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Internet Research Task Force                             Gyu Myoung Lee
Internet Draft                                         TELECOM SudParis
Intended status: Informational                             Jungsoo Park
Expires: January 2013                                              ETRI
                                                              Ning Kong
                                                            Noel Crespi
                                                       TELECOM SudParis
                                                          Ilyoung Chong
                                                          July 30, 2012

           The Internet of Things - Concept and Problem Statement

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted to IETF in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
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   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 30, 2013.

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       The Internet of Things - Concept and Problem Statement   July 2012

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors. All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully,
   as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this

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   This document explains the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT)
   and several features of the IoT. In addition, this document specifies
   problems considering technical issues for the IoT. Based on this,
   this document discusses architectural implications in order to solve

Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119.

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Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ................................................ 5
   2. Concept of IoT .............................................. 5
   3. Features of the IoT ......................................... 6
      3.1. Overall aspects......................................... 6
      3.2. Applications/services aspects........................... 7
      3.3. Networking aspects...................................... 7
      3.4. Link/physical layer aspects............................. 7
      3.5. Smart/connected objects aspects......................... 7
      3.6. Smart environment aspects............................... 7
   4. Problems .................................................... 7
      4.1. Identifier for objects and services..................... 7
      4.2. Object naming .......................................... 8
      4.3. Security/privacy/authority.............................. 9
      4.4. Presence (of people; of devices) ....................... 10
      4.5. Geographic location (self-identification of location)... 10
      4.6. Discovery/search ....................................... 10
      4.7. Tracking and mobility support of mobile object.......... 10
      4.8. Data processing /computing ............................. 11
      4.9. Heterogeneous networking environment (IP and non-IP, etc)11
      4.10. Global connectivity (IP-based) ........................ 12
      4.11. Scalability ........................................... 12
      4.12. Autonomics (self-configuring, intelligence for control) 13
      4.13. Constraint objects .................................... 13
      4.14. Web Services .......................................... 14
      4.15. Various volumes of data traffic ....................... 14
   5. Architectural implications .................................. 15
      5.1. Vertical vs. Horizontal ................................ 15
      5.2. Architectural considerations in the service perspective. 15
      5.3. Common infrastructure in the networking perspective..... 16
   6. Security Considerations ..................................... 17
   7. IANA Considerations. ........................................ 17
   8. References .................................................. 17
      8.1. Normative References ................................... 17
      8.2. Informative References ................................. 17
   Author's Addresses ............................................. 18

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1. Introduction

   The Internet of Things (IoT) [1-3] is a novel paradigm that is
   becoming popular with research and industries. The basic idea is that
   IoT will connect objects around us to provide seamless communication
   and contextual services provided by them. Development of RFID tags,
   sensors, actuators, smart phones make it possible to materialize IoT
   which interact and co-operate each other to make the service better
   and accessible anytime, from anywhere.
   There are so many applications that are possible because of IoT. For
   individual users, IoT brings useful applications like home automation,
   security, automated devices monitoring and management of daily tasks.
   For professionals, automated applications provide useful contextual
   information all the time to help on their works and decision making.
   Industries with sensors and actuators operations can be rapid,
   efficient and more economic. Managers who need to keep eye on many
   things can automate tasks connection digital and physical objects
   together. Every sectors energy, computing, management, security,
   transportation are going to be benefitted with this new paradigm.
   Development of several technologies made it possible to achieve the
   vision of the IoT. Identification technology such as RFID allows each
   object to represent uniquely by having unique identifier. Identity
   reader can read any time the object allows real time identification
   and tracking. Wireless sensor technology allows objects to provide
   real time environmental condition and context. Smart technologies
   allow objects to become more intelligent which can think and
   communicate. Nanotechnologies are helping to reduce the size of the
   chip incorporating more processing power and communication
   capabilities in a very small chip.
   This document explains the concept of the IoT and several features of
   the IoT. In addition, this document specifies problems considering
   technical issues for the IoT. This document also contains
   architectural considerations in order to solve problems with feasible
   technological solutions.

