Food for Thought

  • Keynote speech at the 7-in-1 Symposium, CTIF, Aahrus, Denmark
    June 2021

    Large-scale IoT environments have been growing fast via the advancement of 5G, 6G, advanced wireless standards, associated with advancements in virtualization technologies. These environments, composed of sensors, actuators, and mobile personal smartphones, will be the basis to assist societal needs and aspects such as well-being, as can already be envisioned via the learnings derived from the current COVID-19 epidemic. Thereis therefore a natural need and a tendency to bring computation and networking functions closer to the end-user, supported by Edge/Fog architectures, to be able to support services that are based on large-scale IoT, decentralizedenvironments.Central to this vision are aspects such as self-organisation, automation, and intelligence derived from behaviour learning and context-awareness (of devices, of the user, of the situation), aspects which this talk aims at focusing on, advocating the need to integrate context-awareness derived from social behavior of users, in addition todevice usage and behavior

    Posted Jul 3, 2021, 4:00 PM by Rute Sofia
  • Keynote speech at IARIA ICNS2021, May 2021

    Industrial IoT applications have strict communication requirements e.g., low latency, jitter. To support these requirements, IIoT wired networks rely on the "Time Sensitive Networking" standards. 
    While traditionally supported by wired networks, IIoT environments are more and more integrated with cellular and wireless technologies, as these provide flexibility, support large-scale onboarding, and low deployment costs.
    This talk goes over the work developed in the fortiss TSNWiFi project (2020-2021), which has been focusing on addressing time synchronisation and time-aware scheduling aspects to support a better integration between wired/TSN and wireless (Wi-Fi6) in IIoT environments.
    Posted Jul 3, 2021, 3:50 PM by Rute Sofia
  • ACM ToIT SI Section: Evolution of Networking Architectures

    (Sep 2020): The ACM ToIT Special Issue Section on “Evolution of IoT Networking Architectures” is out (Volume 20, Issue 3, Sep 2020). The editorial work for this SI section has been developed by: Rute C. Sofia (fortiss GmbH), Eve M. Schooler (Intel), Dirk Kutscher (University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer), Chris Winkler (Siemens AG)

    This special issue has gathered leading-edge scientific research and insights on the impact the IoT has had on the evolution of communication architectures and protocols; how best to support diverse communication requirements in the context of different IoT scenarios, ranging from industrial to consumer-based IoT; how to adequately define and address interoperability, within and across different layers in the network architecture, leveraging cross-layer design; and finally how to design a more unified next generation Internet architecture and end-to-end protocol stack, given the increasing numbers of wireless and mobile devices. The selected papers cover a broad range of IoT networking architectural topics: efficient and automated communication in wireless and wired environments; offloading of applications in mobile environments; security; and interoperability.

    Check the issue here.

    Posted Sep 22, 2020, 2:09 PM by Rute Sofia
  • IIoT - Supporting the Next Generation of Services and Applications

    (Jan 2020) Internet services and networking architectures have evolved steadily to accommodate technological changes and the development of novel services on the Internet. With the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), there is now a complete entanglement of the Internet into different realms of our daily lives. Things are becoming increasingly mobile and heterogeneous in terms of computational and storage capabilities, as well as in terms of power. Furthermore, new IoT technologies are expanding the reach of services over large distances, and into new realms, such as: space.

    These new possibilities open up a myriad of new business possibilities, and in the context of Industrial IoT (IIoT), they are the basis for a new Industrial Revolution. IIoT data will be generated from a gazillion smart devices over very large distances, sustaining a global and wide digitalization, greater efficiency, and improved productivity, among other benefits. These benefits are already being applied in different vertical markets, including but not limited to manufacturing. For instance, in Smart Logistics, Connected Mobility, Smart Cities.

    It is therefore relevant to keep on exploring different trends that may better support data exchange, in particular involving the next generation of IIoT services and applications.

