Edge-centric Computing: Vision and Challenges

By: 
Pedro Garcia Lopez (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), Alberto Montresor (University of Trento), Dick Epema (Delft University of Technology), Anwitaman Datta (Nanyang Technological University), Teruo Higashino (Osaka University), Adriana Iamnitchi (University of South Florida), Marinho Barcellos (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos), Pascal Felber, Etienne Riviere (University of Neuchatel)
Appears in: 
CCR October 2015

In many aspects of human activity, there has been a continuous struggle between the forces of centralization and decentralization. Computing exhibits the same phenomenon; we have gone from mainframes to PCs and local networks in the past, and over the last decade we have seen a centralization and consolidation of services and applications in data centers and clouds. We position that a new shift is necessary. Technological advances such as powerful dedicated connection boxes deployed in most homes, high capacity mobile end-user devices and powerful wireless networks, along with growing user concerns about trust, privacy, and autonomy requires taking the control of computing applications, data, and services away from some central nodes (the “core”) to the other logical extreme (the “edge”) of the Internet. We also position that this development can help blurring the boundary between man and machine, and embrace social computing in which humans are part of the computation and decision making loop, resulting in a human-centered system design. We refer to this vision of human-centered edge-device based computing as Edge-centric Computing. We elaborate in this position paper on this vision and present the research challenges associated with its implementation.