2. Concept of IoT

   o Definition of the "IoT"

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      The "Internet of Things (IoT)" refers to the networked
      interconnection of everyday objects. An "IoT" means "a world-wide
      network of interconnected objects uniquely addressable, based on
      standard communication protocols" [5].

   o Definition and scope of "thing"

      In the IoT, "thing" is object of the physical world (physical
      thing) or of the information world (virtual thing), which is
      capable of being identified and integrated into the communication
      networks [6]. The "thing" should be identified at least by one
      unique way of identification for the capability of addressing and
      communicating with each other and verifying their identities.

   o Visions of IoT and goals for new architecture/framework

      In terms of standardization, a new paradigm of IoT implies many
      visions depending on expertise of standardization bodies. Commonly
      we focus on the deployment of a new generation of networked
      objects with communication, sensory and action capabilities for
      numerous applications with a vision "from simple connected objects
      as sensor networks to more complex and smarter communicated
      objects as in the envisioned IoT" [7]. In the IETF/IRTF
      perspective, one of our visions is to provide global
      interoperability via IP for making heterogeneous/constraint
      objects very smart.

      We are investigating a new architectural framework to support
      scalability and interoperability for IoT as a research item. The
      goals for this are to identify several problems of existing
      protocols and find possible solutions for solving these problems.

3. Features of the IoT

3.1. Overall aspects

   The IoT has the following features: order(s) of magnitude bigger than
   the Internet, no computers or humans at endpoint, inherently mobile,
   disconnected, unattended.

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3.2. Applications/services aspects

   There are many use cases among various stakeholders in IoT
   environment. Each device/machine can be used for multiple
   applications/services with different characteristics.

3.3. Networking aspects

   It is required to provide a common communications technology that
   supports all applications/services as well as heterogeneous
   networking interfaces.

3.4. Link/physical layer aspects

   There are various types of networking interfaces which have different
   coverage and data rates. These environments have the characteristics
   of low power and lossy networks like Bluetooth, IEEE 802.15.4
   (6LoWPAN, ZigBee), NFC etc.

3.5. Smart/connected objects aspects

   Smart/connected objects are heterogeneous with different sizes,
   mobility, power, connectivity and protocols. A physical object
   interacts with several entities, performs various functionalities and
   generates data that might be used by other entities. Usually
   resources of these objects are limited.

3.6. Smart environment aspects

   Smart environment which consists of networks of federated sensors and
   actuators can be extended from homes/offices to buildings/cities.
   From residential home, end-to-end large scale services such as smart
   cities can be considered.

4. Problems

4.1. Identifier for objects and services

   There are various kinds of identifier with different identification
   codes according to objects and their services. Current identification
   schemes for objects are also different from their purposes.

   Technical considerations:

   o Identification (new naming space, globally unique ID)

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      With the huge evolved communication objects, the hierarchical
      identification schemes are required. The aggregation feature of
      IPv6 address is one of example.

      According to the classification of "Things", the different
      identification schemes are required. That is, the information such
      as books, medicine and clothes may not require the global
      identification because revocation lists are required. It means
      some objects will be destroyed.

4.2. Object naming

   Current Internet just identifies the specific server which contents
   are stored. As the end points of current Internet are hosts,
   individual content in a server cannot be identified in the network.

   Technical considerations:

   o Object naming services

      The name service of Internet such as DNS (Domain Name System)
      [RFC1034] has already been one of the most important
      infrastructures of the Internet nowadays. For example, DNS is an
      indispensable system of the Internet used for translating the
      "human-friendly" host names of computers on a TCP/IP network into
      their corresponding "machine-friendly" IP addresses. In general,
      DNS also stores other types of information, such as the list of
      mail servers that accept email for a given Internet domain. By
      providing a worldwide, distributed name service, DNS is an
      essential component of the functionality of the Internet.

      Similarly, object name service will also be one of essential and
      key elements in the IoT, which can be used for translating the
      "thing-friendly" names of object which maybe belong to
      heterogeneous name spaces (e.g. EPC, uCode, and any other self-
      defined code) on different networks (e.g. TCP/IP network,
      constrained network) into their corresponding "machine-friendly"
      addresses or other related information of another TCP/IP or
      constrained network. The object of IoT based on a TCP/IP or
      constrained network can easily communicate with other object on
      the same or any other network with the name of the object by
      object name service, without considering whether the address of
      the targeted object has been changed or not.

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      To fulfill the aforementioned objective, object naming service
      based on the IoT needs to be researched. The compatibility of
      heterogeneous name spaces and the efficiency for the constrained
      network of this kind of service are supposed to be the most
      important issues to be studied in future.