    To contribute, propose your work to the MDPI Future Internet Special Issue on "Network Architectures and Protocols for Industrial IoT", until 30.06.2020.

    Posted Jan 9, 2020, 12:58 PM by Rute Sofia
  • Aspects of Global Mobility Management for Next Generation Networks
    July 2020: new book, Rute C. Sofia, Global Mobility Management for Next Generation Networks, Cambridge Scholars, June 1st 2020. ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4848-0

    (Nov 2018)
    Handling mobility management in the Internet is not trivial, given the heterogeneity of devices involved; providers involved; service requirements. The Internet evolution requires re-thinking mobility management and to understand how to best distribute functionality across the network. The data transmission itself needs to take into consideration mobility, and to dynamically adjust to human movement, as next generation networks are information-centric, and user-centric.

    During the last decades, several mobility management approaches have been design and validated, and are today operationally available. In the context of distributed mobile edge computing, mobility management architectures can be addressed in a novel way integrating functions such as mobility prediction and learning. For that purpose, there are a few topics that are relevant to be revisited, as explained next.

    1. Mobility management functional splitting
    The different approaches available today in multi-access heterogeneous networks, across different TCP/IP stack layers, which have been extensively worked upon in the context of the IETF are evolving towards decentralized mobility management. In this process, it is relevant to understand the limitations that current solutions face in next generation networks. It is also relevant to understand which functional blocks compose mobility management architectures, independently of the layer where such solutions reside.

    2. From centralized to decentralized mobility management
    Moving from centralized to distributed mobility management architectures can be designed in a way that is "closer" to the Internet end-user. Understanding how and where to position the different blocks that compose mobility management imply analyzing how to best decouple mobility management functionality.

    3. Mobility modelling and anticipation
    Moreover, in dynamic environments (which today are the basis of the Internet fringes), human interaction and computational models that can estimate aspects related with such interaction (e.g., frequency of visits to networks; roaming habits) can be provided via mobility estimation mechanisms. Mobility estimation is therefore a required mobility management function, still missing in today's architectures. Adding such mechanisms to mobility management architectures, centralized or decentralized, is beneficial.

    4. Moving towards content-centric mobility management architectures
    A more adequate distribution of mobility management requires a move towards a data-centric mobility management perspective. Today, mobility management solutions are focused on mobility management of devices, and this aspect is particularly challenging, due to the inherent addressing schemes, among other aspects. Simultaneous mobility of source and destination devices is an aspect that is not trivial to address. Still, analysing mobility management support from an information-centric perspective, instead of from a host reachability perspective, is relevant in the quest for mobility management that can support future Internet paradigms, where all devices are highly mobile.

    Read More:
    Posted Sep 22, 2020, 2:11 PM by Rute Sofia
  • Evolving Communications in IoT
    (Sep 2018)
    Internet of Things (IoT) communication architectures and protocols are evolving to be able to cope with new challenges such as the processing of large amounts of data; filtering; data mining and classification; high heterogeneity in devices and software.
    Today, IoT communication is supported by TCP/IP which were not designed having in mind time sensitive networks or low power networks. Energy is wasted each time data is transmitted, due to protocol overhead, and non-optimized communication patterns.
    The most recent trend on communication protocols follow a publish/subscriber broker approach, which creates an abstraction between things that produce information, and people or devices that consume such information. Nevertheless, issues concerning mobility management, privacy, security, and resource consumption subsist mostly tied to the networking semantics of IP, which follow a host-based reachability approach.

    The new architectural paradigm of ICN focuses on providing support to directly reach information objects, while in contrast today’s Internet is focused on reaching devices that store information objects. The design of ICN paradigms seem to bring in relevant features to IoT environments. ICN approaches such as NDN have integrated security support; reliable multi-path data-based routing;  built-in mobility support such as an interface abstraction, which is relevant for multihoming. Being information-centric, ICN does not transmit data based on host identifiers, such as addresses.

