Today’s Internet of Things deployments are not known for their great interoperability. Typically, devices are only able to speak to one specific gateway, app downloaded from the device vendor, or to a single cloud provider. Getting devices from different vendors to talk to each other is challenging.
The reason for this situation is not necessarily a lack of standards; in fact there are various ways organizations and vendors are trying to approach the problem but the different solutions have pros & cons. Everyone seems to have their own story on how things be done. While many of these solution approaches are documented and published in specifications there are just too many of them. Are the requirements and use cases so different or we are just constantly re-inventing the wheel (without knowing the state-of-the-art)?
The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is organizing a workshop that aims to shed some light on this topic in an attempt to find out whether there is interest to improve the situation. You need to submit a position paper to attend the workshop. We will review the position papers and then invite authors to attend the workshop (since the space is limited).
There is deadline for submitting a position paper, which is next Monday (February 22nd, 2016).
We received various questions about the workshop and I thought I should summarize some of them.
- Q: Can we move the date? A: Unfortunately not. We know that there are conflicts when you organize these types of workshops since there are so many events going on at the same time. There are also events adjacent to this workshop, such as the Thing-to-Thing Research Group meets the two days before the workshop and the Bluetooth SIG has their meetings already right before the workshop starts.
- Q: What do you expect as an outcome? A: Due to the position paper requirement we expect organizations, companies and individuals to submit write-ups that describe the current state of the art, as well as their ideas about where the work should be going. Having a good understanding of the state-of-the-art and an insight into the design requirements is important. At the workshop itself we will have lots of discussions and those will be captured in a workshop report. Of course we hope to all gain new insight in where we should be moving with the work on data and information models. Maybe there is some chance to harmonize the work across organizations to ensure better interoperability for all. Finally, the face-to-face meeting will give experts the possibility to connect with others. From past experience we can say that this will lead to more efficient communication across organizations.
- Q: Is there a possibility for remote participation? A: Unfortunately, we will not offer remote participation. We have tried it in other workshops in the past and it just does not work. It is painful for those sitting on the remote end and it negatively impacts the discussions for the participants in the room. The socializing opportunities, which are an important part of such a workshop, are also lost.
- Q: Will there be presentations? A: Yes, there will be presentations. However, those are different than in academic workshops. We are not interested in presentations that repeat the content of position papers. In fact we assume everyone has read he position papers before arriving at the workshop. The purpose of the workshop is to have discussions. A minimum number of presentations will be given to get the scope set and the discussions going. We want to have discussions on the aspects that have been identified as challenges from the position papers.
- Q: How should the position paper look like? A: I have created a blog post about this topic some time ago (in context of another workshop). You may want to take a look at my short write-up. The workshop webpage also provides some questions for you to think about.