Swimming in the sea of platforms and protocols for Internet of Things

‘Platforms and Protocols for the Internet of Things’ by Chiara Pielli, Daniel Zucchetto, Andrea Zanella, Lorenzo Vangelista, and Michele Zorzi (Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, Italy)
Most downloaded paper from EUDL in January 2016, from Issue 1 of EAI Endorsed Transactions on Internet of Things

It would not be an understatement to say that Internet of Things is gigantic, and growing even bigger every single day. Juniper Research states that there have already been 13.4 billion IoT connected devices in the year 2015, and a 285% growth is predicted by 2020. The potential economic impact of IoT should increase to $11 trillions by 2025, according to analysis by McKinsey Global Institute.

This rapid growth can be attributed to a huge number of labs, facilities, companies, and individuals who are pushing the progress forward in an endless race with one another, but with an enormous burden of heterogeneity in their tow. It is the main hurdle in designing for IoT – systems need to be able to incorporate a large number of heterogeneous end systems (phones, tablets, wearables, you name it), while providing open access to selected subsets of data for the development of digital services.

Making sense of the different platforms and protocols in all layers of IoT systems is tricky, especially considering that there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to all the problems surrounding it. Some approaches work better for different situations and under different conditions than others, and picking the right tools for the job is essential, no matter the field.

This is where this comprehensive overview of IoT platforms and communication protocols comes in, authored by a team from University of Padova in Italy. They have pinpointed the basic blocks that make up every IoT architecture – Edge Technology layer (the hardware), Access Gateway layer (handling data between end user and middleware), Middleware layer (intermediary between internet and the things), and the Application layer (responsible for presenting information to end user) – and they have outlined challenges and possible approaches at each of these layers, while integrating every element without interfering with the rest of the system.

If you were looking for a foray into the world of IoT, interoperability, traffic patterns, and wireless communication, or if you like the sound of an overview of the state-of-the-art, you need to look no further. You can get the full paper for free on EUDL.