Searching the Web of Things: State of the art, challenges, and solutions

Nguyen Khoi Tran, Quan Z. Sheng, Muhammad Ali Babar, Lina Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Technological advances allow more physical objects to connect to the Internet and provide their services on the Web as resources. Search engines are the key to fully utilize this emerging Web of Things, as they bridge users and applications with resources needed for their operation. Developing these systems is a challenging and diverse endeavor due to the diversity of Web of Things resources that they work with. Each combination of resources in query resolution process requires a different type of search engine with its own technical challenges and usage scenarios. This diversity complicates both the development of new systems and assessment of the state of the art. In this article, we present a systematic survey on Web of Things Search Engines (WoTSE), focusing on the diversity in forms of these systems. We collect and analyze over 200 related academic works to build a flexible conceptual model for WoTSE. We develop an analytical framework on this model to review the development of the field and its current status, reflected by 30 representative works in the area. We conclude our survey with a discussion on open issues to bridge the gap between the existing progress and an ideal WoTSE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalACM Computing Surveys
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Discovery
  • Internet of Things
  • Retrieval
  • Search
  • Web of Things


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