MSc Project: Adapting information-centric networking to small sensor nodes

This page describes an example Master student project previously offered in the DNA lab. Published October 2015. Apply before end of November 2015!


Information-centric networking (ICN) [1] is a communication paradigm for the future Internet based on named data.  Communication is defined in terms of requesting and providing named data, decoupling senders from receivers, and making it possible to integrate storage for caching in the network infrastructure.  In contrast, the main abstraction of current networks is named hosts and communication is defined in terms of end-to-end communication between the named hosts.

Recently, we have started investigating the applicability and tradeoffs of ICN paradigm in the IoT/sensor domain [2].  It seems natural to map IoT/sensor data directly to named data in ICN and thus use the information-centric network as an application-independent distribution mechanism for IoT data, both low-level data directly from sensors, and higher-level data that has been processed.

In the new project "GreenIoT", led by Uppsala University, we plan to implement these ideas and deploy in a testbed together with the partners of the project, including Ericsson Research, Uppsala Kommun and KTH.

Objectives and goals

The overall goal of this thesis project is to adapt an existing ICN implementation for the environment of the project including small sensor nodes, and evaluate its performance and functionality in the GreenIoT project testbed.

CCN Lite ( is an existing implementation of the ICN paradigm with a small footprint that should be a suitable starting point for the project.  The main task is to adapt CCN Lite to run on the Contiki operating system ( on small sensor hardware.  An important assessment is whether the whole codebase can be made to fit in this environment, or whether parts need to be selected.  The sensor system should be able to make sensor data available to clients using the adapted CCN Lite implementation, but does not need to be able to act as a client itself.  The goal is to have these ICN-enabled sensor nodes deployed in the testbed of the Vinnova GreenIoT project ( with sensor node hardware from project partner UPWIS (

Work plan

  • Preparations and reading: ICN, CCN, CCN Lite and Contiki.
  • Download and install the CCN Lite code in a Linux/Unix environment to gain an understanding of how CCN works and getting familiarised with the code, see
  • Setting up and understanding the Contiki environment, see
  • Adapting to and installing the CCN Lite code on Contiki.  An important part is the analysis if the whole codebase can be used, or if a subset has to be selected.
  • Write a sample Sensor application to demonstrate how the system works using UPWIS sensor hardware.
  • Evaluate CCN Lite on Contiki against either traditional IP communication or CCN Lite on RIOT.
  • Report writing
  • Code documentation and packaging


You should be self-motivated and used to working with others in project teams. The project also require you to be fluent in English, both written and spoken. In return, you will get to perform you thesis work with cutting-edge technology in a stimulating learning environment with a friendly atmosphere.  You should have good programming skills in C/C++ in a Linux/Unix environment.

The project is intended for a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or equivalent.  The thesis project will be carried out in close collaboration with Ericsson Research in the context of the GreenIoT project.

[1] Bengt Ahlgren, Christian Dannewitz, Claudio Imbrenda, Dirk Kutscher, and Börje Ohlman. A survey of information-centric networking. IEEE Communications Magazine, 50(7), July 2012.

[2] A. Lindgren, F. Ben Abdesslem, B. Ahlgren, O. Schelén, and A. Malik. Applicability and tradeoffs of information-centric networking for efficient iot. Internet-Draft draft- lindgren-icnrg-efficientiot-03, Internet Engineering Task Force, July 2015. Work in progress.