A CoAP Publish-Subscribe Broker for More Resource-Efficient Wireless Sensor Networks

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS); KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: With the rapid development of the Internet of Things, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are deployed increasingly all over the world, providing data that can help increase sustainable development. Currently in Uppsala, Sweden, the GreenIoT project monitors air pollution by using WSNs. The resource constrained nature of WSNs demand that special care is taken in the design of communication models and communication protocols. The publish-subscribe (pub/sub) model suits WSNs very well since it puts an intermediary the broker server between sensor nodes and clients, thus alleviating the workload of the sensor nodes. The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) is currently in the process of standardizing a pub/sub extension to the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP). Since the extension is such a recent addition to CoAP and not yet standardized, there are very few actual implementations of it and little is known of how it would work in practice. The GreenIoT project is considering replacement of their current pub/sub broker with the CoAP pub/sub broker since its underlying implementation is likely to be more energy efficient and the standardizing organization behind CoAP is the well-esteemed IETF. On a general level, this report offers an investigation of the problems and challenges faced when implementing the CoAP pub/sub extension with respect to design choices, implementation and protocol ambiguities. More specifically, a CoAP pub/sub broker is implemented for the GreenIoT project. By means of carefully analyzing the CoAP protocol and CoAP pub/sub draft as well as other necessary protocols, then proceeding to make decisions of what programming language to use as well as what existing CoAP library to use, a broker server was implemented and tested iteratively as the work proceeded. The implementation gave rise to several questions regarding the pub/sub draft which are also discussed in the report.

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