4.3. Security/privacy/authority

   The loss of security and privacy in communications and services, with
   personal data is becoming available and unwanted communication
   becoming rampant.

   The overall problem is further aggravated by the diversification of
   the Internet with new types of devices and heterogeneous networks.
   The user is confronted with a wide range of methods and devices with
   which to access the digital world, and it can no longer be assumed
   that a single, independent access per device will suffice, nor that
   the user will actually own all these devices.

   Using identities as representations of entities of all kinds as the
   end points of communications, the handling of the privacy of data in
   the network and the infrastructure is key issues to solve problems
   associated with the diversifying of the Internet towards an IoT, and
   to be reachable in the digital world [8].

   Technical considerations:

   o ID-management for objects (security, authentication, privacy)

      Basically each object should not be able to authenticate during
      the short time because the hundreds of objects may request the
      approval at the same time. Therefore, group authentication and
      authorization methods are required.

   o Trustworthy networking

      Confidentiality, authenticity and trustworthiness of communication
      partners need to be maintained. Users need to give objects limited
      service access not allowing them to communicate in uncontrolled

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4.4. Presence (of people; of devices)

   Key challenging issue is to develop a mechanism which accepts, stores
   and distributes presence information with the relationship between
   people and devices.

   Technical considerations:

   o Awareness of presence

4.5. Geographic location (self-identification of location)

   For IoT applications/services, we need to know the physical location
   of objects and the location of information from objects. Problems are
   how to identify location information related to objects with
   autonomic way.

   Technical considerations:

   o Awareness of location

4.6. Discovery/search

   Every object can be a source of information. Information from object
   should be stored and discovered through searching in order to use it
   by persons. For this, semantic and context information can be used.

   Technical considerations:

   o Tools for information modeling of objects

      Characterizing of objects using semantic and ontology technologies
      are required. Suitable services for objects must be automatically
      identified. As users want to know objects information and their
      availability all the time, it requires appropriate semantic means
      of describing their functionalities.

4.7. Tracking and mobility support of mobile object

   To support the routing and mobility protocols, the IoT networks have
   structural characteristics. That is, the mobility support models are

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   required. Some objects move independently. Others will move as the
   one of group. Therefore, according the moving feature, the different
   tracking methods are required. It is important to provide ubiquitous
   and seamless communication among objects while tracking the location
   of objects.

   Technical considerations:

   o Location-based mobility support for mobile objects

4.8. Data processing /computing

   For supporting various applications in the IoT environment,
   information should be able to transfer among objects operating under
   varied perspectives without humans.

   Technical considerations:

   o Information model (data store, retrieval, transfer, etc.)

      According the Information model, the functionality of data
      processing should be distinguished.

   o Policy/preferences

4.9. Heterogeneous networking environment (IP and non-IP, etc.)

   Objects have different communication, information and processing
   capabilities. Each object would also be subjected to very different
   conditions such as power energy availability and communication
   bandwidth requirement. Networking interfaces of objects are
   heterogeneous in terms of coverage, date rate, etc. For communicating
   among objects, both IP and non-IP interfaces should be supported for
   providing interoperability among heterogeneous interfaces.

   Technical considerations:

   o Interworking model with proxy (gateway)

      Each gateway should support the multiple interfaces, which are
      evolved in different heterogeneous networks.

   o Interoperability

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      In order to facilitate communication and cooperation common
      practices and standards are required. Interoperability solution
      should be maintained to provide seamless interaction among them.
      Service description, publishing, and discovery mechanisms should
      be interoperable otherwise the IoT will be converted into islands
      of heterogeneous object network.

   o Device adaptation

      Each connected objects should be able to adapt the situation where
      it is now. When a person with smart phone enters home, it should
      adapt communication mechanism, addressing and localized
      environment. When it reaches in office environment it should adapt
      with new situation where the mechanisms available in home can be
      different. Adaption in many senses should be maintained.

4.10. Global connectivity (IP-based)

   Each object should support the end-to-end communications. And also
   outside-initiated services may be supported into the inner network.
   For global interoperability, IP is considered for communicating smart

   Technical considerations:

   o IPv6 protocol

      To solve scalability regarding addressing, object-to-object
      communication needs huge number of IP addresses in order to
      uniquely identify each objects. As a scalable solution, IPv6 can
      be used which can accommodate as many things as required to
      include in the IoT. Using IPv6 with abundant address spaces,
      globally unique connectivity can be provided without additional

4.11. Scalability

   All of objects are highly distributed with ubiquity features (e.g.,
   any where, any time). Scalable solutions are necessary in the
   distributed networking environment.

