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Rethinking the Internet of Things: A Scalable Approach to Connecting Everything

Rethinking the Internet of Things: A Scalable Approach to Connecting Everything [Kindle Edition]

Francis daCosta
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Over the next decade, most devices connected to the Internet will not be used by people in the familiar way that personal computers, tablets and smart phones are. Billions of interconnected devices will be monitoring the environment, transportation systems, factories, farms, forests, utilities, soil and weather conditions, oceans and resources.

Many of these sensors and actuators will be networked into autonomous sets, with much of the information being exchanged machine-to-machine directly and without human involvement. Machine-to-machine communications are typically terse. Most sensors and actuators will report or act upon small pieces of information - "chirps". Burdening these devices with current network protocol stacks is inefficient, unnecessary and unduly increases their cost of ownership.

This must change. The architecture of the
Internet of Things must evolve now by
incorporating simpler protocols toward at the edges of the
network, or remain forever inefficient. Rethinking the Internet of Things describes reasons why we must rethink current approaches to the Internet of Things. Appropriate architectures that will coexist with existing networking protocols are described in detail. An architecture comprised of integrator functions, propagator nodes, and end devices, along with their interactions, is explored.

What you’ll learn

  • Discusses the difference between the "normal" Internet and the Internet of Things.
  • Describes a new architecture and its components in the "chirp" context.
  • Explains the shortcomings of IP for IoT.
  • Describes the anatomy of the IoT.
  • Describes how to build a suitable network to maximize
    the amazing potential of the IoT.

Who this book is for

leaders, executives, architectural, standards and development leaders in
the evolving IoT industry. Corporations and organizations whose
commercial products could be adapted simply to be functioning devices on the
IOT while saving billions of dollars in unnecessary costs or proprietary
designs. Those who wish to capitalize on technology change and those
interested in the Internet, its capabilities and the need to improve it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3193 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1430257407
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (29 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,330 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Metaphor 19 April 2014
By Sohnee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Francis daCosta draws fascinating comparisons to nature in order to explain concepts fundamental to the subject of IoT. In fact, I got what I wanted from the book in respect of IoT and am now thinking about how the analogies may be relevant to other things!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely Disagree with basic premise 20 May 2014
By Simon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Author constructs a basic premise that current network stacks (IPv6) are too expensive on both an implementation basis and silicon basis. I strongly disagree with this premise, that these stacks are going to end up becoming cheaper as the implementations are going to be commoditized.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big ideas about the Internet of Things 17 Feb 2014
By Leigh M. Chinitz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is not often that one gets to read a manifesto, but that's exactly what you get in Francis daCosta's "Rethinking the Internet of Things: A Scalable Approach to Connecting Everything." Why a manifesto? Because although the author agrees with the commonly accepted view that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing, he makes a strong case for the position that, simply put, almost everyone is thinking about it wrong.

People, he argues, are focused on the question of how to get addresses to the billions, or actually hundreds of billions, of devices that will make up the IoT. And, so, they focus on the complete rollout of IPv6 with its massive address space, and then leap to the conclusion that once all of these devices have their IPv6 address, the IoT is inevitable. daCosta, however, puts that assumption to the test. The question he asks is, what are these devices that will make up the IoT, what will they be trying to do, what will they need to do it, and how much complexity can they support? His answer is that most of the devices will be conveyors of very small pieces of information (a rain gauge here, a heat sensor there) that will will only become interesting when aggregated into larger sets of information. (Infinitesimal data to small data to big data.) Burdening these devices with the cost and complexity of a full IP stack, says daCosta, is unreasonable, impractical, wasteful, and, worst of all, detrimental to the promise of the IoT. That promise, he writes, is the ability to "gather data from interesting end devices ... discovered by searching out small data streams from specific classes of device, location, or other characteristics." IP, with its technical complexity (read: "cost") and inherent point-to-point nature, is ill-suited to the problem of making small amounts of data from simple machines generally available to more complicated machines that will be able to make use of it.

The solution daCosta proposes takes, as its inspiration, an unlikely model of massive information transfer -- the natural world. The author writes that nature has solved the problem of how to move small bits of information from one place to another in a way that can massively scale in much the same way that the IoT will need to do. At the heart of the idea is the concept of a receiver oriented design, and the recognition that any single piece of information is likely to be unimportant, and small, and that massive redundancy is a way of ensuring that messages are received. So, for example, daCosta takes the example of flowers and pollen. When flowers spread pollen to other flowers, they don't set up point-to point connections to ensure the delivery of the pollen, with appropriate ACKs and retransmissions in the event of transmission failure (the IP model). Rather, flowers send out massive amounts of pollen via whatever vectors are available (wind, bees) because the arrival of any specific pollen grain is unimportant. And it's much less costly to simply send out a lot of pollen then to create the signaling necessary to ensure pollen delivery from one flow to another. The only thing that is important is that some grains do reach a compatible flower. And on this point, again, it is the receiver who decides whether the pollen that reaches it is interesting, or not. Rose pollen reaching an oak tree will be ignored. Reaching a human nose it may cause sneezing. But when reaching a rose, it will result in incredible beauty.