    The evolutionary trend and interoperability aspects of publish/subscriber approaches as well as of network architectures and protocols in general are being exploited by the COPELABS IoT Lab team.
    Posted Oct 8, 2019, 12:59 PM by Rute Sofia
  • DABBER: Data reAchaBility BasEd Routing for Named-data Networking Wireless Environments
    The European UMOBILE project is working on methods to extend NDN towards opportunistic wireless networks. In this context, COPELABS has been implementing an NFD extension, called NDN-OPP, which supports NDN multi-hop wireless communication: NDN-OPP V1.0 for Android does broadcast of Interest packets over a Wi-Fi direct network. 
    In order to reduce resource consumption in a NDN multi-hop wireless networks, COPELABS, SENCEPTION and ATHENA have created the DABBER routing protocol, which allows selective forwarding of Interest packets based on the local announcement of name prefixes + node awareness about the properties of neighbour nodes (centrality and availability). DABBER aims to operate on a point-to-point wireless network (e.g. Wi-Fi direct, DTN) as well as on a broadcast network (e.g. ah-hoc Wi-Fi).
    DABBER was submitted to IRTF, and will be presented in the ICNRG meeting in London (Mar 17th - Mar 23rd).


    Posted Apr 6, 2018, 4:07 AM by Rute Sofia
  • The Role of Smart Data in Inference of Human Behavior and Interaction - book Chapter
    Rute C. Sofia, Liliana I. Carvalho., Francisco de Melo Pereira, Samrat Dattagupta.The Role of Smart Data in Inference of Human Behavior and Interaction. Book chapter. "Smart Data: State-of-the-Art and Perspectives in Computing and Applications". Editors:K.-C. Li, Q. Zhang. L. T. Yang, B. Di Martino. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, USA. April 2019. ISBN: 1138545589. (Accepted April 2018, To appear).

    This chapter explores features, concepts, and provides guidelines concerning the role and applicability of smart data captured in a non-intrusive way, in the inference and contextualization of human behavior and interaction.
    The chapter starts by introducing aspects related to human interaction, for instance, how to define and to best model physical and psychological proximity; models for social awareness and social contextualization. The next part of the chapter deals with interaction inference and interaction contextualization, namely: classification models that best suit the inference of behavior in the vere of smart data; challenges in regards to small data capture and behavior inference derived from small data, in particular when considering decentralized, mobile cyber-physical systems; guidelines to model interaction based on pervasive wireless sensing systems, including available middleware and systems (tools). The chapter then provides information concerning specific applicability use-cases, namely, Points of Interest detection via smart data, and how smart data can be used to boost social interaction in a pervasive, non-intrusive way. The chapter concludes with a set of recommendations.
    Posted Apr 6, 2018, 3:33 AM by Rute Sofia
  • Connecting the Edges: A Universal, Mobile-Centric, and Opportunistic Communications Architecture
    New H2020 UMOBILE paper: C. A. Sarros et al., "Connecting the Edges: A Universal, Mobile-Centric, and Opportunistic Communications Architecture," in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 136-143, Feb. 2018.doi: 10.1109/MCOM.2018.1700325

    The Internet has crossed new frontiers with access to it getting faster and cheaper. Considering that the architectural foundations of today’s Internet were laid more than three decades ago, the Internet has done remarkably well until today to cope with the growing demand. However, the future Internet architecture is not only expected to support the ever-growing number of users and devices but also a diverse set of new applications and services.
    Departing from the traditional host-centric access paradigm where access to a desired content is mapped to its location, an information-centric model enables the association of access to a desired content with the content itself, irrespectively of the location where it is being held. UMOBILE tailors the information-centric communication model to meet the requirements of opportunistic communications, integrating those connectivity approaches into a single architecture.By pushing services near the edge of the network, such an architecture can pervasively operate in any networking environment and allows for the development of innovative applications, providing access to data independently of the level of end-to-end connectivity availability.

