Internet of Things (IOT)

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Internet of Things (IOT)

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2.0 IOT Architectures

When talking about architecture in the IOT context, it refers to a specified framework of a network’s physical components, their operational principles, organization, configuration, and the data formats that are employed in the overall operation of the framework. The RFID tag based identification architecture tends to be quite different from that of sensor-based architecture and the application things to human, communication, and server have to be considered. IOT is a continued exploitation of technology in making intelligent virtual objects from the real world objects.

IOT is geared towards ensuring the unification of everything in the world under a common infrastructure so that people can keep on being informed on what is going on around them, as well as the ability to control everything around them. The aspect of coding and tracking an object so that any control can be done via a simple device is an interesting aspect of IOT application. As a result, companies are able to reduce errors, speed up processes, enhance communication, monitor activities, prevent theft, and promote activity efficiency and flexibility among other uses.

IOT architecture is a system that can be treated separately as virtual or physical; in most instances it also comprises of both. It consists of numerous collection of specific IOT protocols, actuators, users, developers, communication layers, active physical things, cloud services, and enterprise layer among others. The aspect of wired or wireless networks enables the application of IOT in the interconnectedness of different devices and the relay of execution command forwarded to them. The internet enabled intercommunication between devices in the architecture.

However, one of the main challenges that IOT implementation has faced is the complexity of its architecture in design. IOT tends to be a vast and broad concept which complicates the aspect of getting a specific architecture. Therefore, there exist different IOT architectures based on the application of the system to a given set of devices and their applications. However, there are basic aspects that must be there for the idea of IOT to work; a sensor, computing technologies, network, and communications technology among others.

For example, when it comes to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) architecture, its IOT architecture must comprise of the following aspects; an access layer, sensing layer, network layer, middleware layer, and applications layer. This set of architecture form an open systems interconnection (OSI) reference model that enable communication through a set data network. However, a basic IOT Forum Architecture has three basic categorized types; the processors, applications, and transpiration.

There are varieties of reasons that make IOT architecture, the first one can be argued to be the legitimate heterogeneity used in applications and networking technology. However, the variation has its advantages since different applications can be used in different environments with varying networking technology. The different characteristics exhibited by RFID, cellular, and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) are an advantage to the enhancement and implementation of IOT in different devices that require varying architecture.

The Internet of Things (IOT) has multiple categories such as RFID enabled tracking, internet connected wearables, use of sensors in mobile phone interactions with the real world, and devices connect to the internet via Bluetooth among many others. With the understanding that IOT involves a paradigm of objects equipped with processors, actuators, and sensors that enable them to communicate with each other for a purposed meaning, then understanding their architecture becomes simpler (Fremantle, 2018).

IOT comprises of both software architecture and hardware architecture, and extra electronic device connectivity. IOT application architecture comprises of myriads of components in its architecture. Electronic devices and sensors form the core part of IOT application. Their work is to enable reception of data from other components after a connection to things is made. The role of the sensor is to collect data that is needed. Network connectivity is usually needed via a wireless connection or an internet wired connectivity (Bilal, 2017). The context and the domain of the connectivity tend to be dynamic based on the role it ought to play.

The fourth layer in the structure is called the security layer or data abstraction layer where security to the product is applied. Abstraction is applied in different areas based on the domain thus depicting some sense of flexibility. The fifth stage in the structure involves logic manipulation of data in making smart decision (Xiang & Li, 2012).

The connection of objects anywhere at any time is enabled by IOT which is a system that has enabled human beings use smart devices in solving their problems. The interconnection is enabled by a protocol known as Internet Protocol (IP). Conventional IOT architecture is comprised of three main layers; the perception layer, Network layer, and the Application layer. However, the support layer has been recently included in the architecture and it lies between the application and network layers. It is in the support layer that cloud and fog computing aspects are consisted (Ligade, 2016).

