Towards a more in-depth understanding of the IoT Paradigm and its challenges
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new technological paradigm that brings together the physical and virtual worlds to provide software systems everywhere through daily life objects. The IoT can transform how we interact with the environment surrounding us, leading to a significant multidisciplinary technological shift. However, since it is a new field of research and development, there is a lack of consensus and understanding of its concepts and features, as we observed when engineering some software systems in the field. Therefore, we performed investigations to characterize IoT regarding its definition, characteristics, and applications, organizing the area and revealing its challenges and research opportunities. A structured literature review of secondary studies supported the answering of three research questions: What is “Internet of Things”? Which characteristics can define an IoT domain? Which are the areas of IoT application? The structured literature review leads to 15 subsequent studies from which we recovered 34 definitions - discussed in the light of the technical evolution - 29 characteristics and several IoT application areas. Furthermore, the results include an IoT characterization based on identification, sensing, and actuation capabilities, besides a discussion of the relation between IoT and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), regarding other research areas and terms often associated with IoT aiming at to bring clarification to the field. In this work, we offer an essential overview of the IoT state-of-the-art and a characterization, presenting issues that should be addressed to contribute to its strengthening and establishment.
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