   Technical considerations:

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   o ID/LOC separation

      In IETF LISP, Shim6 and Other WG, ID/LOC separation methods have
      been developing. For more scalable and robust network, ID/LOC
      separation features are required.

4.12. Autonomics (self-configuring, intelligence for control)

   For self-configuration, a problem is how a device needs to establish
   its connection automatically with a plug and play manner. In addition,
   for intelligent control, a problem is how a device can understand a
   message for control (e.g., command).

   Technical considerations:

   o Remote control and management/maintenance of objects

      Solutions for remote control and management without human
      intervention are required to support various kinds of intelligent
      applications/services using smart objects.

      For example, IPv6 auto-configuration and multi-homing features are
      useful for the autonomics. The scope-based IPv6 addressing
      features are easily applied for self-configuration such as smart
      building and smart grid.

4.13. Constraint objects

   Like the Full-function device (FFD) and Reduced Function Devices
   (RFD) in sensor network, the objects of IoT should be classified in
   viewpoint of functionalities.

   For constraint objects which do not have enough power, memory,
   computing, to develop lightweight protocols for minimizing energy
   consumption is essential. However, these protocols do not have enough
   capabilities compared to conventional protocol which is running on
   always-on devices with enough power.

   Technical considerations:

   o Coordination among constraint objects

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      Through the collaboration of objects with full functionalities,
      required capabilities can be provided to constraint objects.

   o Energy efficient protocol for constraint objects

      Energy efficient communication mechanisms are essential. Active
      and sleep mode operation can be a possible solution.

4.14. Web Services

   Each object may be identified through the web services. It means that
   the object should be identified by the URL/URL. For web of objects,
   it is required to invent technologies for leveraging real-world
   object exposed using Web on the Representational State Transfer
   (REST) interface.

   Technical considerations:

   o Light-weight Web protocols

4.15. Various volumes of data traffic

   Depending on application and use cases there is variance in data
   volume. In a scenario where there is brief collaboration among
   objects data volume will be less. However, in case where there are
   large number of objects and interact among very frequently there are
   large volume of data.

   Technical considerations:

   o Efficient processing of data traffic with different granularities

      How to handle various volumes of data traffic is one of the
      important challenges. From network perspective it is difficult to
      handle bulk amount of data if objects produce huge bytes of data
      regularly or irregularly. In addition, if the number of object in
      a network significantly increases, it also causes traffic
      congestion. Solution can be periodic communication between objects
      or some data compression, aggregation and optimization techniques.

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5. Architectural implications

   This document has explained the concept of the IoT and several
   features of the IoT. In addition, this document has specified
   problems considering technical issues for the IoT.

   Based on this, it is required to find possible solutions for each
   problem. It would be a good starting point to consider a new
   architectural framework in order to solve problems. Thus, various
   issues on the architecture for IoT are discussed in this section.

5.1. Vertical vs. Horizontal

   From technical problems for IoT, the current standards should require
   extension of the architectural principles of both vertical (from
   link/physical to service/application) and horizontal (one
   object(user) to other object(user) through local networks as well as
   global Internet infrastructure) perspectives.

   In the vertical aspect, more studies should require in networking
   capabilities for control and operation of various services over
   complicated stacks of different layer technologies. In horizontal
   aspects, further enhancements of user-centric communication
   capabilities should take into account the complex user situations
   including various devices connected to home networks and various
   access technologies which support convergence. These capabilities are
   necessary to support the ubiquitous networking to provide seamlessly
   interconnection between humans and objects for Any Services, Any Time,
   Any Where, Any Devices and Any Networks.

5.2. Architectural considerations in the service perspective

   In the service perspective, a target goal of architecture design is
   to support various applications using a common communication
   infrastructure. For this, service oriented architecture, open service
   platform and overly networks are considered.

   o Service oriented architecture

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      Objects are becoming smarter with the continual augmentation of
      communication and computing capabilities. Service Oriented
      Architecture (SOA) based programming, which was initially used for
      complex, and rather static business data sharing can now be used
      for small objects [9]. Objects can offer their functionalities
      using the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) or the REST
      Application Programming Interface (API) based approaches [10].
      This allows objects to interact dynamically. Devices that provide
      their functionality as a web service can be used by other entities
      such as business applications or even other devices.

   o Open service platform

      Open service platform is required for promoting integrated and
      interoperable IoT services while easily interworking with existing
      service platform based on open standards.

   o Overlay networks (Service overlay)

      For deployment of abstract services, logical networks on top of a
      physical infrastructure are created. These networks have an
      overlay topology that logically interconnects all the
      participating nodes/objects in the physical network.

