Towards a Cloud of Things Smart City

Abstract : Cities are growing steadily and urban living poses major challenges in our daily lives. In this context, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) together with local governments and private companies, play a key role for implementing innovative solutions, to make smart cities a reality. In this context, the Internet of Things (IoT) is an enabler for a broad range of applications and services. The IoT goes through a larger and larger set of heterogeneous devices able to join the Internet spread within the cities among the citizens. It now makes sense to consider the scenario of these heterogeneous devices interconnected to each other and to exploit their synergy by involving their sensing and actuation resources in the Cloud. Nevertheless, there are still some challenges to face such as: 1) the interoperability among different ICT systems; 2) a huge amount of data to be processed provided in real-time by the IoT devices deployed in the smart systems; 3) the significant fragmentation deriving from the multiple IoT architectures and associated middleware; 4) heterogeneous resources mashup, namely how to orchestrate resources of the various Clouds. Concerning the last item, the concept of IoT, with underlying physical objects abstracted according to thing-like semantics, seems a valid starting point for the orchestration of the various resources. In this context, the Cloud concept could play the role to connect the IoT with the Internet of People through the Internet of Services, by the means of a horizontal integration of various silos. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the Cloud of Things (CoT), starting from the traditional Cloud computing concept (Section 2). The CoT concept goes beyond the interconnection and hyperlink of things. It is a horizontal integration of different IoT networks silos and the associated cloud computing. The development of the convergence of diverse IoT platforms and Clouds goes through implemented abstraction, virtualization and management of things. A precise design of these mechanisms will permit the development of a technological-agnostic architecture, where the integration and deployment of diverse devices and objects can be considered by neglecting their underlying architecture. Based on the requirements a smart city should fulfill (Section 3), we show how the combination of IoT and CoT can make the cities smarter and more sustainable. We illustrate the Cloud of Things concept through the description of the VITAL architecture developed in the framework of the FP7 VITAL project, a CoT-based architecture, able to meet many critical requirements of a smart city, and we will show how this platform can be considered to bridge different and heterogeneous IoT silos and be effective solution to be applied for the realization of a smart city (Section 4).
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Riccardo Petrolo, Valeria Loscri, Nathalie Mitton. Towards a Cloud of Things Smart City. IEEE COMSOC MMTC E-Letter, IEEE, 2014, 9 (5), pp.44--48. ⟨hal-01080273⟩

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