Distributing computing in the internet of things: Cloud, fog and edge computing overview

P. J. Escamilla-Ambrosio, A. Rodríguez-Mota, E. Aguirre-Anaya, R. Acosta-Bermejo, M. Salinas-Rosales

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Scopus citations


    The main postulate of the Internet of things (IoT) is that everything can be connected to the Internet, at anytime, anywhere. This means a plethora of objects (e.g. smart cameras, wearables, environmental sensors, home appliances, and vehicles) are ‘connected’ and generating massive amounts of data. The collection, integration, processing and analytics of these data enable the realisation of smart cities, infrastructures and services for enhancing the quality of life of humans. Nowadays, existing IoT architectures are highly centralised and heavily rely on transferring data processing, analytics, and decision-making processes to cloud solutions. This approach of managing and processing data at the cloud may lead to inefficiencies in terms of latency, network traffic management, computational processing, and power consumption. Furthermore, in many applications, such as health monitoring and emergency response services, which require low latency, delay caused by transferring data to the cloud and then back to the application can seriously impact their performances. The idea of allowing data processing closer to where data is generated, with techniques such as data fusion, trending of data, and some decision making, can help reduce the amount of data sent to the cloud, reducing network traffic, bandwidth and energy consumption. Also, a more agile response, closer to real-time, will be achieved, which is necessary in applications such as smart health, security and traffic control for smart cities. Therefore, this chapter presents a review of the more developed paradigms aimed to bring computational, storage and control capabilities closer to where data is generated in the IoT: fog and edge computing, contrasted with the cloud computing paradigm. Also an overview of some practical use cases is presented to exemplify each of these paradigms and their main differences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-115
    Number of pages29
    JournalStudies in Computational Intelligence
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


    • Cloud computing
    • Distributed processing
    • Edge computing
    • Fog computing
    • Internet of things


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