Toward better horizontal integration among IoT services

Ala Al-Fuqaha, Abdallah Khreishah, Mohsen Guizani, Ammar Rayes, Mehdi Mohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Several divergent application protocols have been proposed for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions including CoAP, REST, XMPP, AMQP, MQTT, DDS, and others. Each protocol focuses on a specific aspect of IoT communications. The lack of a protocol that can handle the vertical market requirements of IoT applications including machine-to-machine, machine-to-server, and server-to-server communications has resulted in a fragmented market between many protocols. In turn, this fragmentation is a main hindrance in the development of new services that require the integration of multiple IoT services to unlock new capabilities and provide horizontal integration among services. In this work, after articulating the major shortcomings of the current IoT protocols, we outline a rule-based intelligent gateway that bridges the gap between existing IoT protocols to enable the efficient integration of horizontal IoT services. While this intelligent gateway enhances the gloomy picture of protocol fragmentation in the context of IoT, it does not address the root cause of this fragmentation, which lies in the inability of the current protocols to offer a wide range of QoS guarantees. To offer a solution that stems the root cause of this protocol fragmentation issue, we propose a generic IoT protocol that is flexible enough to address the IoT vertical market requirements. In this regard, we enhance the baseline MQTT protocol by allowing it to support rich QoS features by exploiting a mix of IP multicasting, intelligent broker queuing management, and traffic analytics techniques. Our initial evaluation of the lightweight enhanced MQTT protocol reveals significant improvement over the baseline protocol in terms of the delay performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7263375
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • IP networks
  • Logic gates
  • Performance evaluation
  • Protocols
  • Quality of service
  • Real-time systems
  • Wireless sensor networks


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