According to Fremantle (2018), IOT architecture is thus basically comprised of three layers, but a section of researchers outline that the layers are four due to the inclusion of the support layer. The perception layer is also known as the recognition layer and is the lowest in the IOT architecture (Sethi & Sarangi, 2017). Its responsibility is to ensure the collection of useful data from the environment or things; for example, from sensors, humidity, WSN, temperatures, and so on. It then translates this collected information to digital signatures or setups. The object collected enable communication identification in short range technologies such as Bluetooth, low power personal area network (LoWPAN), and RFID among others (Xiang & Li, 2012).

The network layer forms the brain of the conventional IOT architecture and it helps in securing data transmission between the application and perception layers in the IOT architecture. It is through the help of several applications and a server that the network layer delivers the collected information to the perception layer. Communication-based networks and the internet converge in the Network layer making it the most developed layer in the conventional IOT architecture (Sethi & Sarangi, 2017).

It is the core layer of IOT architecture in the advancement of information for relevant procedures. Also, it is in the network layer that IOT management is done and the unique addressing and routing of abilities is enhanced to the integrated devices sharing a single network (Xiang & Li, 2012). The interrelated components to this layer include wireless, wired, and satellite.

At the top of IOT architecture is the application layer which is used to provide personal and personalized services in respect to the needs of the customer. It is a link to major gaps that exist between applications and the users by combining high-intelligent applications such as health monitoring, medical and ecological environment, disaster monitoring, and health monitoring (Fremantle, 2018). The three architecture layers are linked to other five layers namely; business, application, service management, object abstraction, and objects (Xiang & Li, 2012).

The perception layer represents the object which is responsible for data collection from different heterogeneous category devices. The middle layer is represented by the object abstraction layer which acts a mediator between the object layer and the service management. The third generation 3-dimension communication technologies, WIFI, and RFID are used in object abstraction. Information processing, decision making, and information pairing request is done here (Bilal, 2017). When it comes to the application layer, high-quality facilities are provided to the customers in accordance to their pre-request.

Internet of Things (IOT) has components in its layered architectural structures that cover a variety of latest technologies. IOT is an agglomeration of multiple technologies that operate cohesively in a tandem forming an architecture within which they operate. Such components as transceivers, processors, sensors, and actuators tend to be embedded in IOT architectural design whereby they perform in an interconnection (Sethi & Sarangi, 2017). The complexity and designs employed in connecting various things to the internet to enable intelligent intercommunication between them is what IOT entails.

IOT uses a sensor to perceive the desired data or information from the environment. For example, such aspects as a heartbeat, humidity, temperature, pressure and noise among other factors are measured through sensors embedded on devices. After perceiving these desired environmental changes, the sensor relays the information to the server through a wireless connection or internet wired connectivity (Sethi & Sarangi, 2017). This means that sensors form the core part of IOT structure application and their role is to receive data from other devices and relay them from the perception layer to the network layer for interpretation and determination on the right course of action.

IOT infrastructure comprises of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) which is a broad spectrum that encompasses information subsets and communication technologies and their relation and application to operational transportation among other uses. The use IOT in transportation is to make the system smarter, organized and efficient. For example, the smart city revolution in the transport sector has embraced IOT in enhancing intelligent transportation (Bilal, 2017). According to Serpanos & Wolf (2017), some of the uses of IOT in intelligent transportation include; traffic management driver assistance, fleet management, and the automation of airways, railways, and roadways. Another use include smart parking solution whereby a vehicle is installed sensors that enable it to park automatically or detect the right space to park.

2.1 IOT Architecture Utilities

There are myriads of factors in which IOT utilization can be categorized and the first one is dynamic and self adaptability. This is the ability to adapt to changing contexts and have the capability of changing actions based on the operating conditions in which they are in. for example, in the case of surveillance cameras, when they detect motion; they are able to switch from lower to higher resolution modes (Bilal, 2017).

