Niflheim: An end-to-end middleware for applications on a multi-tier IoT infrastructure

Nicolas Small, Sven Akkermans, Wouter Joosen, Danny Hughes
2017 2017 IEEE 16th International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications (NCA)  
Publisher's PDF, also known as Version of record Cyswllt i'r cyhoeddiad / Link to publication Dyfyniad o'r fersiwn a gyhoeddwyd / Citation for published version (APA): Abstract: Internet of Things (IoT) systems have seen recent growth in popularity for city and home environments. We report on the design, deployment, and use of the IoT infrastructure for environmental monitoring and management. Working closely with hydrologists, soil scientists, and animal behaviour scientists, we successfully
more » ... , we successfully deployed and utilised a system to deliver integrated information across these two fields in the first such example of real-time multidimensional environmental science. We describe the design of this system; its requirements and operational effectiveness for hydrological, soil, and ethological scientists; and our experiences from building, maintaining, and using the deployment at a remote site in difficult conditions. Based on this experience, we discuss key future work for the IoT community when working in these kinds of environmental deployments. The focus of this paper is on the Environmental IoT project, a first attempt to instrument and manage an environmental catchment in all its facets, across different geographical locations and at all its scales. We also take this a stage further, building on our experiences in the Environmental Virtual Observatory pilot project [1] . This project utilised cloud computing to offer a shared repository of data, models, and other tools and artifacts to allow a range of stakeholders to visualise data, to run models, to feed data into models, to deal with uncertainty in models, and to discuss the results with other stakeholders and communities. The Internet of Things and cloud computing are strongly complementary technologies that, when combined, can provide a complete, end-to-end technological infrastructure for a step change in our understanding of complex environmental factors. This research has the potential to have major impact on many aspects of rural life-on farmers and associated agricultural businesses, the water industry, tourists and tourism related businesses, and society more generally. This has the potential to completely transform these associated businesses, enabling critical areas such as integrated land and water management, coastal zone protection, and precision agriculture. We are particularly interested though in new kinds of science and associated management strategies that stem from bringing real-time data sets together and from observing related interdependencies. Current practices in the environmental and earth sciences focus heavily on standalone data logger systems, with some early initiatives starting to embrace wireless sensor networks for environmental modelling (e.g., References [2-5]). These initiatives, though, tend to focus on particular environmental facets at particular scales, e.g., focusing on habitat monitoring [6, 7] , glaciology [8], permafrost [9], and volcanoes [10] . While wireless networks have become quite sophisticated in many cases, they need a step change in their interoperability, scope, and usability to become functioning Environmental IoT's, which also need to encompass a widespread deployment of spatially distributed devices with embedded identification, sensing, and/or actuation capabilities [11] . The development of a full Environmental IoT would also provide analytical tools to understand the functioning of natural systems based on real-time networks of sensors deployed widely across the landscape. Combined with other existing environmental data (maps of geology, topography, soils, etc.) and model outputs (rain and flood forecasts, etc.), the Environmental IoT can provide the basis for decision and support systems for an adaptive management of natural resources and for raising alerts. One of the major factors in the slow uptake of the technology from the lab to the field is because most of these systems rely on nonstandard, custom-designed elements that need specialised expertise [5] . This paper reports in detail on experiences from the design and live deployment of an Environmental IoT targeting specific local and regional environmental applications (hillslope to river catchment) using inexpensive off-the-shelf technologies and deploying the system for a particular environmental issue: flood and pollution monitoring and alerts in rural environments. Our central hypothesis is that our combination of IoT technology coupled with Cloud Computing enables a paradigm shift in our understanding and management of the natural environment, especially related to understanding ecosystem interdependencies, in times of unprecedented environmental change. The key contribution of this paper is an evaluation of this hypothesis in terms of the technological, scientific, and methodological aspects:
doi:10.1109/nca.2017.8171356 dblp:conf/nca/SmallAJ017 fatcat:yayfowcmbzdntkr7e6yxmfzm7i