The Alexandra Institute // Cases // CityPulse




Smart services bring new life to the city

Development of common platform to enable real-time data to be used in the design of new smart city services. 

In the EU project CityPulse, the Alexandra Institute contributes to enabling big data to be used in the development of new smart city services. 

The project develops a prototype and demonstrates major concepts in a city environment and evaluate the results, which will ultimately be used in the development of new smart-city services for the benefit of citizens and decision-makers.

The background of the project is that an increasing number of cities have started to introduce new services based on real-time data. However, the uptake of smart city applications is hindered by various issues, such as the difficulty of integrating heterogeneous data sources and the challenge of extracting up-to-date information in real-time from large-scale dynamic data. Today the challenges are often addressed by application-specific solutions, which ultimately results in silo architectures.

Start date: 01-09-2013 / End date: 31-08-2016

Bridging technology and domain boundaries requires a scalable, adaptive and robust platform that provides:

  • Virtualisation of data from heterogeneous sources
  • Large-scale data analytics
  • Semantic description frameworks and semantic analytics tools to provide machine interpretable descriptions of data and knowledge
  • Easy creation of real-time smart city applications by re-usable intelligent components

The Alexandra Institute's role in the project is to map the need for such a platform by collecting and analysing scenarios from stakeholders throughout the CityPulse project. Through this approach, the platform will have larger clout in the ‘real world’, as the requirements for the platform respond to real-life challenges.

To further qualify CityPulse, the Alexandra Institute develops prototypes on the platform to demonstrate its use and the perspectives of developing a holistic platform of this nature.

CityPulse uses e.g. CKAN (an open data platform) and CAN (a big data analytical tool from the University of Surrey). The project also deploys a number of workshop-based methods. 

Research results are expected to include: new knowledge of real-time data streams and how to conduct real-time analyses of these. Furthermore, the objective is to produce scientific papers on the subject.

Smart city applications are based on cooperation between different stakeholders, such as hardware manufacturers, software vendors, network providers and city councils. This offers the possibility for innovative and value-adding applications.

The individual impacts are:

  • IoT manufacturers: CityPulse will contribute to the device market for cross-domain usage. CityPulse will use the existing solutions and will create advanced methodologies for event processing and data stream reasoning.
  • Cities: CityPulse will help to face the interconnected challenges of cities. Cities need to optimise their resources for energy, transportation, business networks and other city services. CityPulse will enable interconnection of smart solution and services for citywide optimisation by enabling heterogeneous sensory data integration and efficient processing of this data.
  • Software vendors: CityPulse will decrease interoperability costs, making possible a large combination of solutions available “on-the-fly” with less or no additional costs. This shift will move the focus from customisation to more valuable innovation.
  • Telecom operators: CityPulse middleware will allow the use of infrastructures for operator activity optimisation. It will allow operators to make profit from the smart city scenarios linking the cost of service to the real value for the customer or the management of IoT infrastructures.
  • End users: CityPulse will help enhance the day-to-day life of citizens by providing smart applications for cost and time efficient use of public resources (e.g. transportation). The framework solution will create flexible and user-centric decision support systems based on real-time sensory data.

Do you want to develop smart-city solutions?

We can help you navigate the opportunities.

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