Towards a Reference Architecture for the Continuum

October 30, 2023

Today, there is a growing number of devices connecting to the Internet, generating, collecting, and sharing data. This is giving rise to new needs that are not covered by traditional paradigms, where computation needs to be moved even closer to the origin of the data or distributed among several devices with very different capabilities. Within this context, the Continuum paradigm emerges as more than a simple combination of Cloud, Edge, and IoT functionalities; it represents a fully integrated system capable of operating across all layers in a decentralized, secure, and efficient manner.

Under the EUCloudEdgeIoT.eu initiative, this topic is being addressed from various perspectives. One of these perspectives is provided by Task Force 3, with the aim of developing a common reference architecture for the Continuum to be promoted as a European standard. As a preliminary step, the work within this task force has been focused on developing a taxonomy for the Continuum, incorporating different taxonomies and glossaries for various topics, such as cloud, edge, IoT, security, network, or artificial intelligence, among others. However, it goes one step further by identifying those terms that apply to this new paradigm only, providing a homogenized and unified terminology to be used by experts from different fields, allowing them to speak a common language.

This taxonomy lays the foundation for identifying the technical building blocks that must provide the technologies and functionalities to make a Continuum system work. Based on this foundation, experts from 30 ongoing research projects are collaborating to design a common reference architecture. Each of these experts provides their perspective on what the minimum functionalities should be, taking into account their own research. They also consider what other features can be implemented in the future, as current technologies do not yet support them.

The main ambition of this working group is not just to develop another architecture but to lay the foundation for future research with a common perspective that addresses current needs and establishes the path for future research and the implementation of new ones, while identifying how end-users can benefit from it.

Results of these activities will be published in the coming months, so stay tuned or join forces with us!

Author

Lara Lopez
ATOS/EViden
EUCEI TF3 Leader

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