    Posted Feb 19, 2018, 8:04 AM by Rute Sofia
  • Senception 'Ones to Watch', running for Public European Champion 2017/2018
    Senception Lda has been awarded by the European Business Awards as 'Ones to Watch' 2017/2018. Senception is one of the 11 small portuguese SMEs running for 'Public European Champion 2017/2018'.
    Please support us by voting via: European Business Awards
    Posted Feb 1, 2018, 2:48 AM by Rute Sofia
  • TUM Kolloquium: Contextual Interaction inference and characterization derived from wireless network mining
    07.2017: Video available via the TUM media portal

    This talk is focused on wireless network mining and on context and behavior characterization derived from the application of non-intrusive, pervasive sensing approaches in connected wireless environments. The research described in this talk goes over the development of networking solutions and mechanisms that can assist data capture and distributed inference of roaming habits in a way that may lead to social interaction stimulation (and as a consequence, to a better design of networking communication).

    Posted Sep 18, 2017, 5:10 AM by Rute Sofia
  • NSense presented in IEEE Healthcom2016

    NSense: A People-centric, non-intrusive Opportunistic Sensing Tool for Contextualizing Social Interaction


    The scientific paper NSense (Rute C. Sofia, Saeik Firdose, Luis Amaral Lopes, Waldir Moreira and Paulo Mendes) has been accepted in IEEE Healthcom 2016 (September 14th-18th, Munich). NSense is a software tool developed by COPELABS that tracks and infers social interaction aspects in the form of computational utility functions that aim at describing two indicators of interaction: propinquity, and social interaction level.

    Posted Sep 18, 2017, 5:06 AM by Rute Sofia
  • Food for Thought
    Set of material that I have been developing towards new aspects in networking (updated when there is time...)

    Posted Nov 5, 2015, 3:17 PM by Rute Sofia
  • Dynamic Frequency Sharing, wireless multi-station downstream transmission

    DFS is a software-based mechanism that targets short-range wireless networks where transmission is based on a shared medium (e.g. broadcast) and which rely on OFDM for data transmission. DFS is applicable downstream, from the antenna to the station, and relies on techniques both from OSI Layer 1 and 2 to assist data transmission to multiple stations within a time-frame that based only in OFDM could only serve the purpose of serving a single station.

    Allowing downstream transmission via one symbol to multiple stations provides the means to improve the performance of current solutions three-fold. Firstly, by allowing data to be transmitted on the same time-frame to multiple stations, the control overhead is reduced in comparison to the current standards, as the same control information is used to transmit data to multiple stations. Secondly, for real-time traffic there is an upper bound on usable data rates. For instance, for Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic it is approximately 486 kilobits per second (kbps), and for video traffic such limit is of 1 megabit per second (Mbps). Due to this limit, increasing the capacity of the wireless link does not suffice to improve performance as buffering cannot be used in real-time traffic. With the increasing popularity of VoIP, online-gaming, this inefficiency becomes an important problem to be solved. By multiplexing data downstream (from controller to stations) to several stations our solution is expected to provide a better usage of high data rate channels, which is a beneficial aspect in terms of real-time traffic. Thirdly, instead of transmitting to stations one by one, thus wasting time in particular if the first station that captures the medium is what is known as „slow“ station (e.g. away from the antenna or attaining severe interference around), our solution provides a way to transmit „simultaneously“ data to several stations within the same time frame thus decreasing the round-trip time and the latency of the transmission.


    DFS has been conceived, validated, and implemented by COPELABS (Rute Sofia and Luis LOpes) and University of Kent (Huseyin Haci, Hassan Osman, Huiling Zhu) in the context of the European project ULOOP - User-centric Wireless Local Loop.

