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Mobile, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing

(Toronto, Canada - Wei-Jiun Su)

- The Ubiquitous Network Everywhere

The Internet of Things (IoT) can be defined as "a ubiquitous network that monitors and controls the physical environment by collecting, processing and analyzing data generated by sensors or smart objects."

In fact, machine-to-machine (M2M) can be considered a subset of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things includes man-to-machine communication (M2H), radio frequency identification (RFID), location-based services (LBS), lab-on-a-chip (LOC) sensors, augmented reality (AR), robotics, and vehicle telematics. Many of these technologies are military and the result of the development of industrial supply chain applications; their common feature is the combination of embedded sensing objects and communication intelligence, and the operation data is mixed through wired and wireless networks. 


- Embedded and distributed intelligence

Embedded and distributed intelligence capabilities in the network are core architectural components of the IoT for three main reasons:

  • Data Collection: Centralized data collection and smart object management do not provide the scalability that the Internet requires. For example, the millions of sensors and actuators in a smart grid network cannot be effectively managed using a centralized approach.
  • Network Resource Conservation: Since network bandwidth may be scarce, collecting environmental data from a central point in the network inevitably results in the use of a large amount of network capacity.
  • Closed-loop functionality: For some use cases, IoT requires reduced reaction times. For example, sending an alarm over multiple hops from a sensor to a centralized system (running analytics) before sending a command to an actuator would result in unacceptable delays.

This distributed intelligence capability is known as fog computing, an architecture specifically designed to process data and events from IoT devices closer to the source rather than a central data center (also known as the "cloud"). In conclusion, fog computing is an extension of the cloud paradigm. It's similar to cloud computing, but closer to the ground. Fog computing architectures extend the cloud to the physical world of things.


[More to come ...]







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