Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


iKaaS Report Summary

Project ID: 643262
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - iKaaS (intelligent Knowledge-as-a-Service Platform)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

iKaaS -(intelligent Knowledge-as-a-Service) Platform- is developing an intelligent, privacy preserving and secure Big Data resource and an analytics engine built atop a multi-cloud infrastructure, which will be fed with large scale ubiquitous data collected from heterogeneous sensing networks and data sources, including cyber-physical systems, wearable sensors, and social or crowd-sources. We envisage that these data and the analytics engine will be the fundamental building blocks for cross-border applications, such as lifestyle recommendation, future city planning, academic research and analysis, location- and behaviour-specific targeted services and so on.
The cloud architecture offers a means of delivering ICT infrastructure, platform (i.e. application execution environment) and software as a service. The benefits promised by this paradigm include cost and performance optimisation, economy of scale, flexible utilization and charging models, ease of connectivity and access to shared services, cost efficient introduction of redundancy and continuity of provision. Security, resilience and compliance are some of the main concerns that are challenging the wider use of cloud computing and are most likely to drive the remaining innovation and market differentiation efforts in this area. The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm is also rapidly gaining traction in modern wireless telecommunications. The IoT concept is based on the pervasive presence around us of a variety of things with active or passive sensor and identification capabilities, such as RFID tags, environmental sensors, actuators, mobile phones. The ubiquity of such devices in the IoT paradigm leads to high impact on several aspects of everyday life and on the behaviour of potential users. Assisted living, e-health, enhanced learning are few examples of the application scenarios where IoT could play a leading role in the future.
Ubiquitous computing devices, such as GPS-enabled mobile phones, temperature sensors and alike generate vast amounts of time sequence data that are stored and analysed on cloud environments. Thus, several disconnected efforts towards the merger of the IoT and the cloud paradigms are already taking place and yet for various reasons, vast quantities of potentially correlated data are not analysed in correlated contexts. The (justified) fear about privacy and security of personal information sensed through ubiquitous devices and analysed on public clouds hinders user participation. The lack of credible heterogeneous multi-cloud environments is a stopping factor for integrated data analysis. Legal reasons complicate matters further and have to do with data ownership, legal compatibility, absence of cross-border coordination and so on.
If realized, a unified data/knowledge base, in our view, is set to unlock a never-before-seen potential in data mining based on the Big Data from ubiquitous sensors of various types allowing for the development and introduction of various added-value services, which in turn, can trigger further the creation and introduction of services by leveraging the ever increasing data/knowledge base and re-usable service provisioning functionalities.
In order to achieve this ambitious target, the iKaaS project has identified and has been working towards the following objectives:
• Define a universal data model based on the Semantic Web for data collected from IoT devices and stored in cloud platforms
• Define and develop the various concepts in trust-management-by-design for the data
• Develop and implement a decentralized heterogeneous secure multi-cloud environment spanning across borders
• Build an analytics engine to realize the notion of Knowledge-as-a-Service platform
• Develop more than one applications for validation
• Validate the analytics methodology and determine the utility of the distributed knowledge-base through experiments in model smart cities and smart homes

