Internet of Things (IoT): A vision, architectural elements, and future directions (2)


(being continued from 7/09/15)

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2. Ubiquitous computing in the next decade
The effort by researchers to create a human-to-human interface  through technology in the late 1980s resulted in the creation of the ubiquitous computing discipline, whose objective is to embed  technology into the background of everyday life. Currently, we
are in the post-PC era where smart phones and other handheld devices  are   changing our environment by making it more interactive as well as informative. Mark Weiser, the forefather of Ubiquitous Computing (ubicomp), defined a smart environment [4] as ‘‘the
physical world that is richly and invisibly interwoven with sensors,
actuators, displays, and computational elements, embedded seamlessly  I n the everyday objects of our lives, and connected through a continuous network’’.
The creation of the Internet has marked a foremost milestone  towards achieving ubicomp’s vision which enables individual devices to communicate with any other device in the world. The  inter-networking reveals the potential of a seemingly endless
amount of distributed computing resources and storage owned by  various owners.
In contrast to Weiser’s Calm computing approach, Rogers proposes a human centric ubicomp which makes use of human creativity in exploiting the environment and extending their capabilities  [5]. He proposes a domain specific ubicomp solution when
he says—‘‘In terms of who should benefit, it is useful to think of  how ubicomp technologies can be developed not for the Sal’s of  the world, but for particular domains that can be set up and customized  by an individual firm or organization, such as for agricultural
production, environmental restoration or retailing’’.
Caceres and Friday [6] discuss the progress, opportunities  and challenges during the 20 year anniversary of ubicomp. They discuss the building blocks of ubicomp and the characteristics of  the system to adapt to the changing world. More importantly,
they identify two critical technologies for growing the ubicomp infrastructure—Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things.
The advancements and convergence of micro-electro-mechanical  systems (MEMS) technology, wireless communications, and  digital electronics has resulted in the development of miniature devices having the ability to sense, compute, and communicate
wirelessly in short distances. These miniature devices called nodes  interconnect to form a wireless sensor networks (WSN) and find wide ranging applications in environmental monitoring, infrastructure   monitoring, traffic monitoring, retail, etc. [7]. This has the
ability to provide a ubiquitous sensing capability which is critical  in realizing the overall vision of ubicomp as outlined by Weiser [4].
For the realization of a complete IoT vision, efficient, secure, scalable  and market oriented computing and storage resourcing is essential.
Cloud computing [6] is the most recent paradigm to emerge  which promises reliable services delivered through next generation  data centers that are based on virtualized storage technologies.
This platform acts as a receiver of data from the ubiquitous  sensors; as a computer to analyze and interpret the data; as well  as providing the user with easy to understand web based visualization.
The ubiquitous sensing and processing works in the background,hidden from the user.
This novel integrated Sensor–Actuator–Internet framework  shall form the core technology around which a smart environment  will be shaped: information generated will be shared across diverse  platforms and applications, to develop a common operating
picture (COP) of an environment, where control of certain unrestricted  ‘Things’ is made possible. As we move from www (static  pages web) to web2 (social networking web) to web3 (ubiquitous computing web), the need for data-on-demand using sophisticated
intuitive queries increases. To take full advantage of the available Internet technology, there is a need to deploy large-scale, platform independent,wireless sensor network infrastructure that includes  data management and processing, actuation and analytics. Cloud  computing promises high reliability, scalability and autonomy to  provide ubiquitous access, dynamic resource discovery and composability  required for the next generation Internet of Things applications.
Consumers will be able to choose the service level by  changing the Quality of Service parameters.

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3. Definitions, trends and elements
3.1. Definitions
As identified by Atzori et al. [8], Internet of Things can be realized  in three paradigms—internet-oriented (middleware), things  oriented (sensors) and semantic-oriented  (knowledge). Although  this type of delineation is required due to the interdisciplinary nature  of the subject, the usefulness of IoT can be unleashed only in  an application domain where the three paradigms intersect.
The RFID group defines the Internet of Things as

• The worldwide network of interconnected objects uniquely
  addressable based on standard communication protocols.
According to Cluster of European research projects on the Internet  of Things [2] –
• ‘Things’ are active participants in business, information and social processes where they are enabled to interact and communicate  among themselves and with the environment by exchanging    data and information sensed about the environment,
while reacting autonomously to the real/physical world events  and influencing it by running processes that trigger actions and  create services with or without direct human intervention.
According to Forrester [9], a smart environment –
• Uses information and communications technologies to make  the critical infrastructure components and services of a  city’s administration, education, healthcare, public safety, real estate, transportation and utilities more aware, interactive and  efficient.
In our definition, we make the definition more user centric and do  not restrict it to any standard communication protocol. This will  allow long-lasting applications to be developed and deployed using  the available state-of-the-art protocols at any given point in time.
Our definition of the Internet of Things for smart environments is
• Interconnection of sensing and actuating devices providing the  ability to share information across platforms through a unified  framework, developing a common operating picture for   enabling innovative applications. This is achieved by seamless
ubiquitous sensing, data analytics and information representation  with Cloud computing as the unifying framework.

3.2. Trends
Internet of Things has been identified as one of the emerging  technologies in IT as noted in Gartner’s IT Hype Cycle (see Fig. 2).
A Hype Cycle [10] is a way to represent the emergence, adoption,maturity, and impact on applications of specific technologies. It has  been forecasted that IoT will take 5–10 years for market adoption.
The popularity of different paradigms varies with time. The web  search popularity, as measured by the Google search trends during  the last 10 years for the terms Internet of Things, Wireless Sensor  Networks and Ubiquitous Computing are shown in Fig. 3 [11]. As
it can be seen, since IoT has come into existence, search volume is  consistently increasing with the falling trend for Wireless Sensor  Networks. As per Google’s search forecast (dotted line in Fig. 3), this trend is likely to continue as other enabling technologies converge  to form a genuine Internet of Things.

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(TO BE CONTINUED)

Jayavardhana Gubbia, Rajkumar Buyyab,∗, Slaven Marusic a, Marimuthu Palaniswami a
a Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Vic – 3010, Australia
b Department of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Vic – 3010, Australia

Article history:
Received 8 July 2012
Received in revised form
22 December 2012
Accepted 30 January 2013
Available online 24 February 2013

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