1 August 2016

The architecture of the Internet of Things

Devices, objects, things interconnected with each other, this is the Internet of Things, we talk about it with a certain frequency and we imagine a set of heterogeneous objects that interact with each other, with users and with the environment.

The advent of various technologies, one in all RFID, has allowed a similar diffusion of the model. This frequency of adoption has meant that today several methods are used to enable communication between heterogeneous devices. Very often, however, some modes are very vertical and do not support the interoperability between models and devices. This fragmentation of efforts in experimenting with communicative sets certainly does not help the development of a valid global solution, rather it favors a slowdown. It happens that many existing solutions do not meet the scalability requirements suitable for the future development of the Internet of Things, inadequate governance models are revealed at the design stage, with poor privacy protection and data security vulnerabilities. In this context, however, there is a recognized pilot project of the highest avant-garde at European level that for three years has dealt with the critical theme of the Internet of Things architecture, and has developed a structural reference model by tracing and defining a first set of fundamental elements to promote interoperability. The set of scholars and researchers that made up the project team collaborated on creating a solid foundation for the development and progress of future IoT models.

The research used an experimental paradigm, called IoT-A, which, combining a top-down reasoning on architectural principles with design guidelines constituted by simulation and prototyping, made it possible to concretely explore the technical consequences of the various architectural design solutions selected. .

The results were excellent, the IoT-A project brought:

  • an architectural reference model for the interoperability of IoT systems, which outlines the principles and guidelines for technical design on protocols, interfaces and algorithms;
  • a corresponding mechanism for effective integration into the Internet services of the future;
  • new resolutive infrastructures, allowing a scalable approach and the discovery of new resources for the Internet of Things, real-world entities and their associations;
  • new platform components;
  • implementation of real use cases demonstrating the advantages of the developed architecture.

Now if we ask ourselves how the IoT can benefit our existence and society in the future and on what the contribution of the IoT-A project in the development of the Internet of Things is, we receive a video delivered to us by the same project team, the motto is “we make things talk“. The video gives us more than a glimpse of the concept the IoT-A team has been working on for several years, namely the Reference Architecture model, ARM, an IoT dictionary, a toolbox for developers, a beautiful further turning point for the Internet of (Every) Things that will come.