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Iden­ti­fiers in the In­ter­net of Things, AIOTI WG03 Re­port

In a project with SIGFOX S.A., France, Love­field Wire­less, to­gether with a num­ber of other com­pa­nies, co-au­thored a re­port pub­lished by the Al­liance for IoT and Edge Com­put­ing In­no­va­tion (AIOTI), Work­ing Group 03, in Fe­bru­ary 2018. The re­port pro­vides a high level dis­cus­sion with ex­am­ples and sum­maries to in­di­cate what has to be taken into ac­count for iden­ti­fiers in IoT.
Version: 2023-Jan-29

Iden­ti­fiers play an im­por­tant role in the In­ter­net of Things (IoT). Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the Thing it­self comes im­me­di­ately into my mind. Also the use of iden­ti­fiers as com­mu­ni­ca­tion ad­dresses like IP and Eth­er­net MAC ad­dresses is an ob­vi­ous ap­pli­ca­tion. How­ever, there are more ap­pli­ca­tions for iden­ti­fiers. For the de­sign, but also for the use of IoT so­lu­tions it is there­fore im­por­tant to know the var­i­ous us­ages of iden­ti­fiers, the re­lated re­quire­ments, in­ter­op­er­abil­ity, se­cu­rity and pri­vacy is­sues and which stan­dards are avail­able for them.

The work in this project showed that iden­ti­fiers are used in IoT to iden­tify var­i­ous types of en­ti­ties for many pur­poses and within dif­fer­ent con­texts.

Use cases in­clude iden­ti­fiers for things, users, data, lo­ca­tions, ser­vices and ap­pli­ca­tions.

With the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of iden­ti­fiers and the cat­e­go­riza­tion of re­quire­ments, the re­port pro­vides a struc­ture that may help sys­tem ar­chi­tects and de­vel­op­ers to un­der­stand the type of iden­ti­fiers that they need for their so­lu­tion and guide them in se­lect­ing the spe­cific iden­ti­fier schemes. In gen­eral no sin­gle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme fits all needs. Fur­ther­more many iden­ti­fi­ca­tions are al­ready stan­dard­ized and in use. The re­port there­fore does not de­fine or rec­om­mend spe­cific so­lu­tions and stan­dards, but pro­vides ex­am­ples and sum­maries to in­di­cate what has to be taken into ac­count when con­sid­er­ing iden­ti­fiers in IoT.

The AIOTI re­port “Iden­ti­fiers in IoT” is avail­able at

The Euro­pean Al­liance for IoT and Edge Com­put­ing In­no­va­tion, AIOTI, aims to lead, pro­mote, bridge and col­lab­o­rate in IoT and Edge Com­put­ing and other con­verg­ing tech­nolo­gies re­search and in­no­va­tion, stan­dard­iza­tion and ecosys­tem build­ing, pro­vid­ing IoT and Edge Com­put­ing de­ploy­ment for Euro­pean busi­nesses cre­at­ing ben­e­fits for Euro­pean so­ci­ety (

IoT Iden­ti­fiers in the Do­main Model of the AIOTI High Level Ar­chi­tec­ture [Re­lease 3.0, June 2017].

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