Definition of Terms

This page lays out a common terminology for discussing the components and underlying technologies used by the platform. The first section discusses capabilities and industry standards that volttron conforms to while the latter is specific to the VOLTTRON domain.

Industry Terms

  • BACNet: Building Automation and Control network, that leverages ASHRAE, ANSI, and IOS 16484-5 standard protocols.
  • JSON-RPC: JSON-encoded remote procedure call
  • JSON: JavaScript object notation is a text-based, human-readable, open data interchange format, similar to XML, but less verbose
  • Publish/subscribe: A message delivery pattern where senders (publishers) and receivers (subscribers) do not communicate directly nor necessarily have knowledge of each other, but instead exchange messages through an intermediary based on a mutual class or topic
  • ZeroMQ or ØMQ: A library used for inter-process and inter-computer communication
  • Modbus: Communications protocol for talking with industrial electronic devices
  • SSH: Secure shell is a network protocol providing encryption and authentication of data using public-key cryptography
  • SSL: Secure sockets layer is a technology for encryption and authentication of network traffic based on a chain of trust
  • TLS: Transport layer security is the successor to SSL


Activated Environment

An activated environment is the environment a VOLTTRON instance is run in. The bootstrap process creates the environment from the shell and to activate it the following command is executed.

user@computer> source env/bin/activate

# Note once the above command has been run the prompt will have changed
Bootstrap Enviornment
The process by which an operating environment (activated environment) is produced. From the VOLTTRON_ROOT directory executing python will start the bootstrap process.
The location for a specific VOLTTRON_INSTANCE to store its specific information. There can be many VOLTTRON_HOMEs on a single computing resource(VM, machine, etc.)
A single volttron process executing instructions on a computing resource. For each VOLTTRON_INSTANCE there WILL BE only one VOLTTRON_HOME associated with it. In order for a VOLTTRON_INSTANCE to be able to participate outside its computing resource it must be bound to an external ip address.

The cloned directory from github. When executing the command

git clone

the top volttron folder is the VOLTTRON_ROOT

VOLTTRON Interconnect Protocal is a secure routing protocol that facilitates communications between agents, controllers, services and the supervisory VOLTTRON_INSTANCE.