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Mobile Discovery in a Web of Things (M)

Status: Abgeschlossen

Recently the Web experiences a new breath and is evolving from serving and connecting virtual documents together to connecting and serving “things”. Within the Web of Things [1,2,3] project we explore the use of web patterns (e.g. REST, Atom, etc.) to integrate sensors, actuators, embedded computers and tagged real-world objects to the web. Thus, real things can then be browsed for, bookmarked, indexed and searched, connected to social networks, etc.

A major challenge for a global Web of Things is the search and discovery of smart things. Consider billions of things connected to the Web either directly or indirectly. Discovery by browsing HTML pages with hyperlinks becomes literally impossible in this case, hence the idea of searching for smart things. Searching for things is significantly more complicated than searching for documents, as things are tightly bound to contextual information such as location, and are often moving from one context to the other.

Beyond location, smart things also need to have means to describe themselves in order to be (automatically) discovered. The goal of this project is to explore how to describe a thing on the Web so that both human and machine can understand what services it provides.

In particular, this master thesis should focus on the following points:

  • Design and implement a description language based on Microformats.
  • Provide a set of blueprints that can be used to describe the RESTful APIs of things.
  • Evaluate, using a real deployment, how well the description language works with general purpose search engines (e.g Google) [4].
  • Create a mobile things browser application that can be used to serendipitously discover and interact with things in-situe.


[1] Guinard, Dominique, and Vlad Trifa. “Towards the Web of Things: Web Mashups for Embedded Devices.” In Workshop on Mashups, Enterprise Mashups and Lightweight Composition on the Web (MEM 2009), in proceedings of WWW (International World Wide Web Conferences). Madrid, Spain, 2009.

[2] Erik Wilde. „Putting Things to REST“, UCB iSchool Report 2007-015, School of Information, UC Berkeley, 2007.

[3] Dominique Guinard, Vlad Trifa, Thomas Pham and Olivier Liechti. “Towards Physical Mashups in the Web of Things.” In International Conference on Networked Sensing Systems, INSS 2009.

[4] Song, H., Doreen Cheng, A. Messer, and S. Kalasapur. "Web Service Discovery Using General-Purpose Search Engines." In the IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS 2007), 265-271, 2007.

Student/Bearbeitet von: S. Hong
Contact/Ansprechpartner: Dominique Guinard

ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated May 7 2012 07:19:06 PM MET dg