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Interoperable communication framework for bridging RESTful and topic-based communication in IoT

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/01/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Future Generation Computer Systems
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date2/01/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the many visions of unprecedented and transforming IoT applications are challenged by the realities of a highly fragmented ecosystem of devices, standards and industries. Systems research in IoT is shifting priorities to explore explicit “thing architectures” that promote and enable the friction-free interactions of things despite such fragmentations. In this paper, we focus on overcoming light-weight communication protocol fragmentation. We introduce the Atlas IoT communication framework which enables interactions among things that speak similar or different communication protocols. The framework tools up Atlas things with protocol translator “attachments” that could be either hosted on board the Atlas thing platform, or in the cloud. The translator enables the seamless communication between heterogeneous things through a set of well-defined interfaces. The proposed framework supports seamless communication among the widely adopted Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), Representational State Transfer (REST) over Hypertext Transfer protocol HTTP, and the Message Queue Telemetry Transport protocol (MQTT). Our framework is carefully designed to facilitate interoperability among heterogeneously communicating things without taxing the performance of things that are homogenously communicating. The framework itself utilizes the topic concept and uses a meta-topic hierarchy to map out and guide the translations. We present the details of the Atlas IoT communication framework and give a detailed benchmarking study to measure the energy consumption and code footprint characteristics of the different aspects of the framework on real hardware platforms. In addition to basic characterizations, we compare our framework to the Eclipse Ponte framework and show how our framework is advantageous in energy consumption and how it is unique in that it does not tangibly penalize the homogeneous communication case.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Future Generation Computer Systems. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Future Generation Computer Systems, ??, ?, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/J.FUTURE.2017.12.042