WP2 – Information Services and Data Processing Platform


Urban data platforms provide municipal enterprises, organizations and citizens with trusted access to public information so that they can all contribute to shaping urban processes and initiatives in the city of the future. Urban platforms do also provide tools that can be used by different actors to publish information about services and applications. This in turn enables the emergence of a novel ecosystem for running the city of the future, where individuals can work with the data and information on their own initiative in ways that benefit the city.

As complex systems, cities require an analysis at several levels, using a multitude of information that combines publicly available static data collected through surveys with dynamic real-­time data from sensors. While publicly available data can support the socio-­economic characterization of different city areas, sensors and street cameras can be used to obtain real-­time information on several critical urban areas such as traffic, weather, energy and water consumption, environment, among other.

In the age of Big Data and Smart City Initiatives, creating such a system will advance the forefront of urban analysis and research. This research will build upon other research efforts that strive to making urban data more accessible, which can be found in distinguished research institutions such as MIT as well as some of the largest IT services providers such as IBM, both partners of this project.

Here, ICT is seen as the key enabler for smart cities to reduce the technological disadvantages by offering a multitude of basic and advanced services to the citizens. This project is intended to overcome one major, but also natural weakness of existing projects, which is the lack of integration. An obvious reason is the early development state of the field and as a consequence the absence of common models. Without integration efforts the usability for the end user may be limited and offerings of advanced services may be decelerated due to barriers to realize economies of scale.

Based on these assumptions the major aim of this WP is not to create an additional approach but to evaluate the existing ones, integrate best practices and to develop missing components. Beside the aspects of a traditional development approach the key elements will be the description of an integration architecture/framework for already existing artifacts at start of project as well as the validation of standardized interfaces and communication protocols. It will contribute existing requirements, use cases, architectural patterns and software solutions and focus on implementing a demonstrator via integration of existing artifacts. Missing building blocks will be developed.

The objective of this work package is to develop an ICT platform to support the USD, by collecting data from the city environment and managing all the acquired data, processing those data in a standard format enabling its exchange in different layers and for its visualization, using an open architecture, common standards and protocols and well defined interfaces. In particular, the WP consists of 7 tasks:

Task 1

Development of the City Data Infrastructure

Research and development of an efficient and secure data collection infrastructure according to the IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) paradigms. This task includes the research and development of new algorithms and mechanisms to communicate with sensors and actuators in urban environments for the different application scenarios. The algorithms to be developed will include advanced M2M and H2M (Human to Machine) features and dynamic group communications mechanisms to deal with the scalability and security problems.

Task 2

Formalization of the CIM Concept

Research and development of data fusion and aggregation mechanisms to collect all available & useful data (static and dynamic) on energy (smart meter, building energy certificates, weather stations, grid topology both EHV and HV), mobility (traffic, pedestrian movement, parking), metabolism (environmental parameters, material flows, residues and waste, water consumption), socio-­economic characterization (rents, GDP, types of business). This task intends to establish formal guidelines for the concept of City Information Model (CIM), comprising a model with properly formulated, consistent and redundancy-­‐free syntax and semantics which incorporates the entire ‘city concept’ accessible to the outside world with the proper business rules.

Task 3 (testbed component)

Process External City Data

Selection and preparation of external Linked Open Data (LOD) sources for the enrichment of city data. This task includes the design, implementation, integration and validation of new Application Profiles, Vocabularies and Ontologies. These will provide a basis for the research and development of new algorithms to efficiently and effectively integrate external data sources among them and with the internal data under a Big Data perspective.

Task 4 (testbed component)

Development of the City Data Platform

Research and development on data integration and processing for urban data attending to the volume, variety and veracity of the collected data, as well as velocity, as real-­‐time data play an important role in this WP. A City Data Platform must provide massive raw data storage for historical datasets as well as real-­time data storage to support streaming computing applications. Data Integration makes available large quantities of data in a structured format that are processed to feed decision models, reports or dashboards for the analysis and visualization of relevant indicators (like KPIs).

Task 5 (testbed component)

Development of the City Data Analytics Engine

Research and development on analytics engines including their  orchestration  and  synthesis  as  Big  Data  Analytics  is  increasingly  involving vast amount of  components and options. Analytics  engines  must  include  stream  computing  allowing  real-­time identification, data synthesis and scoring, and may provide mechanisms for analyzing vast amounts of data using predictive modeling, statistical models and reporting  tools.  This  task  contributes  to  the development of an Advanced Analytics Engine supporting urban decision among sectors and agencies, which is supported by a proper monitoring of services and operations, and consolidation of information.

Task 6 (testbed component)

Publish City Open Data

Research and Develop mechanisms for selecting and making the data available under a LOD perspective. This task includes the enrichment of the developed Application Profiles, Vocabularies and Ontologies with new information derived from the processed data. It also includes the automatic generation of the RDF (Resource Description Framework) files to be made available to the community either as open datasets or through the usage of Semantic Web services. This task provides also contributions to recommendation and standardization bodies.

Task 7 (testbed component)

Interoperate UMI with IOC

Validate the performance of intelligent local sensors and data processing equipment against the requirements of state estimation and dynamic simulation in what electrical grids are concerned, by extending  the UMI tool (www.urbanmodeling.net) and using the IOC framework (www.ibm.com) as interoperable technologies to design a testbed solution for the Lisbon municipality. The main goal is to combine formal semantics (BPMN, UML) with very simple approaches that are suitable for non-­expert ICT users, thus enabling a high degree of automation in city data analysis and decision support.

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