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During Year 1, significant work has taken place to create the foundations for solid development and integration work, with the ultimate aim of delivering a secure, robust and scalable multi-cloud platform.
Towards this end a set of use cases (3 in total) in the broader smart cities/homes area was identified, not only matching the interests and daily business of project partners, but also calling inherently for the joint consideration of IoT, Big Data and Cloud challenges; namely “Service of Environmental Health in Madrid” , “Town and Health Management in Tago-nishi” and “Ambient Assisted Living in Smart City”. Key Performance Indicators for their eventual validation through iKaaS platform instantiations have been identified and work has been ongoing for the detailed definition of the operational scenarios and the design of the cross-border value proposition for each of them. In addition, the ethical and privacy issues that may arise in a cross-border setup were identified and appropriate processes and measures have been put in place to further examine the implications arising from this.
With respect to the iKaaS platform, following a structured and joint consideration of IoT, Big Data and Cloud requirements, the first draft architecture of the iKaaS platform was defined. The architecture further decomposes the original idea of a multi-cloud environment (Global -Legacy- Cloud and Local -on demand created for additonal storage, processing and reachability extension- Clouds) onto a set of components and their needed functionalities for accommodating the whole lifecycle of a service rolled out usign the iKaaS platform. From its introduction, the selection and placement of functionalties and the way they need to be “chained” to support it, to its runtime adaptation and joint (with other services and platform objectives) optimization. Accommodating at the same time the paramount (especially in multi-cloud environments) objective of addressing security and privacy considerations.
The identified components and supported functionalities were further elaborated, following a thorough state of the art, requirements and standards analysis, with their first specification being delivered together with data model components of the universal iKaaS data model, which will eventually allow for efficient and unified representation not only for data collected from IoT Devices, but also of service components, functions as well as cloud platform capabilities and constraints. It is worth mentioning that work in Year 1 did not stop at the level of specification but actual development of functionalities took place followed by integration of components in (partial at this stage) iKaaS platform instantiations which allowed for a first initial evalution of these instantiations in the context of all 3 uses cases.
As an outcome of the Year 1 work, iKaaS has established and extended a strong and solid “know-how” which has already led to a considerable number of publications, as well as to standardization contributions, which together with other events’ participation (and organization) have already established iKaaS as an important driver in the challenging, but also with so many opportunities, “IoT + Big Data + Cloud” ecosystem.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

It is envisaged that iKaaS will facilitate the creation and provisioning of new added-value services through the Cloud ecosystem that will be developed, thus making it possible for various business players to enter the Cloud and IoT world. Extending the Cloud by adding the IoT, increases the overall range of services that can be provided; Cloud services become location and situation aware while IoT services can gain by exploiting Cloud features. This cooperation will have an impact to Japanese and European industry since iKaaS conducts strategic joint research and service prototyping for Cloud-based IoT.
Moreover, iKaaS is expected to simplify the management of both Cloud and IoT infrastructures, thus reducing the need for human intervention and consequently leading to lower OPEX. The iKaaS concept of Local Clouds brings in to the ”legacy” notion of Cloud, additional data sources, storage and processing capabilities, which can increase the ”capacity” that the Cloud can provide for service execution. All these can lead to a decrease of CAPEX for Cloud, IoT and network providers. It is also expected that iKaaS will contribute to increased interoperability between various IoT deployments and will thus facilitate access for SME service providers (faster deployment, lower required CAPEX). Increased interoperability will also extend the general reach of the IoT making it available to a larger number of users. From a business perspective this means a larger customer base. From a societal perspective, iKaaS will have significant impact on improving quality of life as well as increasing productivity, allowing increased availability, reliability and performance in the provision of IoT and Cloud services. Furthermore, decreased OPEX and CAPEX can also drive down the cost for end users while the iKaaS concept also allows for the accommodation of different levels of trust for data providers contributing to the enhancement of trust in cloud computing services and data protection.
So far, given that iKaaS is still in its early stages, exploitation of iKaaS results by the project partners has been mainly in terms of scientific/research outcomes published in conferences, journals and workshops while building/enhancing the necessary “know-how” in the joint consideration of IoT, Big Data and Cloud. At a later stage these outcomes are expected to also make the way into products and services coming from the industrial partners of the consortium, as well as in academic and research exploitation in terms of curricula updates and patents. The exploitation of the iKaaS results and the “know-how” developed also have the potential of leading to spin-off ventures as well as follow-up research initiatives.
In addition the public companies and public administration authorities participating in the consortium are committed into rolling out services for the general public in their vicinities, leveraging the iKaaS platform. This will not only be of benefit to the general public but will serve as a live example of the benefits the iKaaS platform can bring, potentially attracting interest from other, similar in nature, stakeholders.
Lastly, it is worth noting that while only at the end of Year 1 of a 3-year project, there has already been exploitation of iKaaS project outcomes through standardization activities as well through the filing of patents.

Related information

Record Number: 186562 / Last updated on: 2016-07-13