Cyber-Physical Convergence in the Future Internet

The so-called Cyber-Physical Convergence is one of the main trends of the research in the Future Internet domain. It argues that the pervasiveness of mobile devices with networking capabilities is fostering a convergence between the physical world and the cyber world, whereby smart objects and humans interact with the cyberspace via sensing, computing and communication, generating huge volumes of data flowing between the two worlds. To address this vision, IIT-CNR researchers focus on several and complementary research areas, ranging from the design of Future Internet mobile networks to Big Data analytics, from Social Networking to human-centric data management, from Internet of Things to Mobile Cloud technologies. These topics have been among the key focuses of the European Commission funding in the FP7 programme, and are continuing being very central in the H2020 workprogramme (2014-20). Inter-disciplinary approaches exploiting models of human personal and social behaviours are particularly important in the design of networking solutions in the Cyber-Physical Convergence view. IIT-CNR researchers have investigated these approaches in a series of Projects funded by the European Commission. In the FET SOCIALNETS (Social Networking for Pervasive Adaptation 2007-2011) project, researchers of the Ubiquitous Internet group have investigated the concept of Electronic Social Networks, whereby social relationships between users are exploited for the design of self-organising mobile networks. This work lead to significant result on social-aware data dissemination systems [4], understanding of how social aspects impact on Human Mobility [8], and how they impact on key network performance [9][5] This approach has been extended in the FIRE SCAMPI Project (Service Platform for Social Aware Mobile and Pervasive Computing, 2010-2013), and FIRE EINS (Network of Excellence on Internet Science, 2010-2015), where social interactions between users have been further investigated also in Online Social Network environments [3], and exploited for more general mobile networking and computing solutions [10] as well as for middleware solutions [2]. Later, in the FET RECOGNITION (Relevance and cognition for self-awareness in a content-centric Internet, 2010-2013) project, the UI researchers have investigated large-scale mobile networks for content-centric applications, and have applied models of human cognitive processes to design algorithms by which mobile nodes can decide autonomously how to disseminate content in the cyber world, acting on behalf of their human users, and reproducing the same behavior of their users in processing information in the physical world. They have successfully applied this concept to data-dissemination solutions [6][7]. Finally, this expertise is being merged with work on technologies for data collection in the physical world (with primary focus on IoT scenarios [1]), and exploited in other ongoing or recently completed European projects. In the FP7 MOTO (Mobile Opportunistic Traffic Offloading, 2012-2015) project, social-aware protocols are applied to the emerging paradigm of offloading networks [11], while work on social networking solutions is exploited in a series of projects funded by the EIT ICT Labs ( under the Future Networking Solutions, Cyber-Physical Systems and Health and Well-being Action Lines.
[1] Emilio Ancillotti, Raffaele Bruno, Marco Conti: Reliable Data Delivery With the IETF Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks. IEEE Trans. Industrial Informatics 10(3): 1864-1877 (2014)
[2] Valerio Arnaboldi, Marco Conti, Franca Delmastro: CAMEO: A novel context-aware middleware for opportunistic mobile social networks. Pervasive and Mobile Computing 11: 148-167 (2014)
[3] Valerio Arnaboldi, Marco Conti, Andrea Passarella, Robin Dunbar, "Dynamics of Personal Social Relationships in Online Social Networks: a Study on Twitter", ACM Conference on Online Social Networks (ACM COSN 2013), Boston, MA, 7-8 October 2013
[4] Chiara Boldrini, Marco Conti, Franca Delmastro and Andrea Passarella, "Context- and Social-aware Middleware for Opportunistic Networks", Elsevier Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Vol. 33, Issue 5, Sept. 2010, pp. 525-541
[5] Chiara Boldrini, Marco Conti, Andrea Passarella, "Performance modelling of opportunistic forwarding under heterogenous mobility", Elsevier Computer Communications, Volume 48, 15 July 2014, Pages 56-70
[6] Raffaele Bruno, Marco Conti, Matteo Mordacchini and Andrea Passarella, "An Analytical Model for Content Dissemination in Opportunistic Networks using Cognitive Heuristics", The 15th ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis 
and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems (ACM MSWiM 2012), October 21-25 2012, Paphos, Cyprus Island
[7] Marco Conti, Matteo Mordacchini, Andrea Passarella, "Design and Performance Evaluation of Data Dissemination Systems for Opportunistic Networks Based on Cognitive Heuristics", ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, Volume 8 Issue 3, September 2013
[8] Dmytro Karamshuk, Chiara Boldrini, Marco Conti, Andrea Passarella, "SPoT: Representing the Social, Spatial, and Temporal Dimensions of Human Mobility with a Unifying Framework", Elsevier Pervasive and Mobile Computing, Volume 11, April 2014, Pages 19-40
[9] Andrea Passarella, Marco Conti, "Analysis of individual pair and aggregate inter-contact times in heterogeneous opportunistic networks", IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, Vol. 12, Issue 12, December 2013
[10] Umair Sadiq, Mohan Kumar, Andrea Passarella and Marco Conti, "Service Composition in Opportunistic Networks: A Load and Mobility Aware Solution", IEEE Transactions on Computers, accepted for publication.
[11] Lorenzo Valerio, Raffaele Bruno, Andrea Passarella, "Adaptive Data Offloading in Opportunistic Networks through an Actor-Critic Learning Method", the Ninth ACM Workshop on Challenged Networks (ACM CHANTS 2014), Maui, Hawaii, USA, 7 September 2014.