Communication is a prerequisite for any form of social activity, including social networking. Nowadays, communication is not reserved only for humans, but machines can also communicate. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art technology in the area of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication by comparing the M2M concept with other related research paradigms such as Wireless Sensor Networks, Cyber-Physical Systems, Internet of Things, and Human-Agent Collectives. Furthermore, the paper analyses trends in the interconnecting of machines and identifies an evolutionary path in which future (smart) machines will form mostly or completely autonomous communities bonded through social connections. Such communities – machine social networks – will be formed dynamically, just like human connections, and based on the needs of machines, their context, and state of their environment. Finally, the paper outlines the current evolutionary stage and identifies key research challenges of machine social networking.
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