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 15 is a drawing for explaining another example of an electronic message collection method in the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 16 is a drawing (part 1) for explaining a method of setting up the mapping table, the request-response rules table and the instance correspondence rules table in the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 17 is a drawing (part 2) for explaining a method of setting up the mapping table, the request-response rules table and the instance correspondence rules table in the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 18 is a block diagram showing a composition (part 2) of an electronic message associator in a variation of the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 19 is a drawing (part 1) for explaining a function of the network analysis assistance device shown in FIG. 18;

"FIG. 20 is a drawing (part 2) for explaining a function of the network analysis assistance device shown in FIG. 18;

"FIG. 21A is a drawing (part 1) for explaining an example of a threshold value being set by a function for learning in accordance with frequency distribution, in a variation of the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 21B is a drawing (part 2) for explaining an example of a threshold value being set by a function for learning in accordance with frequency distribution, in a variation of the network analysis assistance device according to Embodiment 1;

"FIG. 22 is a drawing showing an entire composition of an equipment management system that is the target of test by a network test device according to Embodiment 2 of the present invention;

"FIG. 23 is a block diagram showing a composition of the network test device shown in FIG. 22;

"FIG. 24 is a drawing showing an example of mapping information recorded in a mapping information database shown in FIG. 23;

"FIG. 25 is a drawing showing values of equipment addresses assigned to various equipment in Embodiment 2;

"FIG. 26 is a flowchart showing a proceeding of a mapping information creation process of Embodiment 2.

"FIG. 27 is a drawing (part 1) for explaining a mapping estimation process of Embodiment 2;

"FIG. 28 is a drawing (part 2) for explaining a mapping estimation process of Embodiment 2;

"FIG. 29 is a drawing (part 3) for explaining a mapping estimation process of Embodiment 2;

"FIG. 30 is a flowchart showing a proceeding of a test electronic message creation process of Embodiment 2;

"FIG. 31 is a flowchart showing a proceeding of a test execution process of Embodiment 2;

"FIG. 32 is a block diagram showing a composition of a network test device according to Embodiment 3 of the present invention;

"FIG. 33 is a drawing showing one example of a sequence diagram screen;

"FIG. 34 is a drawing showing one example of an object status screen; and

"FIG. 35 is a drawing showing another example of an object status screen."

For more information, see this patent application: Komiya, Noriyuki; Nakata, Masanori; Ochiai, Akihiro. Network Analysis Assistance Device, Network Assessment Device, Network Analysis Assistance Method, Network Assessment Method, Network Analysis Assistance Program and Network Assessment Program. Filed April 18, 2012 and posted February 20, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=500&p=10&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140213.PD.&OS=PD/20140213&RS=PD/20140213

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Mitsubishi Electric Corportion, Information and Data Aggregation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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