In this paper, we present Low-Bandwidth Distributed Applications Framework (LDAF)—an application-aware gateway for communication-constrained Internet of things (IoT) devices. A modular approach facilitates connecting to existing cloud backend servers and managing message formats and APIs’ native application logic to meet the communication constraints of resource-limited end devices. We investigated options for positioning the LDAF server in fog computing architectures. We demonstrated the approach in three use cases: (i) a simple domain name system (DNS) query from the device to a DNS server, (ii) a complex interaction of a blockchain—based IoT device with a blockchain network, and (iii) difference based patching of binary (system) files at the IoT end devices. In a blockchain smart meter use case we effectively enabled decentralized applications (DApp) for devices that without our solution could not participate in a blockchain network. Employing the more efficient binary content encoding, we reduced the periodic traffic from 16 kB/s to ~1.1 kB/s, i.e., 7% of the initial traffic. With additional optimization of the application protocol in the gateway and message filtering, the periodic traffic was reduced to ~1% of the initial traffic, without any tradeoffs in the application’s functionality or security. Using a function of binary difference we managed to reduce the size of the communication traffic to the end device, at least when the binary patch was smaller than the patching file.
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