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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y019229/1
Title: REMOTE: Resilient and Secure Multi-Access Interoperable Communication Fabric for TinyEdge
Principal Investigator: Yadav, Dr P
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cambridge CleanTech Ltd ETAS Ltd National Inst of Agricultural Botany
University of Glasgow
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of York
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 May 2024 Ends: 30 April 2027 Value (£): 444,867
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fundamentals of Computing Networks & Distributed Systems
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
25 Sep 2023 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel Sept 2023 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Internet of Things (IoT) has permeated every aspect of our lives, from our homes to public spaces like train stations and hospitals. These smart devices, known as TinyEdge, are connected to the internet and provide us with numerous conveniences. For instance, we can use voice assistants like Alexa to control our lights and TV without getting up from our seats.

However, users are increasingly concerned about the lack of four key features that are essential for trustworthy and reliable systems: security, privacy, robustness, and resilience. Achieving these features requires a fundamental base layer of seamless interoperability, which has been largely overlooked by communication and networking research communities. As a result, there are limited methodologies, testing, and integration tools available, creating a gap between the communication infrastructure and the software stack that supports the networking and application layer.

With the emergence of new wireless technologies like 5G and 6G, the need for seamless interoperability is becoming more evident, and new research and development efforts in this direction have started from academia, industry, and government. This is especially evident in the UK government's Open Network R&D fund, which aims to build on the £250 million 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification strategy.

Despite significant research initiatives in recent years, the IoT ecosystem is still unreliable, and one of the main challenges is the heterogeneity and scale of the ecosystem. Currently, there are over 12 billion smart devices from more than 10,000 device manufacturers and vendors, with a 200 billion pound market and an annual 18% growth rate. This entire IoT infrastructure is built over many communication technologies, creating massive integration and interoperability issues. Furthermore, the IoT smart devices at the edge of the networks (TinyEdge) are designed to work with only one or two specific technologies, limiting interoperability at the edge of the IoT ecosystem.

Interoperability issues not only hinder building privacy-preserved and secure IoT applications but also make management of the IoT edge (TinyEdge) networks difficult and inefficient on a larger scale. Our project seeks to address these challenges by examining the interoperability needs of TinyEdge networks and assessing various communication technologies such as Wifi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Thead, 6LoWPAN, Z-Wave, 5G, LTE, Sigfox, NB-IoT, and LoraWAN. We will explore diverse network topologies and TinyEdge architectures to enable efficient service and application management and orchestration. Furthermore, we will develop an open-source communication framework that can be customised for different IoT applications, guaranteeing seamless connectivity, data rates, latency, security, energy efficiency, resilience, data privacy, and reliability. Finally, we will assess the effectiveness of our proposed architecture in meeting various quality-of-service (QoS), security, energy, resilience, and reliability requirements by conducting two small-scale use case studies. The outcomes of these studies will be shared with academics, industry experts, and other stakeholders.

Our work will have a significant long-term impact by providing systematic design and benchmarks, as well as open-source software tools to build and test new IoT services and applications while prioritising interoperability. For example, our research will facilitate privacy-preserved information exchange for autonomous vehicles over existing IoT infrastructure, allowing for more efficient and secure communication. Our team has a proven track record in this interdisciplinary research area, which intersects communication network, operating system, and networking, and we believe that our ambitious goal is supported by comprehensive research and resource planning and collaboration with partners.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.york.ac.uk