    Related work:


    Posted Apr 17, 2015, 6:23 AM by Rute Sofia
  • Trust Circles in Internet Architectural Design

    Within the context of User-centric Networking, distributed trust schemes are being considered as a way to assist in developing connectivity only between devices whose owners "trust" each other for the specific purpose of relaying some form of data. Such trust does not necessarily imply that users know each other; instead, it relates to social interaction and to the interests shared by familiar strangers, i.e., users that knowingly or unknowingly share some aspects of their daily routines (e.g. visiting the same coffee shop every Saturday morning). Hence, the user anonymity is kept, while social interaction metrics related to direct and non direct recommendations of nodes around, as well as to the trust openness of a user towards strangers assists in developing more robust connectivity links, in the sense that connectivity becomes intertwined with circles of trust that are built on-the-fly.

    Previous work that SITI developed in the context of the European project ULOOP considers the partial integration of social trust schemes as a way to provide non-repudiation, while still mitigating attacks. By using such techniques, ULOOP provides a single-sign on approach that can assist in creating trusted communities of devices. We have shown that such communities can assist in non-repudiation as well as in providing better QoE, due to allowing fairness in multiple users transmission.

    In PEOPLE, we are currently exploring an interdisciplinary approach to networking, by finding more realistic ways to explore aspects such as trust, a belief that is also dependent on cognitive aspects.

    Related work:

    Rute C. Sofia and Luis Amaral Lopes, Trust as a Fairness Parameter for Quality of Experience in Wireless networks, chapter III, pages 159-169, Springer, Lecture Notes in Social Networking, volume Contribution To Appear, 2014

    Rute C. Sofia, Paulo Mendes, José Manuel Damásio, Sara Henriques, Fabio Giglietto, Erica Giambitto and Alessadro Bogliolo, Moving Towards a Socially-Driven Internet Architectural Design (2012), in: ACM SIGCOMM CCR Newsletter, 42:3

    Posted Apr 15, 2015, 3:51 PM by Rute Sofia
  • Mobility in Multihop routing - yet another routing protocol, or can we explore alternatives to the complete protocolar design?
    Mobility management solutions have evolved to assist a better network operation in environments where the topology changes frequently due to the fact that nodes involved are carried and/or owned by humans. The most recent paradigms in user-centric networking have dealt with aspects such as better coordination of mobility anchor points both from an end-user and from a network perspective; attempting to estimate next handovers, based on roaming learning.

    Routing in wireless networks disregards support for such movement. Link breaks in OSI Layer 1 and 2, if "long" enough, have as consequence path recomputation.

    An alternative that has been explored in the context of my team is to propose and validate routing metrics that are "mobility-aware", requiring minor changes to the protocolar design (assuming shortest-path routing solutions).

    Related Publications:



    Posted Apr 14, 2015, 5:51 PM by Rute Sofia
  • Energy-awareness in multihop routing

    Energy awareness is a hop topic today that is being explored often in the context of "Greener" technology, e.g. devising devices that are less energy dependent, or designing software that takes into consideration energy consumption, trying to reduce as far as possible such consumption.

    While these aspects are essential today due to the large availability of devices, another category of relevant work relates with the need to devise communication systems, and communication protocols, in a way that is energy-aware. In the context of pervasive wireless systems, the routing protocols being applied have not been devised having in mind energy awareness.

    In this context, this field of work has explored metrics that can be applied to different families of multihop routing protocols and yet assist in a reduction of energy by providing better choice of paths to disseminate the information carried by nodes. The novel metrics have been validated in different protocols (OLSR; AODV), showing significant improvements in terms of network lifetime, while at the same time not jeopardizing the network operation in terms of throughput; packet loss; end-to-end delay. An IETF draft has been produced, explaining how to set the metrics in shortest-path derived approaches, as well as in new approaches, such as the RPL protocol.

