Special Issue "Sensors and Smart Cities"


A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2015

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Antonio Puliafito
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Informatica, Edile, Ambientale e Matematica Applicata (DICIEAMA), Università di Messina, Italy
Website: http://mdslab.unime.ithttp://mdslab.unime.it
E-Mail: apuliafito@unime.it
Interests: Cloud computing, design and applications of wireless sensor networks, performance evaluation, security

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Symeon Papavassiliou
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens Iroon Polytechniou 9 Athens, 15780, Greece
Website: http://www.netmode.ntua.gr/papavass/
E-Mail: papavass@mail.ntua.gr
Interests: complex networks; wireless systems; ad hoc and sensor networks; performance evaluation of stochastic systems; on-line social networks

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dario Bruneo
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Informatica, Edile, Ambientale e Matematica Applicata (DICIEAMA), Università di Messina, Italy
Website: http://mdslab.unime.it
E-Mail: dbruneo@unime.it
Interests: Distributed systems, wireless sensor networks, IoT, performance evaluation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A smart city represents an improvement of today’s cities both functionally and structurally, that strategically utilizes many smart factors, such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT), to increase the city’s sustainable growth and strengthen city functions, while ensuring citizens’ quality of life and health. Cities can be viewed as a microcosm of “objects” with which citizens interact daily: street furniture, public buildings, transportation, monuments, public lighting and much more. Moreover, a continuous monitoring of a city’s status occurs through sensors and processors applied within the real-world infrastructure. The Internet of Things (IoT) concept imagines all these objects being “smart”, connected to the Internet, and able to communicate with each other and with the external environment, interacting and sharing data and information. Each object in the IoT can be both the collector and distributor of information regarding mobility, energy consumption, air pollution as well as potentially offering cultural and tourist information. As a consequence, cyber and real worlds are strongly linked in a smart city. New services can be deployed when needed and evaluation mechanisms will be set up to assess the health and success of a smart city.

The aim of this Special Issue is to bring together innovative developments in areas related to sensors and smart cities, including, but not limited to:

  • computing and sensing infrastructures;
  • cost (of node, energy, development, deployment, maintenance);
  • communication (security, resilience, low energy);
  • adaptability (to environment, energy, faults);
  • data processing (on nodes, distributed, aggregation, discovery, big data);
  • self-learning (pattern discovery, prediction, auto-configuration);
  • deployment (cost, error prevention, localization);
  • maintenance (troubleshooting, recurrent costs);
  • applications (both new and enjoying new life);
  • smart users experience;
  • trust and privacy;
  • crowdsourcing, crowdsensing, participatory sensing;
  • cognition and awareness;
  • cyber-physical systems.

Both review articles and original research papers relating to sensors and smart cities are solicited. There is particular interest for papers with advances towards practical experiences and services overcoming the adoption barriers for sensors and smart cities.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Puliafito
Prof. Dr. Symeon Papavassiliou
Prof. Dr. Dario Bruneo
Guest Editors


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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors 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 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • sensors
  • distributed computing
  • internet of things
  • interconnected objects
  • cyber-physical systems
  • complex networks
  • applications in smart cities
  • computing and sensing infrastructures

