The Role of the Internet of Things in Network Resilience
Disasters lead to devastating structural damage not only to buildings and transport infrastructure, but also to other critical infrastructure, such as the power grid and communication backbones. Following such an event, the availability of minimal communication services is however crucial to allow efficient and coordinated disaster response, to enable timely public information, or to provide individuals in need with a default mechanism to post emergency messages. The Internet of Things consists in the massive deployment of heterogeneous devices, most of which battery-powered, and interconnected via wireless network interfaces. In this paper, we argue that the vast deployment of IoT-enabled devices could bring benefits in terms of data network resilience in face of disaster. Leveraging their spontaneous wireless networking capabilities, IoT devices could enable minimal communication services (e.g. emergency micro-message delivery) while the conventional communication infrastructure is out of service. We identify the main challenges that must be addressed in order to realize this potential in practice. These challenges concern various technical aspects, including physical connectivity requirements, network protocol stack enhancements, data traffic prioritization schemes, as well as social and political aspects.
KeywordsDesign of resilient IoT infrastructures IoT for crisis and emergency response
This work was partially supported by ANR and BMBF within the SAFEST and Peeroskop projects, by the EU within the geocrowd project, and the DAAD within the guest lecture program.
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