An increasing proportion of the world’s population lives in cities placing an increasing strain on their transportation, security, business, telecommunications, water-management, and energy-supply systems. To improve quality of life and ensure sustainability, future smart cities will increasingly rely on information and communications technology to optimise the performance of these systems. DSG’s research is investigating the design of the middleware needed to support such cities. Our work is focused on the exploitation of data from very diverse sensors, including those contributed by individuals, to enable (semi) automatic management of city-scale services. In particular, we are investigating the design of new programming models, middleware architectures, communication infrastructures, and advanced analytics to allow sensor data to be gathered, transported, and interpreted effectively to optimise urban resource usage and service delivery, and thereby improve the quality of life and sustainability of cities.
Our current research is focused in four areas:
Large-scale systems in cities are characterized by ever-changing operational conditions such as fluctuating supply and demand and individual components going on- and off-line. We are investigating autonomous systems to manage the complexity, scale and reliability requirements of smart city services.
Information sources in cities vary widely in terms of what data they provide, how often they provide it, whether and how often they transmit the data they collect, the means of communication they use, what their source of power is and who owns them. We are investigating privacy-aware, context-based approaches to managing the independent, heterogeneous nature of existing WSNs and other city data sources.
The Internet of Things, combined with high bandwidth network connectivity, creates the potential to enable significant improvements in the way large-scale, constrained city resources are used. We are investigating elastic, demand-driven network configuration and service provisioning for leveraging the dynamic, embedded and mobile data source environment in a city.
In this research area, we are investigating models to support citizen engagement and participatory sensing, which are key to the exploitation of the internet of things for smart city services.