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Displaying article 1-4
p. 24408-24424
by ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(12), 24408-24424; doi:10.3390/s141224408
Received: 27 October 2014; in revised form: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 12 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1454 KB)
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 23581-23619
by ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(12), 23581-23619; doi:10.3390/s141223581
Received: 9 October 2014; in revised form: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (458 KB)
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 22372-22393
by , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(12), 22372-22393; doi:10.3390/s141222372
Received: 3 October 2014; in revised form: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 19561-19581
by , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(10), 19561-19581; doi:10.3390/s141019561
Received: 8 August 2014; in revised form: 3 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type: Article
Title: Using Stack4Things for Enabling Light Management within Public Shared Spaces
Authors: Giovanni Merlino1,2, Dario Bruneo1, Salvatore Distefano3, Francesco Longo1, Antonio Puliafito1, Adnan Al-Anbuky4
Dipartimento DICIEAMA, Università di Messina, Contrada di Dio, 98166, Messina, Italy, E-mail: {dbruneo,flongo,gmerlino,apuliafito}@unime.it
Dipartimento DIEEI, Università di Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 98166, Catania, Italy, E-mail: giovanni.merlino@dieei.unict.it
3 Dipartimento DEIB, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. Da Vinci 32, 20133, Milano, Italy, E-mail: salvatore.distefano@polimi.it
Auckland University of Technology, 24, St. Paul Street, 92006, Auckland, New Zealand, E-mail: adnan.anbuky@aut.ac.nz
Abstract: Adoption of embedded systems, mobile electronics, and other smart devices has recently reflected acceleration in growth. The scope of their involvement has also been broadening steadily. The necessity of taming such a complexity, while reusing as much tooling as possible, calls for general mechanisms that can overcome the limits of vertical ad-hoc solutions and deal with the dynamics of functional requirements, such as out-of-the-box experiences, infrastructure management, automatic software provisioning, and collection of data from heterogeneous devices. In light of the above, a widely used competitive and dynamic framework for Infrastructure as a Service, such as OpenStack (on which many are hedging their bets with respect to the future Internet-related developments), can be included. This work shows the rationale, efforts, and results achieved so far during the integration of the IoT paradigm with a Cloud-oriented environment. The focus here is on data collection, visualization, event detection, and reactive actuator triggering as core functionalities under preliminary development. Moreover, we show how our integrated architecture can be applied to a Smart City scenario, highlighting advantages and showing possible improvements. The scenario of managing lights within shared public spaces like streets, open air shopping cluster, or even green parks is considered. The case offers potential for numerous services interacting with scalable heterogeneous sensing-actuation systems and for supporting sustainability, as well as other modern public requirements.

Type: Article
A Multi-User Game-Theoretic Multipath Routing to Provide Video-Streaming Services over Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
Ahmad Mohamad Mezher, Mónica Aguilar Igartua, Luis J. de la Cruz, Luis Urquiza Aguiar, Esteve Pallarès Segarra, Carolina Tripp Barba, Jordi Forné, Emilio Sanvicente
Department of Telematic Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
The prevention of accidents is one of the most important goals of ad hoc networks in smart cities. When an accident happens, dynamic sensors (e.g., citizens with smart phones, vehicles, buses, etc.) could shoot a video clip of the accident and send it through the ad hoc network. The importance being that with a video message, the level of seriousness of the accident could be much better evaluated by the authorities (e.g., health care unit, police and ambulance drivers) rather than with just a simple text message. In this way, smart dynamic sensors can participate in reporting a situation in the city using the ad hoc network to enable a quick reaction by warning other citizens and also the emergency units. The deployment of an efficient routing protocol to manage video warning messages in Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) would have important benefits basically in saving lives thanks to its speed. To contribute to this goal, we propose a routing protocol to provide video warning messages in MANETs using a novel game theory approach. As a base for our work, we start from our previous work in [GT]; in which a two player’s game theory routing protocol was proposed for MANETs to provide video streaming services. In this article, we further generalize the analysis made in [GT] for a general number of N players in the MANET. Simulations have been done to show the benefits of our proposal where interfering traffic and mobility of the nodes are present.

[GT] Mónica Aguilar Igartua, Luis J. de la Cruz Llopis, Víctor Carrascal Frías, Emilio Sanvicente Gargallo, “A game-theoretic multipath routing for video-streaming services over mobile Ad Hoc networks”, Computer Networks, ISSN: 1389-1286, Vol. 55, Iss. 13, pp. 2985-3000, 15th September 2011, DOI: 10.1016/j.comnet.2011.06.007.

Type: Article
A Low-Cost Sensing System for Cooperative Air Quality Monitoring in Urban Areas
Simone Brienza, Andrea Galli, Giuseppe Anastasi, Paolo Bruschi
Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy
Air quality in urban areas is a very important topic, as it closely affects the health of citizens. Recent studies highlight that exposure to polluted air can increase the incidence of diseases and deteriorate the quality of life. Hence, it is necessary to develop tools for real-time and fine-grained air quality monitoring, so as to allow for appropriate and timely decisions. In this paper, we present uSense, a low-cost cooperative monitoring tool that allows one to know, in real-time, the concentrations of polluting gases in various areas of the city. Specifically, users monitor the areas of their interest by deploying low-cost and low-power sensor nodes. In addition, they can share the collected data following a social networking approach. uSense has been tested extensively through experimental measurements performed in different areas of a city and has proved to be both reliable and efficient.
urban sensing, air quality monitoring, cooperative system, participatory sensing

Last update: 16 December 2014

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