Workshop and Tutorial on “Interconnecting Smart Objects with the Internet”

The Internet Architecture Board is co-organizing a workshop on the Friday, 25th March 2011 in Prague on the topic:

“Interconnecting Smart Objects with the Internet”

Attached to this workshop is a tutorial day on the same topic on Saturday, 26th March 2011. Please find more information about it at:


Today’s Internet is experienced by users as a set of applications, such as email, instant messaging, and social networks. While these applications do not require users to be present at the time of service execution in many cases they are. There are also substantial differences in performance between the various end devices, but in general end devices participating in the Internet are considered to have high performance.

As we move forward with the interconnection of all kinds of devices via the Internet, these characteristics will change. The term “Internet of Things” denotes a trend where a large number of devices benefit from communication services that use Internet protocols. Many of these devices are not directly operated by humans, but exist as components in buildings, vehicles, and the environment. There will be a lot of variation in the computing power, available memory, and communications bandwidth between different types of devices.

Many of these devices provide new services or provide more value for previously unconnected devices. Some devices have been connected in various legacy ways in the past but are now migrating to the use of the Internet Protocol, sharing the same communications medium between all applications and enabling rich communications services.

Much of this development can simply run on existing Internet protocols. For instance, home entertainment and monitoring systems often offer a web interface to the end user. In many cases the new, constrained environments can benefit from additional protocols that help optimize the communications and lower the computational requirements. Examples of standardization efforts targeted for these environments include the “Constrained RESTful Environments (CoRE)”, IPv6 over Low power WPAN (6LoWPAN)”, and Routing Over Low power and Lossy networks (ROLL)” working groups at the IETF.

This workshop aims to explore the experience and approaches taken by researchers and developers of Internet technology, when considering the characteristics of constrained devices. Engineers know that many design considerations need to be taken into account when developing protocols and architecture. Balancing between the conflicting goals of computing performance, code size, economical incentives, and security is often difficult, as illustrated by Clark, et al. in “Tussle in Cyberspace: Defining Tomorrow’s Internet”, see

This workshop aims to discuss the experience and approaches taken when designing protocols and architectures for interconnecting smart objects to the Internet. To frame the discussion we suggest, as examples, to investigate the area of integration in the following categories:

  • Scalability
  • Power efficiency
  • Interworking between different technologies and network domains
  • Usability and manageability
  • Security and Privacy

The goal of the IETF is “to make the Internet work better” and the workshop organizers are interested in receiving contributions that support this goal. Results may lead to guidelines and recommendations, proposals for new standards development, start of new research activities, and the documentation of best current practices regarding implementation and configuration.

Workshop Style

The workshop’s main focus will be on the discussions of technical topics. (This is not a mini-conference where every author just briefly talks about their papers.)

In order to keep the group at a manageable size, participants are required to submit a position paper as an expression of interest. Submitters of accepted position papers will be invited to attend the workshop. Active participation will be expected.

The workshop will be structured as a series of working sessions punctuated by invited speakers who will present relevant background information or controversial ideas that help participants reach a deeper understanding of the subject. The organizing committee may ask submitters of particularly salient papers to present their ideas and experiences at the workshop. For each slot, there will be one or two invited controversial speakers, and group work on the problem that’s identified, hopefully reaching either a deeper understanding of the problem or some means of approaching it.

Important Dates

Position papers must be submitted at latest February, 11th, 2011. Note: An early submission allows us to provide you feedback!

Submitted position papers will be reviewed immediately by the program organizers and an invitation to the workshop will be sent to one of the paper authors. At the latest, invitations will be distributed by February, 25th.

This one-day workshop will take place on Friday, 25th March, 2011, right before the 80th IETF meeting in Prague, which starts on Sunday, 27th March. Independent of this workshop but relevant for the participants, are tutorial events on Saturday, 26th March 2011. These tutorials will focus on ongoing IETF efforts related to the IETF CoRE, ROLL, and 6LoWPAN working groups. More details can be found at:

Position Paper Requirements

Interested parties must submit a brief contribution describing their work or approach, as it relates to the workshop theme. We welcome visionary ideas for how to tackle the integration of constrained devices, as well as write-ups of deployment experience, and lessons-learned from successful or failed attempts at integrating these constrained devices with the Internet. Contributions are not required to be original in content.

We solicit brief write-ups with 1 to 3 pages, formatted in HTML, PDF, or plain text (for example as a submitted Internet Draft). We encourage paper authors to limit themselves on the most important challenge. A focused message will be key! Accepted position papers will be published (in addition to meeting minutes, slides, and a workshop report).

Please send your position paper to


The planned date and location for the workshop is Friday, March 25th, in Prague. Details about the meeting venue will be provided to the invited workshop participants. During the breaks coffee and tea will be served.

There are no plans for remote participation.  Minutes of discussions will be available, and offers to organize audio recording would be gladly appreciated.

Workshop Organizers

We look forward to your input. The workshop organizers are Jari Arkko (Internet Area Director), Hannes Tschofenig (IAB), Bernard Aboba (IAB), Carsten Bormann (CoRE and 6LoWPAN WG Chair), David Culler (ROLL WG Chair), Lars Eggert (Transport Area Director, and upcoming IRTF Chair), JP Vasseur (ROLL WG Chair), Stewart Bryant (Routing Area Director), Adrian Farrel (Routing Area Director), Ralph Droms (Internet Area Director), Geoffrey Mulligan (6LoWPAN WG Chair), Alexey Melnikov  (Applications Area Director), Peter Saint-Andre (Applications Area Director), Marcelo Bagnulo (IAB), Zach Shelby (Smart Power Directorate), Isidro Ballesteros Laso (European Commission), Fred Baker (Member of the Smart Power Directorate and liaison to the US Smart Grid Interoperability Panel – SGIP).

Up-to-date information about the workshop is available at:

Feel free to contact us at

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