|Thesis abstract: |
In recent years, we have seen the rapid development of small, low-power, and low-cost wireless computation/communication devices, which have served as enablers for the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Within the Internet of Things, devices adopt wireless communication to cooperate to provide services and added value to users. Smartphones and tablets are clearly the most widely- known examples of such devices; however, there are also many others (e.g., home and office appliances or wearable devices) and many more will be available shortly. Eriksson foresees, for example, that there will be more than 50 billion connected devices in 2020. The Internet of Things promises to enable new and unforeseen scenarios in many different domains. It will allow us to enhance logistics and public transportation, to create smart exhibition centers and museums, to develop more efficient and effective hospitals and offices, to truly realize home automation and the promise of connected cars.
Although many IoT applications in the past have depended on having actual Internet access, a new breed of applications has come forth under the name of proximity-based applications. The devices in these applications are within proximity of one another and operate in an infrastructure-less manner, exploiting peer-to- peer communication.
One of the biggest challenges in Peer-to-Peer IoT applications is to provide a reliable connectivity between a large amount of heterogeneous mobile devices. In this scenario, the devices have different processing power and energy, they have various mobility pattern, and they may support different communication protocols like Wi-Fi/ Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, 6LowPAN, and Cellular.
In the current research, we propose a distributed middleware that could work on top of several well-known and widely available communication protocols and can manage the high number of mobile and fixed devices. The middleware will provide suitable device and service-level abstractions for the application developer to facilitate the interoperation among heterogeneous devices. Moreover, a suitable simulation framework has been developed to enable test and verification of the above mentioned solution.