Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 475–487 | Cite as

IoT-Lite: a lightweight semantic model for the internet of things and its use with dynamic semantics

  • Maria Bermudez-EdoEmail author
  • Tarek Elsaleh
  • Payam Barnaghi
  • Kerry Taylor
Original Article


Over the past few years, the semantics community has developed several ontologies to describe concepts and relationships for internet of things (IoT) applications. A key problem is that most of the IoT-related semantic descriptions are not as widely adopted as expected. One of the main concerns of users and developers is that semantic techniques increase the complexity and processing time, and therefore, they are unsuitable for dynamic and responsive environments such as the IoT. To address this concern, we propose IoT-Lite, an instantiation of the semantic sensor network ontology to describe key IoT concepts allowing interoperability and discovery of sensory data in heterogeneous IoT platforms by a lightweight semantics. We propose 10 rules for good and scalable semantic model design and follow them to create IoT-Lite. We also demonstrate the scalability of IoT-Lite by providing some experimental analysis and assess IoT-Lite against another solution in terms of round trip time performance for query-response times. We have linked IoT-Lite with stream annotation ontology, to allow queries over stream data annotations, and we have also added dynamic semantics in the form of MathML annotations to IoT-Lite. Dynamic semantics allows the annotation of spatio-temporal values, reducing storage requirements and therefore the response time for queries. Dynamic semantics stores mathematical formulas to recover estimated values when actual values are missing.


Internet of things Semantics Linked sensor data Knowledge management Dynamic semantics 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission’s in the Seventh Framework Programme for the FIWARE project under Grant Agreement No. 632893 and in the H2020 for FIESTA-IoT project under Grant Agreement No. CNECT-ICT-643943.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Bermudez-Edo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tarek Elsaleh
    • 2
  • Payam Barnaghi
    • 2
  • Kerry Taylor
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Software Engineering DepartmentUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Institute for Communication SystemsUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Research School of Computer ScienceAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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