TitleThe Swarm at the Edge of the Cloud
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLee, EA, Rabaey, J, Blaauw, D, Dutta, P, Fu, K, Guestrin, C, Hartmann, B, Jafari, R, Jones, DL, Kubiatowicz, JD, Kumar, V, Mangharam, R, Murray, BT, Pappas, G, Pister, K, Rowe, A
JournalIEEE Design and Test of Computers on Cloud Computing for Embedded Systems

Today, large numbers of sensors and actuators embedded into innovativedevices are being introduced into our connected world at an accelerating rate. Thissensory swarm, or the swarm for short, presents an extension of the infosphere (today embodied in the cloud) into the physical world. The swarm gives the cloud eyes, ears, hands, and feet, enabling services that are directly embedded in the physical world rather than just in the cyber world. There is no question that the pervasive integration of smart, networked sensors and actuators into the physical world offers huge potential to address societal problems, to improve quality of life, and to smooth the boundaries between the human and the cyber worlds. But it comes with enormous challenges and risks-- both technical and non-technical. To mitigate these concerns, this paper proposes the adoption of open and universal platform to enable the simple, reliable, and secure deployment and operation of a multiplicity of distributed sense and control applications (which we call swarmlets). Providing access control and resource guarantees is essential to quality of experience and safety. Making the platform open and universal will unleash millions of swarm device and swarmlet developers, just as smart-phone platforms opened the door to millions of app developers.