Decentralized Socio-technical Services and Applications for the Internet of Things – A Testbed Self-Integration

by   Farzam Fanitabasi, et al.

The Internet of Things comes along with new challenges for experimenting, testing, and operating decentralized socio-technical systems at large-scale. In such systems autonomous agents interact locally with their users and remotely with other agents, to make intelligent collective choices, via which they self-regulate the consumption and production of distributed resources. For instance, self-management of traffic flows in Smart Cities. While such complex systems are usually deployed and operated using centralized computing infrastructures, their socio-technical nature requires new value-oriented design paradigms empowering trust, transparency, and alignment with citizens' social values, such as privacy preservation, autonomy, and fairness among citizens' choices. Currently, instruments and tools to study such systems and guide the prototyping process from simulation, to live deployment, and ultimately to a robust operation, are missing or not practical. This paper bridges this gap by introducing a novel testbed architecture for decentralized socio-technical systems running on IoT. This architecture empowers the seamless reusability of (i) application-independent decentralized services by an IoT application, and (ii) different IoT applications by the same decentralized service. This dual self-integration promises IoT applications that are simpler to prototype and can interoperate with services during runtime to self-integrate more complex functionality. Such self-integration provides stronger validation and improves efficiency of resource utilization: computational resources are shared, cutting down deployment and operational costs. Pressure/crash tests during continuous operations of several weeks, with more than 3000 agents joining/leaving, 150,000 parameter changes, and 3 million communicated messages/day, confirm the robustness and practicality of the testbed architecture.


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