Communication Protocols for the Internet of Things

Communication Protocols for the Internet of Things

S. Umamaheswari
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3805-9.ch006
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The future internet is expected to be an internet of things (IoT) that makes a huge increase in its capability to collect, investigate, and distribute data that can be turned into information or knowledge. The changeover to IPv6, having a common set of standards and developing energy sources for millions of minute sensors, are the challenges of IoT. The environment can be made smart and self-aware by the direct communication between more and more devices that are part of the IoT. The low power lossy networks (LLNs) that consist of more tiny sensors and low power devices are the elements of the IoT. The TCP/IP reference model is used for the internet connectivity, which is not exactly suited for the network that uses smart objects. There is a need to connect the local network that has the smart objects to the internet. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has come out with the standardized protocols like 6LoWPAN, RPL, COAP, etc. This chapter provides the various protocols used in the internet of things network with their specifications, benefits, and limitations.
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The computer networks are an interconnection of the computer systems to share the information that has evolved tremendously. The computer networks, which were emerging in the late 1960’s, has become the information pool that is available nowadays in the form of Internet from the early 1990s.

The Internet is a network of networks. A software layer, which sits on the top of the operating system, is responsible for implementing the distributed system model. The World Wide Web (WWW) is the distributed system that runs on the top of the internet and offers webpages to the users. The main goal of the network is to share the resources. The resources can be program, physical devices, or data. The communication between the systems on the network can be done by a set of protocols (or rules). Most of the network support layered protocol approach in which each layer provides services to the above layer and protects from the details of the protocols used in the lower layers.

The protocol stacks are based either on the OSI model or the TCP/IP model. Both the models have a set of layers and each layer has its own set of protocols. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a standard organization that develops the protocol standards that comprises the Internet Protocol Suite. The IETF is divided into working groups and each work group is meant for a specific application. The Request for Comments (RFCs) are the technical reports that are submitted to the IETF. The RFCs are available online and can be accessed from the The ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is an organization that standardizes the international telecommunications. The communication protocol is very significant irrespective of the physical medium used by the network.

The below sections provide information about the communication protocols used in the Internet of Things network and the protocols at each layer level are discussed.

  • Section 1 describes the Internet Protocol Suite and the different layers present in the IoT Protocol Suite.

  • Section 2 describes the Physical and Link Layer protocols.

  • Section 3 describes the Adaptation Layer and its benefits.

  • Section 4 describes the Network layer protocols and its benefits.

  • Section 5 briefs the Transport layer.

  • Section 6 explains about the Application layer protocols and its simulations.

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