The pervasiveness of Internet of Things technology is expected to be ever-increasing in the next decade, with applications including healthcare, smart manufacturing, transport and logistics, and security, to name but a few. This explosion of devices, with different application scenarios, requires new networking paradigms and is heavily influencing the new communications standards like 5G – where the most relevant differences with respect to the previous generation are, indeed, in the support for IoT-based applications.
Even though 5G can, and will be, an enabling technology, there is still a wide area of research, both theoretical and applicated, that has to be performed. Examples of research topics under active development are spectrum coexistence, resource allocation, remote area connectivity, heterogeneous network integration, network optimization, etc. The research, of course, is not limited to improvements in 5G and intends to pave the way toward future standards like 6G.
The challenges and opportunities are not limited to communication technologies. As a matter of fact, IoT systems will produce a massive amount of data that will require proper and timely processing. In this context, the research will need to tackle issues arising from the privacy and security of user data, big data processing, networking paradigms based on virtualization, and network and resource slicing, among others.
A further set of challenges will be driven by the need for new paradigms to cope with cyber threats, as IoT systems are tightly coupled to the cyber-physical domain, meaning that threats to the cyber domain can potentially have severe outcomes in the physical domain.
Finally, the importance of green networking and computing paradigms are expected to increase in the future, both because IoT devices are typically mobile and because energy consumption reduction is nowadays a priority.
This Special Issue seeks innovative works on a wide range of research topics, spanning both theoretical and systems research, including results from industry and academic/industrial collaborations, related but not restricted to the following topics:
Machine learning/AI applications for 5G networks
Distributed and federated machine learning/AI applications to 5G and IoT domains
5G and IoT systems integration
Security and privacy aspects of 5G and IoT pervasive networks
5G and IoT heterogeneous networks
5G and IoT use cases and scenarios (e.g., e-health, vehicular networks, transport systems, autonomous driving, logistic management, etc.)
Age of information in pervasive networks
Network virtualization systems for 5G and IoT networks (e.g., SDN, NFV, virtual machine placement and migration, network slicing, etc.)
Service and network planning for IoT and 5G systems
Edge networking and computation for 5G/IoT domains
Evolution of 5G and IoT toward 6G and beyond networks
Full duplex communications in 5G and IoT networks