5.3. Common infrastructure in the networking perspective

   In the networking perspective, common infrastructure should provide
   scalable, interoperable solutions to support abundant of
   communicating nodes/objects.

   o New concepts of networking

      For stimulating interactions among connected objects with
      efficient way, new concepts of networking are also required. We
      need to investigate feasibility of those technologies. The
      followings are some examples:

      - User-centric networking

      - Data-centric networking

      - Content(Information)-centric networking

   o Interoperable end-to-end model

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   o Integrating of smart objects

      Common infrastructure for IoT should provide functionalities for
      integrating of smart objects.

6. Security Considerations


7. IANA Considerations

   This document has no actions for IANA.

8. References

8.1. Normative References


8.2. Informative References

   [1]  ITU-T Internet Reports, "Internet of Things," November 2005.

   [2]  Zouganeli E., Svinnset, I.E, "Connected objects and the
        Internet of things-a paradigm shift," Photonics in Switching
        2009, September 2009.

   [3]  Harald Sundmaeker, Patrick Guilemin, Peter Friess, Sylvie
        Woelffle, "Vision and challenges for realizing the Internet of
        Things," March 2010.

   [4]  Luigi Atzori, Antonio Iera, Giacomo Morabito, "The Internet of
        Things: A survey," Computer Networks, Volume 54, Issue 15,
        pp.2787-2805, October 2010.

   [5]  Maarten Botterman, "Internet of Things: an early reality of the
        Future Internet," Workshop Report, European Commission
        Information Society and Media, May 2009.

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       The Internet of Things - Concept and Problem Statement   July 2012

   [6]  ITU-T Y.2060, "Overview of Internet of Things," June 2012.

   [7]  White paper, "Smart networked objects and Internet of Things,"
        Association Instituts Carnot, January 2011.

   [8]  Amardeo Sarma, Joao Girao, "Identities in the Future Internet
        of Things," Wireless Pers Comm., 2009.

   [9]  Guinard, D., Trifa, V., Karnouskos, S., Spiess, P., Savio, D.,
        "Interacting with the SOA-based Internet of things: Discovery,
        Query, Selection, and On-Demand Provisioning of Web
        Services," IEEE Services Computing, IEEE Transactions, vol.3,
        no.3, July-Sept. 2010.

   [10] Malatras, A., Asgari, A., Bauge, T., "Web enabled wireless
        sensor networks for facilities management," IEEE Systems
        Journal, vol.2, no.4, Dec. 2008.

   [11] Joachim W. Walewski, Alain. Pastor, "The Internet of Things -
        use cases and requirements," work in progress, <draft-walewski-
        iot-use-case-00.txt>, July 2011.

   [RFC1034] P. Mockapetris, "Domain names-concepts and facilities,"
             November 1987.

Author's Addresses

   Gyu Myoung Lee
   Institut Mines-TELECOM, TELECOM SudParis
   9 rue Charles Fourier, 91011, Evry, France

   Phone: +33 (0)1 60 76 41 19
   Email: gm.lee@it-sudparis.eu

   Jungsoo Park
   161 Gajeong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-700, Korea

   Phone: +82 42 860 6514
   Email: fnumber@gmail.com

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   Ning Kong
   4 South 4th Street, Zhongguancun, Haidian District, Beijing, 100190,

   Phone: +86 10 5881 3147
   Email: nkong@cnnic.cn

   Noel Crespi
   Institut Mines-TELECOM, TELECOM SudParis
   9 rue Charles Fourier, 91011, Evry, France

   Phone: +33 (0)1 60 76 46 23
   Email: noel.crespi@it-sudparis.eu

   Ilyoung Chong
   Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS)
   81, Oedae-ro, Mohyeon-myeon, Cheoin-gu,Yongin-si, Gyeongi-do, 449-791,

   Phone: +82-31-330-4229
   Email: iychong@hufs.ac.kr

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