First International ICST Conference on Mobile Networks And Management


13-14 October, 2009

Athens, Greece

MONAMI 2009 Keynote Speech

Wednesday 14 October 2009, 9:00 - 10:00

Managing Heterogeneous Wireless Technologies: Objects Tracking and Services Development

Professor Antonio Puliafito
University of Messina, Italy

Abstract-During the last decade technology was mainly dominated by solutions targeted to improve communication among people (personal computers, mobile phones, PDA, social networks). The trend is now slightly changing in the sense that information exchange is now requested also with objects, animals and plants, thus creating a more complex reference scenario generally known as the Internet of things, i.e. the paradigm that embodies the data interchange between objects. This technology shift is taking place in several areas making always more evident the need of information "anytime" and "anywhere". The ability to respond to such needs, and hence to generate business, depends very much on the timely identification and location of objects and on the prompt management of the events they generate.

RFID technology, and its logical extensions such as Sensor Network, GPS, WiFi, are well fitted to identify people and objects without any human intervention, and to understand their specific functioning state. The availability of a middleware layer hiding the details of different RFID and wireless technologies is fundamental to exempt the programmer from details, thus enabling him/her to focus on the development of the specific application. Furthermore, the use of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and of Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) make the middleware flexible, scalable, allowing to reduce costs and to ease the process of integration with company information systems (CRM, ERP, Data Warehouse, etc.). The Internet of things may benefit a lot from the existence of such a middleware. New services will be easily developed and objects interaction will be strongly enhanced. Developing applications in the area of mobility, which can locate objects, animals and people, by following their movements, will benefit from the adoption of RFID systems that can immediately detect the occurrence of different types of events.

This talk will approach the problem of how the design of an event-based middleware for the management of RFID systems can be organized in order to make the Internet of things a reality. We will point out our architecture and implementation choices. Then we will introduce WhereX®, which is a specific RFID middleware made by Inquadro Srl, that can simply and very effectively manage events generated by different types of remote sensing devices. We will show how WhereX can be used in developing several kinds of applications ranging from document management, to asset management, to safety monitoring integrating and successfully managing heterogeneous wireless technologies including RFID and sensor networks.

Biography-Antonio Puliafito is a full professor of computer engineering at the University of Messina, Italy. His interests include parallel and distributed systems, networking, wireless and GRID and Cloud computing. During 1994-1995 he spent 12 months as visiting professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering of Duke University, North Carolina - USA, where he was involved in research on advanced analytical modelling techniques. He is the coordinator of the Ph.D. course in Advanced Technologies for Information Engineering currently available at the University of Messina and the responsible for the course of study in computers engineering. He was a referee for the European Community for the projects of the fourth, fifth and sixth Framework Program and he is currently acting as a referee also in the seventh FP. He has contributed to the development of the software tools WebSPN, MAP and ArgoPerformance, which are being used both at national and international level.

Dr. Puliafito is co-author (with R. Sahner and Kishor S. Trivedi) of the text entitled "Performance and Reliability Analysis of Computer Systems: An Example-Based Approach Using the SHARPE Software Package", edited by Kluwer Academic Publishers. He is currently the director of the RFIDLab, a joint research lab with Oracle and Intel on RFID and wireless, the director of the Centre on Information Technologies Development and Their Applications (CIA), the vice-president of the Consorzio Cometa whose aim is to enhance and exploit high performance computing. From 2006 to 2008 he acted as the technical director of the Project 901, aiming at creating a wireless/wired communication infrastructure inside the University of Messina to support new value added services (winner of the CISCO innovation award). He is also the responsible for the University of Messina of two big Grid Projects (TriGrid VL,, and PI2S2, funded by the Sicilian Regional Government and by the Ministry of University and Research, respectively. He is currently a member of the general assembly and of the technical committee of the Reservoir project, an IP project funded from the European Commission under the seventh FP to explore the deployment and management of IT services across different administrative domains, IT platforms and geographies. He is the scientific director of Inquadro s.r.l., a spin-off company of the University of Messina whose main business is RFID and its application both in public and private sectors.