IoT and pervasive computing systems are rapidly developing everywhere, requiring efficient ways for dynamic interactions between objects and the environment: in particular, mutual discovery and initiation of adequate cooperating protocols. While classic networking protocols provide good support for network connectivity of relatively static devices in a host environment, they often fall short to support dynamic or short-lived interactions with new or unknow entities. In particular, security features raise a wall to initial connectivity, often requiring human configuration stage. For example, in smart homes/buildings the “smart services” are often only available to registered users. Another limitation is that classic networking protocols do not support the discovery of many entities such as “dumb” (or “passive”) objects (furniture, building materials, etc.) even though their presence is an important aspect of the environment and its properties.
However, several radio technologies currently widely available would allow to reflect environment properties and initiate communication support when needed: we can cite 802.15.1 (BLE) radios, and backscattering communications such as HF and UHF RFID. These technologies enable almost any object to communicate directly with the nearby environment, without depending on another infrastructure, and without pre-configuration. Unfortunately, they are still not much used for this purpose, with some exceptions: RFID in industry, and BLE for connecting some specific devices to a smartphone using dedicated applications.
A generic, high-level approach providing an open context discovery mechanism without prior configuration would be an important contribution in pervasive computing. The goal of this Ph. D work would be to design and implement such a software system, in particular the appropriate programming abstraction for applications. Similar system has been proposed and developed, but with important limitations in terms of dynamicity and supported technologies. Another aspect of this work is incremental trust building between entities involved in ephemeral cooperations, and how to modulate cooperations relatively to current trust. A more flexible security model is needed for this cooperative infrastructure than those based on authentification.
Good knowledge in distributed systems and networking
Experience in software development: C/C++/Java, in Linux environment. Android and/or embedded platforms are a plus
Familiar with Wireless communications: Wi-Fi, BLE, RFID are a plus
English language, French appreciated
Scholliers, Christophe & Gonzalez Boix, Elisa & De Meuter, Wolfgang. (2009). TOTAM: Scoped tuples for the ambient. ECEASST. 19. 10.14279/tuj.eceasst.19.241.
Chandra, Ranveer, Jitendra Padhye, Lenin Ravindranath, and Alec Wolman. “Beacon-Stuffing: Wi-Fi without Associations.” In Eighth IEEE Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, 53–57, 2007. https://doi.org/10.1109/HotMobile.2007.16.
Dhondge, Kaustubh, Sejun Song, Baek-Young Choi, and Hyungbae Park. “WiFiHonk: Smartphone-Based Beacon Stuffed WiFi Car2X-Communication System for Vulnerable Road User Safety.” In 2014 IEEE 79th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Spring), 1–5, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1109/VTCSpring.2014.7023146.
Lu, Shanshan, Sankalp Shere, Yanliang Liu, and Yonghe Liu. “Device Discovery and Connection Establishment Approach Using Ad-Hoc Wi-Fi for Opportunistic Networks.” In 2011 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops), 461–66, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1109/PERCOMW.2011.5766934.
B. Mishra and A. Kertesz, "The Use of MQTT in M2M and IoT Systems: A Survey," in IEEE Access, vol. 8, pp. 201071-201086, 2020, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3035849.