Information-centric networking for machine-to-machine data delivery: a case study in smart grid applications
Largely motivated by the proliferation of content-centric applications in the Internet, information-centric networking has attracted the attention of the research community. By tailoring network operations around named information objects instead of end hosts, ICN yields a series of desirable features such as the spatiotemporal decoupling of communicating entities and the support of in-network caching. In this article, we advocate the introduction of such ICN features in a new, rapidly transforming communication domain: the smart grid. With the rapid introduction of multiple new actors, such as distributed (renewable) energy resources and electric vehicles, smart grids present a new networking landscape where a diverse set of multi-party machine-to-machine applications are required to enhance the observability of the power grid, often in real time and on top of a diverse set of communication infrastructures. Presenting a generic architectural framework, we show how ICN can address the emerging smart grid communication challenges. Based on real power grid topologies from a power distribution network in the Netherlands, we further employ simulations to both demonstrate the feasibility of an ICN solution for the support of real-time smart grid applications and further quantify the performance benefits brought by ICN against the current host-centric paradigm. Specifically, we show how ICN can support real-time state estimation in the medium voltage power grid, where high volumes of synchrophasor measurement data from distributed vantage points must be delivered within a very stringent end-to-end delay constraint, while swiftly overcoming potential power grid component failures.