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Periodic Reporting for period 2 - IoTCrawler (IoTCrawler)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2021-04-30

European industry and society need to ensure efficient and secure access to Big IoT Data, as it will be a pivotal factor for its development and prosperity in the years to come. Today’s methods and solutions for the IoT are in their infancy, much like the Web was in its early days: data and service discovery, search and access methods and solutions have yet to evolve. Although there are many similarities with the Web, IoT is different because of dynamicity and pervasiveness of the resources in the network, making difficult to directly apply current Web technologies (e.g. Web search engines), as they are better suited for static data or available resource repositories. Up until IoTCrawler project, there were no adaptable and dynamic solutions for effective integration of distributed and heterogeneous IoT data and support of data reuse in compliance with security and privacy needs, capable of enabling a true digital single market. As shown by previous reports, a large part of the developers’ time is spent on integration and generally speaking, the following issues limit the adoption of dynamic IoT-based applications:
- The heterogeneity of various data sources limits cross-domain applications.
- Lack of metainformation limits exploitation across platforms.
- Missing security and neglected privacy present a major concern in most domains and a challenge for constrained IoT resources.
- The large-scale, distributed and dynamic nature of IoT resources require new methods for crawling, discovery, indexing, geolocation and ranking.
- New search engines are required for new IoT applications, such as bots that automatically initiate search based on users’ context, requiring machine intelligence.
IoTCrawler was a 39 month Horizon 2020 project, that set out to develop an adaptive and scalable crawling, indexing, semantic data/service search and integration, with a special focus on privacy and security, combined with real world an large scale enablers and products driven by innovative use-case scenarios and new business models. It has accomplished all the main goals that were set in the Description of Work and, moreover, some of the targets were greatly exceeded; providing not only valuable tools to deal with the complexities of modern IoT use-cases but also experience in dealing with new scenarios and challenges as well as new business models that will drive the future of IoT.
The objective of this research and innovation project has been to develop the next generation of Internet search engines, supporting crawling, discovery, search and integration of IoT data. Additionally it provides tools and mechanisms to respond to machine-initiated search, offers adaptive and dynamic solutions for resource ranking and selection and more importantly; enables integration of the IoT data and services into the analytics pipelines.
IoTCrawler offers distributed crawling and indexing mechanisms, enabling real-time (or near real-time) discovery and search of massive real world (IoT data streams), in a secure and privacy- and trust-aware framework. It also provides quality analysis for the data streams, information abstraction and develops query and search ,ranking and selection enablers to respond to spatial and multi-modal data queries in future communication networks. This creates a scalable search engine for future Internet. As the Web search engines and, in particular, Google’s PageRank algorithm changed the way people find and access the information on the Web (by deep crawling/indexing and utilising the links between the Web pages and documents), IoTCrawler changes the way the data (especially new forms such as IoT data) can be published and accessed in large-scale distributed networks, paving the way for creating new applications and services that rely on ad-hoc and dynamic data/service query and access.
Following the goal of generating impact and ensuring a wider uptake of the solutions and ideas a dissemination plan was followed, establishing the goals, generating awareness and engagement, and finally generating impact via different routes and activities; such as video demonstrations and tutorials, reaching a larger online audience, webinars and other events and presentations. Finally, during the span of the project, a total of 44 publications have been completed, exceeding our initial goal.
Business exploitation and commercialization were the ultimate goals of IoTCrawler. After careful planning, partners identified individual and joint exploitation assets, using LEAN Canvases to drive the prosecution of the business plan developments, which resulted in the creation of the Action Plans, Memorandums of Understanding, Elevator Pitch and finally Investor Presentation. Additionally, a selection of assets were identified and presented to different potential partners, some of them contemplating the possibility of commercialisation.
IoTCrawler has the potential to change the way the industry and public use the Internet of Things. One of the main issues today is the fragmentation and creation of isolated Intranets of Things solutions that get lost in organizational structures. IoTCrawler will create technologies and solutions that allow for access and interoperability across different platforms by developing dynamic and reconfigurable solutions for discovery and integration of data and services from legacy and new systems, adaptive, privacy-aware and secure algorithms and mechanisms for crawling, indexing and searching in distributed IoT systems. This will be demonstrated in several show cases based on a selected number of scenarios out of the 22 identified scenarios at WP2 to represent various thematic areas such as Industry 4.0 Smart Energy and Smart Cities to Social IoT. Each show case will act as a first of its kind case for the hosting organizations to demonstrate business potential of the show case and subsequently act as a sales argument for future cases using the IoTCrawler technologies. By bringing in end-users and relevant stakeholders from the ecosystem for each domain in the co-creation activities starting in M12, IoTCrawler will gather an understanding about the needs and challenges that IoTCrawler can provide solutions for and gather insights about the context that the showcases should operate in. These insights will increase the chances of creating showcases that create a real impact and serve as the foundation for creating relevant business models and value propositions.
IoTCrawler is an EU H2020 project that addresses the above challenges by proposing efficient and scalable methods for crawling, discovery, indexing and ranking of IoT resources in large-scale cross-platform and cross-disciplinary systems and scenarios. It develops enablers for secure and privacy-aware discovery and access to the resources, and monitors and analyses QoS and QoI to rank suitable resources and to support fault recovery and service continuity.
The project aims to create scalable and flexible IoT resource discovery by using meta-data and resource descriptions in a dynamic data model. This means that searching actions could result in non-optimal results that could fit the user expectations. For this, the system should understand the user priorities (which are often machine-initiated queries and search requests) and provide the results accordingly by using adaptive and dynamic techniques.