Special Issue "Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems"

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2016)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dino Giuli

Department of Information Engineering (DINFO), University of Florence, Via Santa Marta, 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 055 275 8602
Fax: +39 055 275 8570
Interests: information society; smart cities; e-government; e-mobility; smart mission critical systems; remote-sensing systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Information Society is advancing along a route of ecosystemic evolution. ICT and Internet advancements, as well as progression of the systemic approach for enhancement and application of Smart Systems, are grounding such an evolution. Such an approach is expected to evolve while fitting into the basic requirements of a significant general enhancement of human and social well-being, in all the life spheres (public, private, professional). This corresponds to enhancing and exploiting the Net-Living virtual space to make it a virtuous and effectively widely beneficial extension of the real-life space. Meanwhile, contextual evolution of Smart Cities is aimed at strongly empowering that ecosystemic approach by enhancing and extending Net-Living benefits over our own lived territory, while also incisively targeting a new stable socio-economic territorial development, according to social-ecological and economical sustainability requirements. This territorial focus matches with a glo-cal vision, which enables a more effective diffusion of benefits in terms of well-being, thus moderating a global vision that is primarily linked to global-scale market developments.

Basic technological-advancements have to be pursued at the system-level. They include system architecting for virtualization of functions, flexible basic service composition, and end-service personalization viability, for the operation and interoperation of Smart Systems, supporting effective Net-Living advancements in different application fields.

Increasing, and basically mandatory, importance must also be reserved for human-technical and socio-technical factors, as well as to the associated need of empowering the cross-disciplinary approach for related research and innovation. The prospected eco-systemic impact also implies a social pro-active participation, as well as coping with possible negative effects of Net-Living in terms of social exclusion and isolation, which also require incisive actions for conformal socio-cultural development. In this, speed, continuity, and expected long-term duration of innovation processes, pushed by basic technological advancements, make related requirements stricter. Therefore, it is also quite important to develop a new approach, targeting development of basic and vocational education for Net-Living, which is to be considered as an engine for the development of the related “New Living Know-How”, as well as of the conformal “New Making Know-How”.

Furthermore, increasing importance of an approach in terms of ”Translational Research”, to enable short and proficient circuits to continuously address and exploit valuable research advancements, by also involving different actors, as purposely and pro-actively, is needed (Open Net-Living Labs).

Scientific contributions to this Special Issue are expected in order to enrich the above-mentioned eco-systemic view, while providing specific original and valuable results of pertaining research.

Prof. Dr. Dino Giuli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Information Society
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Infrastructural Utilities
  • Smart Enterprise and Manufacturing
  • E-Citizenship Service
  • Smart Liveability of Human Habitats
  • Smart Communities
  • Smart Health and Social Assistance Systems
  • Human-Technical Factors
  • Socio-Technical Factors
  • Basic and Vocational Education for Net-Living
  • Net-Living Labs

