The knowledge of the context is the key to realize smart environments in the Internet of Things.
Over the time, with reference to this idea, the Context Manager (CM) abstraction was considered as a possible way to implement context awareness among applications. It can be defined as a middleware including a set of tools and guidelines allowing devices and services to 'speak' a common language.
For instance, the CM may serve as reference on how to interpret the information available and how to produce new data. But, additionally, it can also provide the tools required in order to keep up with the context evolution as time proceeds.
The idea of Digital Twin is also part of such Context Manager abstraction, as it decouples the actual implementation of devices from their functional description. The digital twins and their relationships, therefore, exist in a shared environment provided by the CM and together represent a global and higher-level view of the context for the running application.
Recently, research in this field introduced the idea of Semantic Digital Twins for IoT and Web of Things (WoT) applications. This further step, consequently, suggests using the Semantic Web and Ontologies to address context managing. An example of Context Manager with semantic capabilities is called SEPA (SPARQL Event Processing Architecture). It joins the descriptive capabilities of RDF and OWL standards with a publish-subscribe engine to provide a semantic alternative to well-known IoT protocols like MQTT and AMQP.
This internship proposal is about studying the Context Manager abstraction with and without the semantic approach to identify opportunities and possible bottlenecks, as well as suggesting solutions for them. Just to make an example for a possible testcase, SEPA’s major issue are its performances when the number of devices increases, and the semantic information size grows.
Considering that IoT is nowadays a pervasive aspect of everyday life, and that the amount of information exchanged every day by the IoT is huge, it is clear that a study on how we can build effective and performant context managers is needed. Semantic contexts, furthermore, would represent the possibility to include the resources of the World Wide Web in the next-gen IoT opening the way to countless applications for the future.
A collaboration is possible for the future with ARCES (University of Bologna) and CNAF (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare - Sezione CNAF, Bologna)
To apply, send a CV, a motivation letter, grade transcripts, links to public professional profile, references, etc. to: F. Balbo, firstname.lastname@example.org, F. Antoniazzi email@example.com