The other utility used in IOT architecture is the ability to have self-configuration capability thus enabling multiple device to integrate and work together towards the provision of a certain functionality. The self-configuration capability ensures that minimal or zero user intervention is applied. In addition, interoperable communication protocol is also applied which means that IOT devices are able to support multiple interoperable communication protocols within the set infrastructure (Chenhui Xiang & Xinran Li., 2012).

The architectures tend to have unique identities in each IOT device, such as IP addresses or URI, so that intelligent interfaces can be able to communicate directly in different environmental contexts. The use of the interfaces allows users to monitor status, control devices remotely, enhance configuration of management infrastructure, query the devices, and improve communication efficiency (Bilal, 2017). Each infrastructure in IOT architectural setting must have sets of unique identifiers that link to interfaces for proper interconnection and communication enhancement.

2.2 Stacks in IOT Architecture for Constrained Devices

IOT information is integrated into an existing enterprise by use of some form of gateways to communication. Microcontrollers are used to program things and in powering IOT devices (Serpanos & Wolf, 2017). Specific tasks are supported by key features of software stack running on a device which may include;

2.2.1 IOT operating System

Instead of running on bare metal, many IOT devices have some operating systems embedded on them for real-time operations. However, the OS is mostly suitable for small constrained devices that have specific capabilities that are IOT controlled (Chenhui Xiang & Xinran Li., 2012).

2.2.2 Communication Support

This is found in the IOT architecture layers and tends to allow the connection of the device to either wired or wireless protocols such as MQTT, Thread, Z-Wave, and CAN-Bus among others that enable device communication (Serpanos & Wolf, 2017).

2.2.3 Hardware Abstraction

This is a software layer that MCU hardware features are accessed, for example, the serial interfaces, GPIOs and flash memory.

2.2.4 Remote Management

Another architectural feature for constrained IOT devices is the remote management aspect. This involves the ability for users to control devices remotely without manual contact (Serpanos & Wolf, 2017).

8.0 References

8 Trends of the Internet of Things in 2018 – OpenMind. (2018, January 9). Retrieved from

Banfa, A. (2017). Three Major Challenges Facing IoT. Retrieved from

Bilal, M. (2017). A Review of Internet of Things Architecture, Technologies and Analysis Smartphone-based Attacks Against 3D printers. Retrieved from

Biswas, A. R., & Giaffreda, R. (2014). IoT and cloud convergence: Opportunities and challenges. 2014 IEEE World Forum on Internet of Things (WF-IoT). doi:10.1109/wf-iot.2014.6803194

Biswas, A. R., & Giaffreda, R. (2014). IoT and cloud convergence: Opportunities and challenges. 2014 IEEE World Forum on Internet of Things (WF-IoT). doi:10.1109/wf-iot.2014.6803194

Chenhui Xiang, & Xinran Li. (2012). General analysis on architecture and key technologies about Internet of Things. 2012 IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Automation Engineering. doi:10.1109/icsess.2012.6269471

Fremantle, P. (2018). A Reference Architecture for the Internet of Things. Retrieved from

In Kocovic, P., In Behringer, R., In Ramachandran, M., In Mihajlovic, R., & IGI Global. (2017). Emerging trends and applications of the Internet of things.

Ligade, M. (2016, December 18). Architecture for IOT applications. ? Maheshwar Ligade ? Medium. Retrieved from

Malekian, R., Wu, K., Steenhaut, K., & Ye, N. (2017). Guest Editorial Introduction to the Special Issue on Internet of Things and Sensors Technologies for Intelligent Transportation Systems. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 18(10), 2798-2801. doi:10.1109/tits.2017.2753298

Nassour, S., & Assoum, R. (2016). MNOs’ approaches for building IoT strategies. 2016 Sixth International Conference on Digital Information Processing and Communications (ICDIPC). doi:10.1109/icdipc.2016.7470814

Sethi, P., & Sarangi, S. R. (2017, January 26). Internet of Things: Architectures, Protocols, and Applications. Retrieved from

Serpanos, D., & Wolf, M. (2017). IoT System Architectures. Internet-of-Things (IoT) Systems, 7-15. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-69715-4_2

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