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Ecosystemic Evolution Fed by Smart Systems
Future Internet 2018, 10(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi10030028
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle A Point of View on New Education for Smart Citizenship
Future Internet 2017, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9010004
Received: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smart cities and intelligent communities have an ever-growing demand for specialized smart services, applications, and research-driven innovation. Knowledge of users’ profiles, behavior, and preferences are a potentially dangerous side effect of smart services. Citizens are usually not aware of the knowledge bases generated
[...] Read more.
Smart cities and intelligent communities have an ever-growing demand for specialized smart services, applications, and research-driven innovation. Knowledge of users’ profiles, behavior, and preferences are a potentially dangerous side effect of smart services. Citizens are usually not aware of the knowledge bases generated by the IT services they use: this dimension of the contemporary and digital era sheds new light on the elements concerning the concept of citizenship itself, as it affects dimensions like freedom and privacy. This paper addresses this issue from an education system perspective, and advances a non-technical methodology for being aware and recognizing knowledge bases generated by user-service interaction. Starting from narratives, developed in natural language by unskilled smart service users about their experience, the proposed method advances an original methodology, which is identified in the conceptual models derived from these narratives, a bridge towards a deeper understanding of the informative implications of their behavior. The proposal; which is iterative and scalable; has been tested on the field and some examples of lesson contents are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Senior Living Lab: An Ecological Approach to Foster Social Innovation in an Ageing Society
Future Internet 2016, 8(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8040050
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 27 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (478 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Senior Living Lab (SLL) is a transdisciplinary research platform created by four Universities that aims at promoting ageing well at home through the co-creation of innovative products, services and practices with older adults. While most living labs for ageing well are focused
[...] Read more.
The Senior Living Lab (SLL) is a transdisciplinary research platform created by four Universities that aims at promoting ageing well at home through the co-creation of innovative products, services and practices with older adults. While most living labs for ageing well are focused on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), this social laboratory adopts a transdisciplinary approach, bringing together designers, economists, engineers and healthcare professionals to develop multiple forms of social innovation using participatory methods. The SLL is based on an ecological approach, connecting professionals and users in a cooperative network and involving all of the stakeholders concerned with ageing well, such as existing associations, business entities and policy-makers. Three main themes for the co-design of products and services were identified at the beginning of the SLL conception, each sustained by a major business partner: healthy nutrition to cope with frailty, improved autonomous mobility to foster independence and social communication to prevent isolation. This article shows the innovative transdisciplinary approach of the SLL and discusses the particular challenges that emerged during the first year of its creation, investigating the role of ICTs when designing products and services for older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Data-Enabled Design for Social Change: Two Case Studies
Future Internet 2016, 8(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8040046
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8966 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smartness in contemporary society implies the use of massive data to improve the experience of people with connected services and products. The use of big data to collect information about people’s behaviours opens a new concept of “user-centred design” where users are remotely
[...] Read more.
Smartness in contemporary society implies the use of massive data to improve the experience of people with connected services and products. The use of big data to collect information about people’s behaviours opens a new concept of “user-centred design” where users are remotely monitored, observed and profiled. In this paradigm, users are considered as sources of information and their participation in the design process is limited to a role of data generators. There is a need to identify methodologies that actively involve people and communities at the core of ecosystems of interconnected products and services. Our contribution to designing for social innovation in ecosystems relies on developing new methods and approaches to transform data-driven design using a participatory and co-creative data-enabled design approach. To this end, we present one of the methods we have developed to design “smart” systems called Experiential Design Landscapes (EDL), and two sample projects, Social Stairs and [Y]our Perspective. Social Stairs faces the topic of behaviour change mediated by sensing technologies. [Y]our Perspective is a social platform to sustain processes of deliberative democracy. Both projects exemplify our approach to data-enabled design as a social proactive participatory design approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Case Study: IBM Watson Analytics Cloud Platform as Analytics-as-a-Service System for Heart Failure Early Detection
Future Internet 2016, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8030032
Received: 14 February 2016 / Revised: 18 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the recent years the progress in technology and the increasing availability of fast connections have produced a migration of functionalities in Information Technologies services, from static servers to distributed technologies. This article describes the main tools available on the market to perform
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In the recent years the progress in technology and the increasing availability of fast connections have produced a migration of functionalities in Information Technologies services, from static servers to distributed technologies. This article describes the main tools available on the market to perform Analytics as a Service (AaaS) using a cloud platform. It is also described a use case of IBM Watson Analytics, a cloud system for data analytics, applied to the following research scope: detecting the presence or absence of Heart Failure disease using nothing more than the electrocardiographic signal, in particular through the analysis of Heart Rate Variability. The obtained results are comparable with those coming from the literature, in terms of accuracy and predictive power. Advantages and drawbacks of cloud versus static approaches are discussed in the last sections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle A Service-Oriented Approach for Dynamic Chaining of Virtual Network Functions over Multi-Provider Software-Defined Networks
Future Internet 2016, 8(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8020024
Received: 23 February 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 1 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emerging technologies such as Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) promise to address cost reduction and flexibility in network operation while enabling innovative network service delivery models. However, operational network service delivery solutions still need to be developed that actually exploit
[...] Read more.
Emerging technologies such as Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) promise to address cost reduction and flexibility in network operation while enabling innovative network service delivery models. However, operational network service delivery solutions still need to be developed that actually exploit these technologies, especially at the multi-provider level. Indeed, the implementation of network functions as software running over a virtualized infrastructure and provisioned on a service basis let one envisage an ecosystem of network services that are dynamically and flexibly assembled by orchestrating Virtual Network Functions even across different provider domains, thereby coping with changeable user and service requirements and context conditions. In this paper we propose an approach that adopts Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) technology-agnostic architectural guidelines in the design of a solution for orchestrating and dynamically chaining Virtual Network Functions. We discuss how SOA, NFV, and SDN may complement each other in realizing dynamic network function chaining through service composition specification, service selection, service delivery, and placement tasks. Then, we describe the architecture of a SOA-inspired NFV orchestrator, which leverages SDN-based network control capabilities to address an effective delivery of elastic chains of Virtual Network Functions. Preliminary results of prototype implementation and testing activities are also presented. The benefits for Network Service Providers are also described that derive from the adaptive network service provisioning in a multi-provider environment through the orchestration of computing and networking services to provide end users with an enhanced service experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Computational Social Science, the Evolution of Policy Design and Rule Making in Smart Societies
Future Internet 2016, 8(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8020019
Received: 12 March 2016 / Revised: 23 April 2016 / Accepted: 27 April 2016 / Published: 12 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last 20 years, the convergence of different factors—the rise of the complexity of science, the “data deluge” and the advances in information technologies—triggered a paradigm shift in the way we understand complex social systems and their evolution. Beyond shedding new light
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In the last 20 years, the convergence of different factors—the rise of the complexity of science, the “data deluge” and the advances in information technologies—triggered a paradigm shift in the way we understand complex social systems and their evolution. Beyond shedding new light onto social dynamics, the emerging research area of Computational Social Science (CSS) is providing a new rationale for a more scientifically-grounded and effective policy design. The paper discusses the opportunities potentially deriving from the intersection between policy design issues and CSS methods. After a general introduction to the limits of traditional policy-making and a brief review of the most promising CSS methodologies, the work deals with way in which the insights potentially offered by CSS can concretely flow in policy choices. The attention is focused, to this end, on the legal mechanisms regulating the formulation and the evaluation of public policies. Our goal is two-fold: sketch how the project of a “smart society” is connected to the evolution of social sciences and emphasize the need for change in the way in which public policies are conceived of, designed and implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle iNUIT: Internet of Things for Urban Innovation
Future Internet 2016, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8020018
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 21 April 2016 / Accepted: 3 May 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (7711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Internet of Things (IoT) seems a viable way to enable the Smart Cities of the future. iNUIT (Internet of Things for Urban Innovation) is a multi-year research program that aims to create an ecosystem that exploits the variety of data coming from multiple
[...] Read more.
Internet of Things (IoT) seems a viable way to enable the Smart Cities of the future. iNUIT (Internet of Things for Urban Innovation) is a multi-year research program that aims to create an ecosystem that exploits the variety of data coming from multiple sensors and connected objects installed on the scale of a city, in order to meet specific needs in terms of development of new services (physical security, resource management, etc.). Among the multiple research activities within iNUIT, we present two projects: SmartCrowd and OpEc. SmartCrowd aims at monitoring the crowd’s movement during large events. It focuses on real-time tracking using sensors available in smartphones and on the use of a crowd simulator to detect possible dangerous scenarios. A proof-of-concept of the application has been tested at the Paléo Festival (Switzerland) showing the feasibility of the approach. OpEc (Optimisation de l’Eclairage public) aims at using IoT to implement dynamic street light management and control with the goal of reducing street light energy consumption while guaranteeing the same level of security of traditional illumination. The system has been tested during two months in a street in St-Imier (Switzerland) without interruption, validating its stability and resulting in an overall energy saving of about 56%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Context-Based Energy Disaggregation in Smart Homes
Future Internet 2016, 8(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8010004
Received: 26 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 14 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (50004 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we address the problem of energy conservation and optimization in residential environments by providing users with useful information to solicit a change in consumption behavior. Taking care to highly limit the costs of installation and management, our work proposes a
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In this paper, we address the problem of energy conservation and optimization in residential environments by providing users with useful information to solicit a change in consumption behavior. Taking care to highly limit the costs of installation and management, our work proposes a Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring (NILM) approach, which consists of disaggregating the whole-house power consumption into the individual portions associated to each device. State of the art NILM algorithms need monitoring data sampled at high frequency, thus requiring high costs for data collection and management. In this paper, we propose an NILM approach that relaxes the requirements on monitoring data since it uses total active power measurements gathered at low frequency (about 1 Hz). The proposed approach is based on the use of Factorial Hidden Markov Models (FHMM) in conjunction with context information related to the user presence in the house and the hourly utilization of appliances. Through a set of tests, we investigated how the use of these additional context-awareness features could improve disaggregation results with respect to the basic FHMM algorithm. The tests have been performed by using Tracebase, an open dataset made of data gathered from real home environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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Review

