As the three-tier IoT-Edge-Cloud hierarchy is evolving into a mature ecosystem in terms of its social and geographical scale, and sensing, computing, and storage capabilities, the cloud is expanding its reach to every corner of the globe. This gives rise to the opportunity of developing a whole new category of cloud services, known as IoT-based Sensing-as-a-Service (ISaaS). With ISaaS, a user would be able to ”sense” any part of the world or even the entire world at his/her fingertip in real time. It is expected that large-scale ISaaS services involving up to billions of edge and IoT devices for simultaneous sensing will emerge as a dominant category of cloud services, in terms of resource demand, and social, economic, and political significance. Notable examples, in decreasing order of time criticality, are earthquake detection and alert, child/patient/object tracking and identification, nation-/world-wide fever/symptom mapping for virus breakout detection, environment and utility monitoring, and crowd sourcing for business analytics. Obviously, to enable such w¬ide range of ISaaS services with diverse response time requirements, technically known as service level objectives (SLOs), a common orchestration platform that can coordinate resource allocation among and provide an SLO guarantee for such services, encompassing the entire IoT-Edge-Cloud ecosystem, must be in place. This project aims at developing such a platform, called requeST-SLO-aware resource orchestration for large-scale sensing services over IoT-edge-Cloud Hierarchy (STITCH). The approach taken by STITCH promotes fundamental analysis in guiding the design of robust complex systems and provides enablers of new cloud services. It will help foster collaboration between academia and industry in designing effective large-scale computing systems. The involvement of underrepresented minority and women students, and students with disability at UTA, a Hispanics Serving Institution, in this research through existing course offerings and a REU program will help enhance the competitiveness of the future US workforce.

STITCH is a two-level distributed resource orchestration platform, i.e., the cloud-to-edge-cluster level and the edge-cluster-to-edge-and-IoT level. At the core of STITCH is the development of a novel decomposition technique that can translate a given request SLO into distributed task performance budgets for all the sensing tasks of the request. More specifically, in the cloud, the decomposition technique translates the request SLO for a given ISaaS service into edge-cluster-level task response-time budgets for the sensing tasks of the request to be dispatched to different edge clusters. In turn, at the edge cluster level, the decomposition technique translates the edge-cluster-level task response-time budgets for each task into task queuing deadlines at individual edge and IoT devices the task is further dispatched to. This solution makes it possible for STITCH to schedule the sensing tasks for sensing in a fully distributed manner, so that it can scale up to billions of edge and IoT devices, while providing request SLO guarantee. The proposed research addresses key challenges to enable ISaaS services at scale. First, unlike the existing ISaaS orchestration platforms that are mostly resource centric, STITCH is a holistic, user-centric solution that provides SLO guarantee for individual user request of any ISaaS service. Second, unlike the existing solutions where request/job scheduling in the cloud is directly concerned with the edge-and-IoT resource allocation, in STITCH, request scheduling in the cloud is purely driven by the high-level user requirements, leaving the task resource allocation to be handled by the individual edge clusters. This separation of concerns makes the STITCH highly scalable and the autonomous control at the edge possible. Finally, the approach taken is foundational, applying fundamental principles and mathematical reasoning to address challenges of practical importance.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
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Erik Brunvand
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University of Texas at Arlington
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