This article is published in the November 2015 issue.

CCC White Paper: Systems Computing Challenges in the Internet of Things


CCC Horizontal logoThe Computing Community Consortium’s (CCC’s) Computing in the Physical World task force has just released a community white paper on Systems Computing Challenges in the Internet of Things.

The task force, led by CCC Council Member Ben Zorn from Microsoft Research, is looking at the core research challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT). This white paper highlights these challenges and provides recommendations that will help address inadequacies in existing systems, practices, tools, and policies.

The recommendations are summarized below:

  • Invest in research to facilitate the construction, deployment, and automated analysis of multi-component systems with complex and dynamic dependences. IoT systems by their nature will have dynamic membership and operate in unknown and unpredictable environments that include, by assumption, adversarial elements.
  • Going beyond formal methods research (historically focusing on software and CPS) to create abstractions and formalisms for constructing and reasoning about systems with diverse and more difficult-to-characterize components such as human beings, machine learning models, data from crowds, etc.
  • Support research that addresses the core underlying scientific and engineering principles dealing with large-scale issues, networking, security, privacy, impact of the physical on the cyber, real-time, and the other key questions raised in this document.
  • Industry is application-focused and usually targets a single domain (health care, transportation, etc.). Support research that considers architectures and solutions that transcend specific application domains.
  • Support research on the unique challenges and opportunities in IoT security, such as minimal operating systems to create IoT devices with smaller attack surfaces, new ways detect and prevent anomalous network traffic, and high-level policy languages for specifying permissible communication patterns.
  • Invest in research in cyber-human systems that reflect human understanding and interaction with the physical world and (semi) autonomous systems.

To learn more, please read the entire white paper