Brokering Intelligence as a Service for the Internet of Things

Brokering Intelligence as a Service for the Internet of Things

Georgia Dede (Harokopio University of Athens, Kallithea, Greece), George Fragiadakis (Harokopio University of Athens, Kallithea, Greece), Christos Michalakelis (Harokopio University of Athens, Kallithea, Greece), and Thomas Kamalakis (Harokopio University of Athens, Kallithea, Greece)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2019040102
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has been hailed as the next best industrial revolution and is expected to influence the global economy. The tide has begun to shift away from old ways and several companies are working towards providing novel IoT applications and development solutions, which will change the way we approach everyday tasks in the future. The IoT ecosystem is characterized by complex interactions between technology, data suppliers and users, raising the need for an intermediate entity, the IoT broker and the corresponding brokering intelligence as a service, for the IoT business model. The main objective of this article is to introduce the innovative concept of the IoT broker, which will play an important role in the IoT networks, describe its conceptual framework and analyze the intermediation services by presenting typical case studies.
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The Internet of things (IoT) is the internetworking of physical devices embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data (Gubbi et al, 2013). The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved control, efficiency and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention. It is based on mesh networking, where devices with different configurations and standards announce their connection to the network, seeking to interact with the other connected devices. There are a number of technologies that could contribute to the IoT vision, either in the access or in the domestic network, such as Wi-Fi, cellular, satellite etc. (Reina et al, 2013). When the IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies, such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. The IoT describes a web of machine-to-machine (M2M) networks that enable the free exchange of messages between so-called “smart objects” and associated applications within commercial, industrial, and civil organizations.

Although still at its infancy, the ability of IoT to provide real-time visibility and control of real-world objects, such as water and electricity meters, point-of-sale terminals and traffic lights has the potential to bring unprecedented efficiency and transparency to almost any aspect of our lives. According to Morgan Stanley’s projections, 75 billion devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020 (Morgan Stanley Research, 2014). IoT is considered as the main driver for developing a System of Systems (SoS) approach. SoS is a collection of task-oriented or dedicated systems that pool their resources and capabilities together to create a new, more complex system which offers better functionality and performance. A typical example of a SoS application is smart cities, with separate subsystems for street lighting, traffic, energy, building management etc. (Cavalcante et al, 2016). IoT is considered by many to be the next best industrial revolution aiming at merging physical and virtual worlds and thus creating smart environments (DuBravac et al, 2015). The transition towards the IoT is expected to happen very quickly, driving the evolution from www to IoT, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Evolution towards the IoT


The development of the IoT ecosystem requires partnership and collaboration among industries, governments, technology companies and research institutes. As the number of sensors in the IoT network increases, the amount of data gathered, managed and even combined with other data and distributed is also augmented (OECD, 2014). To ensure the high quality of IoT performance, some important technical requirements should be satisfied, including power efficiency, computational power, storage availability and high-speed networking. The evolution of the IoT will undoubtedly follow an expansion of demand for bandwidth, data transfer rates, infrastructures and services. Towards this end, it seems that the deployment of the upcoming new 5G wireless technology will speed up the IoT evolution.

The IoT ecosystem is characterized by complex interactions between technology/data suppliers and users, with a dominant role of business-to-business interactions, where Information and communications technology (ICT) vendors provide IoT solutions to industries that leverage them to deliver services to their users. Service providers may play different roles in the IoT value chain and a key feature of the ecosystem is the dynamic interaction between providers of horizontal IoT platforms and those of vertical solutions or industry specific environments. Taking into account that the IoT generates massive amounts of data and that cloud computing provides a pathway for these data to reach their destination, there will be a major need for bridging or spanning IoT gateways in building solutions, combining infrastructure, services and communications among a number of providers and also between the demand and the supply side of the IoT market.

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