Research Focus

Our mission is to study, design and implement solutions to provide secure and decentralized IoT platforms for smart devices and pervasive applications.

While IoT is growing in adoption and is becoming a key element for the evolution of connected products and related services, some architectural challenges need to be still addressed in order to overcome limitations to its applicability in many different contexts. To enlarge IoT adoption what can be beneficial is the shift from the cloud-based paradigm where ”dumb” devices communicate with a centralized intelligence, towards a paradigm where autonomic devices are able to cooperate with each other and where intelligence can be distributed in different portion of the whole IoT infrastructure: into the IoT device itself or close to it (in the IoT gateway), in the edge and in the cloud, according to the so-called “smart” fog computing paradigm. This is particularly true in application domains such as industrial automation, robotics or autonomous vehicles, only to mention a few.
Indeed, other challenges exist, one of the most critical being security threats deriving from fragmentation and heterogeneity of IoT solutions (at hardware level, for device communication protocols, in IP-enabled environments, at operating system level, in the cloud). This leads to the need of an integrated approach to secure IoT solutions shifting towards “security by design” paradigms.

In this playground and with particular emphasis on the role that the IoT gateways plays as enabler of IoT protocols interoperability, IoT security, of fog/edge computing capabilities and distributed analytics, the focus of our research is centered on the following topics:
· Application of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques embeddable into IoT gateways to enable smarter and more autonomous decisions close to/where IoT devices operate;
· Enhancement of security at the IoT gateway level exploring IoT specific network intrusion detection and prevention solutions embeddable on the gateway, and data privacy enabling local IoT data management control capabilities to overcome traditional centralized (cloud) data management models and their related privacy issues;
· Adoption of blockchain technology in the IoT domain to overcome some of the main structural and functional drawbacks of the today’s centralised IoT platforms (e.g., lack of trustless, yet resilient and transparent tracking and storage processes of devices activities, poor devices capability to operate autonomously and safely).