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Sensors 2014, 14(6), 9833-9877; doi:10.3390/s140609833
Article

Flexible Unicast-Based Group Communication for CoAP-Enabled Devices

1,2,* , 1
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1 Department of Information Technology (INTEC), Ghent University - iMinds, Gaston Crommenlaan 8 Bus 201, Ghent 9050, Belgium 2 Said Khoury IT Center of Excellence (SKITCE), Al-Quds University, Abu Deis, Jerusalem 51000, Palestine
This paper is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled “Group Communication in Constrained Environments Using CoAP-based Entities” presented at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS), Cambridge, MA, USA, 21–23 May 2013 [1].
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2014 / Revised: 28 May 2014 / Accepted: 29 May 2014 / Published: 4 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things)

Abstract

Smart embedded objects will become an important part of what is called the Internet of Things. Applications often require concurrent interactions with several of these objects and their resources. Existing solutions have several limitations in terms of reliability, flexibility and manageability of such groups of objects. To overcome these limitations we propose an intermediately level of intelligence to easily manipulate a group of resources across multiple smart objects, building upon the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP). We describe the design of our solution to create and manipulate a group of CoAP resources using a single client request. Furthermore we introduce the concept of profiles for the created groups. The use of profiles allows the client to specify in more detail how the group should behave. We have implemented our solution and demonstrate that it covers the complete group life-cycle, i.e., creation, validation, flexible usage and deletion. Finally, we quantitatively analyze the performance of our solution and compare it against multicast-based CoAP group communication. The results show that our solution improves reliability and flexibility with a trade-off in increased communication overhead.
Keywords: Internet of Things; CoAP; sensors; wireless sensor networks; group communication; entities Internet of Things; CoAP; sensors; wireless sensor networks; group communication; entities
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ishaq, I.; Hoebeke, J.; Van den Abeele, F.; Rossey, J.; Moerman, I.; Demeester, P. Flexible Unicast-Based Group Communication for CoAP-Enabled Devices. Sensors 2014, 14, 9833-9877.

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