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Edoardo Longo, "Internet of Things Prototypes and Communication Protocols for Edge Network Architectures," PhD Thesis, Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, July 2022. (Advisors: Alessandro E.C. Redondi and Matteo Cesana; Referees: Falko Dressler and Pietro Manzoni)


The combined power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G will be the driving force behind the transformation of devices as we know them today, where, in combination with AI, smart devices will be able to make autonomous decisions to react to stimuli from the external environment. Nevertheless, the current IoT communication protocols are based on a centralised architecture that does not allow scalable massive machine-type communications and low-latency requirements foreseen from future applications. This thesis includes new methodologies for developing a suitable communication protocol for so-called smart devices within an Edge rather than a cloud computing scenario. The central pillar of the Edge communication pattern is to move the intelligence of the devices closer to the end-user, offloading computational and energy-intensive tasks to the closest Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), which works as IoT gateways, also providing storage resources, processing, aggregation and filtering functionalities. Currently, the major publish/subscribe messaging protocols for the IoT still rely on a basic centralised architecture, locating the single broker on a cloud server in charge of all the message communication; however, new applications envisage a distributed communication between multiple Edge servers. In this thesis, we first capitalise on recent advances in terms of MEC and 5G networks to design a system of smart objects empowered by ML for a Smart City or Smart Campus deployment, where computing-intensive tasks are offloaded to Edge servers enabling a low-latency and energy-efficient communication and comparing it to traditional methods. Second, we make improvements to the MQTT communication protocol, the de-facto standard for IoT, to enable its application to modern distributed applications for future cities. Therefore, on the implementation side, we design and develop an evolution of the MQTT publish/subscribe protocol that takes into account a distributed deployment of broker nodes instead of a single central one for reducing the message delivery time and efficiently handling resources. A common thread in the results of this thesis is that the deployment of messaging through broker distribution is a critical challenge to be solved with systems with multiple peripheral-edge locations. As proposed in this manuscript, the interconnection of MQTT brokers with advanced techniques may enable efficient, agile and fast communication needed in city-wide and massive scenarios.

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Edoardo Longo

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    author = {Longo, Edoardo},
    title = {{Internet of Things Prototypes and Communication Protocols for Edge Network Architectures}},
    advisor = {Redondi, Alessandro E.C. and Cesana, Matteo},
    institution = {Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering},
    month = {7},
    referee = {Dressler, Falko and Manzoni, Pietro},
    school = {Politecnico di Milano},
    type = {PhD Thesis},
    year = {2022},

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