    Related work:

    Posted Apr 14, 2015, 5:28 PM by Rute Sofia
Showing posts 1 - 17 of 17. View more »
Latest preprints/publications
  1. D. M. Silva, L. I. Carvalho, J. Soares, R. C. Sofia. A Performance Analysis of Internet of Things Networking Protocols. MDPI Applied Sciences, 2021, 11(11), 4879; May 2021.
  2. L. I. Carvalho, R. C. Sofia, A Review on Scaling Mobile Sensing Platforms for Human Recognition: Challenges and Recommendations for Future Research. MDPI IoT, November 2020
  3. D. M. Silva, R. C. Sofia. A Discussion on Context-awareness to Better Support the IoT Cloud/Edge Continuum. IEEE Access, Volume 8, October 2020. DOI 10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3032388
  4. C. Borrego, M. Amadeo, A. Molinaro, P. Mendes, R. C. Sofia, N. Magaia, J. Borrel. Forwarding in Opportunistic Information-CentricNetworks: an Optimal Stopping Approach. IEEE Communications Magazine, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 56-61. 10.1109/MCOM.001.1900774.
  5. Rute C. Sofia, Global Mobility Management for Next Generation Networks, Cambridge Scholars, June 1st 2020.
    ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4848-0
  6. L. I. Carvalho, D. A. M. Silva, Rute C. Sofia, Leveraging Context-awareness to Better Support the IoT Cloud-Edge Continuum. InProc. of The Fifth International Conference on Fog and Mobile Edge Computing (FMEC 2020). Paris, France, June 2020. 
  7. R. Pascoal, Ana de Almeida, R. C. Sofia.Mobile Pervasive Augmented Reality Systems The Role of User Preferences in Perceived Quality of Experience . ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, Volume 20, Issue 1, Article 7. February 2020. DOI: 10.1145/3375458
  8. D. A. M. Silva, G. Asamooning, H. Orrillo, R. C. Sofia, P. Mendes. An Analysis of Data Placement Algorithms in Fog Computing. inProc. EAI Mobiquitous2019 (EFIOT Workshop), November 2019.
  9. O. Aponte, R. C. Sofia, Mobility Management via Inference of Roaming Behavior. To Appear, inProc. WiMob2019  (STWiMob'19). October 2019.
  10. R. Pascoal, A. de Almeida, R.C. Sofia, Activity Recognition in Outdoor Sports Environments: Smart Data for End-Users Involving Mobile Pervasive Augmented Reality Systems. ACM Ubicomp 2019 ( Workshop AppLens 2019: The 2nd Workshop on Mining and Learning from Smartphone Apps for Users). London, September 2019.
  11. Rute C. Sofia, Guidelines towards Information-Driven Mobility Management.
    MDPI Future Internet, 11(15)111, DOI: 10.3390/fi11050111. May 2019.
  12. Rute C. Sofia, P. Mendes, An Overview on Push-Based Communication Models for Information-Centric Networking.
    MDPI Future Internet 11(3)74, March 2019.
  13. Rute C. Sofia, Liliana I. Carvalho., Francisco de Melo Pereira.The Role of Smart Data in Inference of Human Behavior and Interaction. Book chapter. "Smart Data: State-of-the-Art and Perspectives in Computing and Applications". Editors:K.-C. Li, Q. Zhang. L. T. Yang, B. Di Martino. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, USA. April 2019. ISBN: 1138545589.
  14. R. Pascoal, B. Alturas, A. de Almeida, R. C. Sofia, A Survey of Augmented Reality: Making Technologies Acceptable in Outdoor Environments. inProc. IEEE CISTI2018, June2018.  DOI: 10.23919/CISTI.2018.8399155
  15. M. Tavares, S. Dattagupta, R. C. Sofia, A Classification Model to Calibrate Relative Distance in Mobile Crowd Sensing. Pre-print, 2019.
  16. S. Dattagupta, R. C. Sofia, P. Mendes, The case for Memory Based Reasoning in Pervasive Wireless Networks. Pre-print, 2019.