Keynote Speakers


Prof. Zakaria Maamar

Zayed University, Dubai, UAE


Internet of Things: The Way Ahead


Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) is among the latest ICT developments that is making the boundaries between reality and fiction vanish. According to Mark Weiser, “…The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it’’[i]. And according to Gartner[ii], 6.4 billion connected things were in use in 2016, up 3% from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. To sustain this growth, IoT should overcome different obstacles such as diversity of things’ development technologies and communication standards, users’ reluctance and sometimes rejection due to privacy invasion, lack of killer applications that would demonstrate their necessity, lack of an IoT-oriented software engineering discipline, and finally, the passive nature of things. In response to these obstacles, several solutions are put forward and would make things proactive and responsive to the surrounding environment. This means that things can for instance, reach out to peers that expose collaborative attitude, form dynamic communities when necessary things, avoid peers that expose malicious attitude, be accountable for their actions, etc. We already see some encouraging signs of thing empowerment through initiatives like semantic things, Internet of social things, Internet of agents, and agents of things. In this keynote talk, we present our ongoing research agenda revolving around 4 perspectives: Process-of-Things (PoT), thing mutation, thing cognition, and Everything-as-a-Thing (*aaT) abstraction model.

[i] W. Mark, The Computer for the 21st Century, ACM SIGMOBILE Mobile Computing and Communications Review, 3(3), July 1999.


Professor Zakaria Maamar is a Professor in the College of Technological Innovation at Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His research interests include Internet-of-Things, social computing, and business process management. Zakaria has extensively published in different peer reviewed journals and conferences, regularly serves on the program and organizing committees of several international conferences and workshops, and serves on the editorial boards of many international journals. He is the recipient of an IBM Faculty Award in 2009. Zakaria has a PhD in computer science from Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.