A Utility Paradigm For Iot: The Sensing Cloud

TitleA Utility Paradigm For Iot: The Sensing Cloud
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDistefano, S., G. Merlino, and A. Puliafito
KeywordsAbstraction and ​virtualization, Cloud, IoT, Mobiles, Reference architecture, sensors and actuators

IoT is such a key trend in ICT that it is quickly becoming one of the most influential research and development topics. This popularity is spawning also lots of laudable initiatives, one of the most prominent being carried on by the IoT-A consortium, including influential blueprints such as its Reference Architecture (RA). Their main goal is to interconnect network-enabled devices and “things” through the Internet. This bottom-up view of IoT is lacking mechanisms for aggregating, managing and administrating groups of things. Such a perspective could be reverted to provide control and management facilities through specific framework and software, in line with new trends such as software defined networking. In this paper we propose a top-down utility paradigm for IoT starting from the IoT-A reference architecture and the Sensing and Actuation as a Service (SAaaS) approach. It aims at implementing a sensing Cloud by enrolling and aggregating sensing resources from sensor networks and personal, mobile devices. We follow a device-driven approach, as adopted in IaaS Clouds: once collected, the physical (sensing) resources are abstracted and virtualized and then provided as a service to end users. A key point of the SAaaS is the abstraction of resources, i.e. providing a uniform way to access to and interact with the underlying physical nodes in compliance with IoT goals. The main contribution of the paper is the design and development of the sensing resource abstractions for SAaaS to demonstrate the feasibility of such an approach, providing details on theoretical and design aspects as well as technical ones. In particular, a preliminary implementation for mobiles is described, delving in platform-dependent details where needed. The facilities thus developed under the Android platform have been tested through a typical IoT application, in order to gauge the validity of the approach.