So it is, daCosta argues, with the Internet of Things. There will be massive numbers of small devices sending individually unimportant pieces of information which he calls, in a nod to the inspiration of his idea, "chirps". Birds chirping is another example of the use of highly redundant, small pieces of information intended for any receiver that knows how to make use of them. Any given chirp is not important, but the information that the device is trying to chirp may be important. As it is in nature, the IoT can use massive redundancy of any given, tiny message, to ensure eventual delivery. And these chirping devices need not be burdened with the high costs and complexity of an IP stack. Simpler, cheaper, more effective devices will suffice. More than suffice, actually. It is this model, and not a pure IP model, that will allow the IoT to scale to accommodate the coming wave of connected devices.

The manifesto does not stop there, however. daCosta lays out a complete description of how these small chirps will be gathered up by more intelligent receivers, and how these multitudes of small data streams will be groomed and aggregated into, finally, big data streams that will be delivered to traditional Internet applications for collation, analysis, and decision-making. The book is not short on detail, and if you are interested in bits and bytes, daCosta offers those up as well in, for example, his "Skeletal Architecture of Chirp Packets". But for this reader, those details are secondary to big idea that this book presents: that the coming IoT presents challenges not seen by the current Internet, not solvable by simply having more addresses, and analogous in many ways to natural systems which offer useful blueprints towards a solution.

One brief aside. This book contains sentences like this one: "Over time, an agent-based, machine-to-machine social network emerges, tapping into the full richness of data offered by the Internet of Things." If after reading this book you aren't starting to see how the world of "The Terminator" can come about, and aren't starting to believe that it actually might be possible, you must not have read the same book I did.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of Ideas, not implementation strategy 3 Feb 2014
By Geoff White - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The previous reviewer gave the book an undeserved 1 star because daCosta emphasizes that the billions of tiny low power devices don't need IPv6 stacks to fulfill their missions. Which, I would think if you simply apply Occam's razor, this is obviously true. I think the previous reviewer didn't really read deep into the text as well. A lot of the ideas that the author puts forth are somewhat of a stretch and it's somewhat obvious that he doesn't have a deep operations background. But the purpose of the book is to provoke rethinking on the approach to IoT and I think it does that job very well.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking approach to the Internet of Things! 16 Mar 2014
By Dr. Justin Lipman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The book provides an excellent introduction to design, complexity and issues surrounding future usage and deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT). The writing style is clear, concise and focused. The book's chapters provide a smooth and educating flow for those not familiar with how the IoT is developing and what issues are going to emerge.

Overall an excellent read. I highly recommend the book. Definitely a good book for newbies to the field - both technical and management. It is also also an interesting (thought provoking) read for those of us more experienced in the IoT space.

Overall, I really appreciated the simplicity and common sense "chirp" based approach to IoT presented. The approach is justified and grounded. The argument is well presented. To me the proposed **rethinking** is an ideal yet "natural" approach to building an IoT that will scale. The book exposes some of the misguided ignorance regarding memory/computational/bandwidth overheads associated with existing MAC protocols and IP stacks (yes also uIP). While the memory/computational overheads may eventually not be an an issue as we move to smaller transistor geometries in the next 5-10 yrs... the actual protocol, frame and packet bandwidth overheads are not suited to many wireless IoT usages - particularly in Enterprises IoT and Industrial IoT. To ensure we reach an effective economy of scale for IoT we need to address these overheads early on.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of details, but... 10 May 2014
By nbeiii - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The architecture proposed by the author is intriguing and clearly laid out. Many good ideas are presented and detailed. My concern is the degree to which the scheme depends on autonomous, self-learning devices. I'm not sure we're at that point yet. A great, thought-provoking read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable input for IoT architecture mindset creation 6 Jun 2014
By Sami D - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easily approachable and still detailed enough explanation about his three layer IoT-architecture. Rationale for the layering is well justified and makes sense. We need alternatives to IP-stack based devices for sure to push the cost down and make the IoT manageable. The analytics side is covered quite lightly and the industry examples in the end have been mostly repeated in many sources. The chirp protocol standardization input and the autonomous network system logic is the most valueable stuff in the book. As a free offering in Kindle (at least at the time of writing this) this book is definitely worth reading for anyone wondering how the approaching IoT could be implemented...
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