WoT 2010 and WoT 2011?

Update: Check out WoT 2011 at Pervasive 2011

Since we came back from WoT 2010 about a month ago, I’ve been wanting to post a small wrap up about it. So let’s really do it before WoT 2011 takes place 🙂

Before WoT
The idea of launching the WoT workshop came from discussion with our Professor Friedemann Mattern and Erik Wilde from UC Berkeley. The main goal of the event was to bring together researchers interested in the Web of Things concepts and bootstrap a scientific community on the topic.

We got a total of 28 papers and 5 demo papers, not bad for a first edition! Our very supportive Program Committee helped us to select 12 papers (about 40% acceptance rate).

We wanted the workshop to be international and thus were glad that the submitted papers came from 15 countries as shown below.

During WoT 2010
The workshop was held at Percom 2010 and attracted about 40 totally motivated people. An number of people also came from the world of industrial research (such as the Sun Lab guys, presenting their great Sensor.Network.

Most of the participants where coming from the Ubicomp/Pervasive world and just two came from the “Web” world.
As one of our goals was to bring the two communities together we definitely see that there is room for improvement on that point (any suggestion? please comment!).

The topics where quite diverse but all discussions really focused on a “Web of Things” being either built using WS-* Webservice (the DPWS folk was well represented) or using REST. The discussions between the two communities were quite constructive and very far from those REST vs WS-* wars.

The workshop definitely did not only focus on those topics but rather started from there and discussed what was missing in those architectures and principles to fully apply them to things. The word cloud below tries to encapsulate the keywords of the presentations and discussions.

created at TagCrowd.com

As you can see, lot’s of discussions were rotating around missing key features of the current architectures for things. In particular people talked about semantics and discovery of things. Several approaches where proposed. On the one hand-side the WS-* folks presented how DPWS had service discovery mechanisms directly at hand. The REST people explained how microformats (btw, we currently run a little study of Microformats for things to see how Google will register them!) and more generally the semantic Web could push discovery beyond the “discovery by browsing” paradigm of REST for more complex use cases. Sharing through social networks, concentrators such as Pachube or Sensor.Network or the use of a location infrastructure reflected in URLs were also mentioned as a means to better discover relevant smart objects.

The real-time Web was also a hot topic. Thinking about how event-driven protocols could be built and reused (e.g. Twitter, Pubsubhubbub) on the Web to better fit the needs of sensor networks applications.

More network related topics where discussed such as how to solve the mobility of smart objects and the fact that they often connect behind firewalls. Solutions like using reverse HTTP and Yaler where presented. Still in these topics, a number of paper dealt with evaluations of the proposed protocols and architectures (e.g. DPWS, REST, ontologies, etc.) for things. IPv6lowpan also gained momentum during the workshop as a (soon) viable solution to get rid of the Web of Things software gateways bridging non-IP networks with IP networks.

Finally, novel architectures and integration patterns (based on REST or on custom middleware such as SWE) were proposed to create an organized and composable Web of Things.

You’ll find all the papers and most of the presentations on the workshop official Webpage have a look at them, it is definitely part of the material that will influence the future Web of Things!

After WoT
Overall, WoT 2010 was a success, thanks to all the people who participated and made it valuable! Obviously I’m not the most objective person to say that but according to the feedback we got, people definitely enjoyed it and look forward to the next edition. Perhaps the only downside of this first edition was the lack of Web people… we can certainly improve that!

Speaking of which I wanted to get your feedback:
Where (@ what conference?) should WoT 2011 take place? (should it take place?)
Who should drive it?
When should we plan it for?
How do we get more Web people on board?