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Open AccessReview Cognitive Spectrum Sharing: An Enabling Wireless Communication Technology for a Wide Use of Smart Systems
Future Internet 2016, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi8020023
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 8 May 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A smart city is an environment where a pervasive, multi-service network is employed to provide citizens improved living conditions as well as better public safety and security. Advanced communication technologies are essential to achieve this goal. In particular, an efficient and reliable communication
[...] Read more.
A smart city is an environment where a pervasive, multi-service network is employed to provide citizens improved living conditions as well as better public safety and security. Advanced communication technologies are essential to achieve this goal. In particular, an efficient and reliable communication network plays a crucial role in providing continue, ubiquitous, and reliable interconnections among users, smart devices, and applications. As a consequence, wireless networking appears as the principal enabling communication technology despite the necessity to face severe challenges to satisfy the needs arising from a smart environment, such as explosive data volume, heterogeneous data traffic, and support of quality of service constraints. An interesting approach for meeting the growing data demand due to smart city applications is to adopt suitable methodologies to improve the usage of all potential spectrum resources. Towards this goal, a very promising solution is represented by the Cognitive Radio technology that enables context-aware capability in order to pursue an efficient use of the available communication resources according to the surrounding environment conditions. In this paper we provide a review of the characteristics, challenges, and solutions of a smart city communication architecture, based on the Cognitive Radio technology, by focusing on two new network paradigms—namely, Heterogeneous Network and Machines-to-Machines communications—that are of special interest to efficiently support smart city applications and services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystemic Evolution Feeded by Smart Systems) Printed Edition available
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