Real-time search for real-world entities: A survey

Kay Römer*, Benedikt Ostermaier, Friedemann Mattern, Michael Fahrmair, Wolfgang Kellerer

*Corresponding author for this work
43 Citations (Scopus)


We are observing an increasing trend of connecting embedded sensors and sensor networks to the Internet and publishing their output on the Web. We believe that this development is a precursor of a Web of Things, which gives real-world objects and places a Web presence that not only contains a static description of these entities, but also their real-time state. Just as document searches have become one of the most popular services on the Web, we argue that the search for real-world entities (i.e., people, places, and things) will become equally important. However, in contrast to the mostly static documents on the current Web, the state of real-world entities as captured by sensors is highly dynamic. Thus, searching for real-world entities with a certain state is a challenging problem. In this paper, we define the underlying problem, outline the design space of possible solutions, and survey relevant existing approaches by classifying them according to their design space. We also present a case study of a real-world search engine called Dyser designed by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5570869
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1887-1902
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2010


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