ICN and IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems use the Internet Protocol (IP) as a de-facto standard for communication. but utilizing the host-centric IP as a backbone of IoT communication gives rise to two key issues – (i) need of a name resolution system (e.g. DNS) and (ii) no native support for mobility. As an alternative, the research community is examining Information Centric Networking (ICN) aspects where content or data is the primary focus. In that paradigm, Named Data Networking (NDN) promises to mitigate the mentioned issues through simple communication, in-network caching, multicasting, security elements and native support for mobility. In addition, NDN does not require name resolution and provides automatic configuration management of participating nodes, scalability and sustainability. NDN is especially beneficial for content retrieval by consumer devices.

The IoT, especially the connected car scenarios can immensely benefit from NDN. But integrating ICN principles into an IoT architecture is met with following challenges.

  1. Naming of Interests - One of the main challenges is in naming of interests from the consumer devices. In NDN paradigm the interests are expressed using URIs. But there is no uniform or recommended mechanism (as of now) to create a structured URI. The naming scheme and URI parameters are not defined. Resource discovery is necessary to construct the URI.
  2. Uniform mapping of interest and data - For the NDN mechanism to function, a processing and storage subsystem in the IoT architecture must map the data to interests. This means the subsystem should follow the same principle of naming of interests as that of the consumer devices. This involves interworking between data storage element of IoT paradigm and NDN element.
  3. Dissemination of both raw data and high level intelligence - The NDN is useful for data dissemination in any IoT architecture. As a part of that, both raw data and high level intelligence derived at the processing and storage subsystem must be mapped to respective consumer interests. This requires interoperation between data processing and data storage from IoT paradigm and NDN element.

EURECOM is working towards ICN-IoT integration and a prototype demonstrating IoT data dissemination through NDN. The steps of the dissemination are depicted using the figure below.

Value Additions

  1. Moving beyond client-server and subscription-notification models for IoT data exchange.
  2. Data caching is embedded into network nodes.


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