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Hypermedia Controls for the Internet of Things (M)

Status: Abgeschlossen

Abstract—The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to connect numerous heterogeneous services with devices, many of which are expected to be resource-constrained. With the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), these can be included seamlessly into a Web-like application layer that follows the REST architectural style. However, critical elements are still missing to build such a Web of Things (WoT): there are virtually no hypermedia types to exchange representations of WoT resources nor relational types to describe the relation between resources. This thesis will design and prototypically evaluate such hypermedia controls based on several IoT use cases. The goal is to provide initial prototypes and guidance for future work within the Constrained RESTful Environments (CoRE) working group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).


There already exist protocols such as HTTP and CoAP to realize a Web-like application layer for the Internet of Things (IoT), called the Web of Things (WoT). Devices and services, however, still cannot interoperate out-of-the-box. From an application perspective, the ecosystem is still divided into vertical silos of the different domains and vendors. Current efforts such as OMA Lightweight M2M and the IPSO Alliance use CoAP, but follow a classic approach with functional descriptors that results in hardcoded URIs and meaningless media types. To be interoperable, usable, and resilient like the Web, the Web of Things needs more than a RESTful protocol. WoT applications require meaningful and reusable hypermedia types to define the application semantics. These media types also need IoT-related link relation types to fulfill the HATEOAS constraint of REST, and they need form relation types to automatically create representations at the client to modify the resource state at the server. In practice, however, virtually none of these components are defined for the IoT yet.

There is an Internet-Draft for "CoRE Application Descriptions" published in the Constrained RESTful Environments (CoRE) working group at the IETF, which identifies five components that must be provided to realize hypermedia-driven applications: URI schemes that identify communication protocols, Internet media types that identify representation formats, link relation types that identify link semantics, form relation types that identify form semantics, and optionally, well-known locations. This thesis aims at designing these components for concrete use cases. For this, it will develop prototypes around an IoT mashup engine to gain experience with hypermedia controls and will provide guidance for future standardization work.


  • The student shall define at least two different IoT use cases (e.g., lighting and smart energy) for hypermedia-driven applications. Each use case shall evolve over time and also be merged into a cross-domain application to demonstrate the adaptability of hypermedia controls.
  • The student shall design hypermedia types, link relation types, and form relation types based on the defined use cases.
  • The student shall integrate a library for hypermedia controls into the Californium (Cf) CoAP framework that provides a generic, high-level API for application developers.
  • The student shall provide a demonstrator for hypermedia controls, and therefore will extend the Actinium (Ac) app-server for Californium, which serves as IoT mashup engine.
Student/Bearbeitet von: Yassin N. Hassan
Contact/Ansprechpartner: Matthias Kovatsch

ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated February 26 2016 04:31:17 PM MET ko