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 (9 papers)

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Displaying article 1-9
p. 7246-7266
by ,  and
Sensors 2015, 15(4), 7246-7266; doi:10.3390/s150407246
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 16 March 2015 / Published: 25 March 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 5112-5135
by ,  and
Sensors 2015, 15(3), 5112-5135; doi:10.3390/s150305112
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2015 / Accepted: 13 February 2015 / Published: 2 March 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 2265-2282
by , , ,  and
Sensors 2015, 15(2), 2265-2282; doi:10.3390/s150202265
Received: 30 September 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 9 January 2015 / Published: 22 January 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 2137-2160
by ,  and
Sensors 2015, 15(1), 2137-2160; doi:10.3390/s150102137
Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 12 January 2015 / Published: 19 January 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 1217-1244
by  and
Sensors 2015, 15(1), 1217-1244; doi:10.3390/s150101217
Received: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 23 December 2014 / Published: 9 January 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
p. 24408-24424
by ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(12), 24408-24424; doi:10.3390/s141224408
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 12 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
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(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 / Revised: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
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(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 / Revised: 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 / Revised: 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

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Scalable and Cost-Effective Assignment of Mobile Crowdsensing Tasks Based on Profiling Trends and Prediction: The ParticipAct Living Lab Experience
Authors: Paolo Bellavista, Antonio Corradi, Luca Foschini, Raffaele Ianniello
Affiliations: University of Bologna
Abstract: Nowadays sensor-rich smartphones potentially enable the harvesting of huge amounts of valuable sensing data in urban environments, by opportunistically involving citizens to play the role of mobile virtual sensors to cover Smart City areas of interest. This paper proposes an in-depth study of the challenging issues related to the efficient assignment of Mobile Crowd Sensing (MCS) data collection tasks to volunteers in a crowdsensing campaign. The reported results show the feasibility of exploiting profiling trends/prediction techniques from volunteers’ behavior; moreover, they quantitatively compare different MCS task assignment strategies based on real MCS data campaigns run in the ParticipAct living lab, a large-scale ongoing MCS real-world experiment that involved 300 students for one year at the University of Bologna.

Type of Paper: Article
Experimental Verification of a Novel Vibration-Based Method for Detecting Water Pipeline Leakage
Sepideh Yazdekhasti1, Kalyan R. Piratla2, Sez Atamturktur3 and Abdul A. Khan4
1Graduate Research Assistant, Glenn Depart of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, E-mail: syazdek@g.clemson.edu
Assistant Professor, Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, E-mail: kpiratl@clemson.edu
3Associate Professor, Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, E-mail: sez@clemson.edu
Associate Professor, Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, E-mail: abdkhan@clemson.edu
Abstract: The worldwide demand for water is increasing rapidly, while water resources are becoming increasingly scarce. Exacerbating the availability of fresh water is the sub-optimal performance of water distribution systems, leading to loss of treated water due to leaks. Health monitoring systems that can determine the location of leaks would help in the mitigation of water loss in water distribution systems. This paper presents a novel vibration-based monitoring method for detecting leaks in water pipeline systems through continuous data collection via a distributed sensor network. The presented method relies on the correlation between the acceleration measurements collected by sensors located at discrete points along the length of water pipes. The presence of a leak changes the correlations between the data collected from distributed sensors and helps identify the presence, he location, as well as the severity of the leak. In this study, both non-leaky and leaky pipelines are tested in the laboratory under operational conditions to determine the capability of the method in not only identifying and locating, but also determining the severity of the leak. The paper discusses the experimental set-up, the development of the methodology, and the potential benefits of this novel monitoring method.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: On the [SF1] Optimization of a Probabilistic Data Aggregation Framework for Energy Efficiency in Wireless Sensor Networks
Author: Stella Kafetzoglou, Giorgos Aristomenopoulos and Symeon Papavassiliou
Affiliation: School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), 9 Iroon Polytechniou Str., Zografou, Athens, Greece skafetzo@netmode.ntua.gr, aristome@netmode.ntua.gr, papavass@mail.ntua.gr
Abstract: Among the key aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the integration of heterogeneous sensors in a distributed system, that performs actions in the physical world based on environmental information gathered by sensors and application-related constraints and requirements. Numerous applications of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have appeared in various fields, from environmental monitoring, surveillance and security of geographic areas, to tactical fields, and healthcare at home, promising to change our quality of life and facilitating the vision of sensor network enabled smart cities. Given the enormous requirements that this entails—both in terms of data and energy—data aggregation appears as a key element in reducing the amount of traffic in wireless sensor networks and achieving energy conservation. Probabilistic frameworks have been introduced as operationally efficient and performance-effective solutions for data aggregation in distributed sensor networks. In this work, we introduce an overall optimization approach that improves and complements such frameworks towards identifying the optimal probability for a node to aggregate packets as well as the optimal aggregation period that a node should wait before performing aggregation, so as to minimize the overall energy consumption, while satisfying certain imposed delay constraints. Primal dual decomposition is employed to solve the corresponding optimization problem while simulation results demonstrate the operational efficiency of the proposed approach under different traffic and topology scenarios.

Title: Socially Aware Heterogeneous Wireless Networks
Pavlos Kosmides1, Evgenia Adamopoulou1, Konstantinos Demestichas1, Michael Theologou1, Miltiades Anagnostou1, Angelos Rouskas2
1 School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece
: The development of ‘smart cities’ has been the epicenter of many researchers during the past decade. One of the key requirements for smart city networks is mobility and this is why stable, reliable and high-quality wireless communications are needed in order to link people and devices. Most research efforts, so far, have used different kinds of wireless and sensor networks, making interoperability rather difficult to achieve in smart cities. One common solution proposed in recent literature is the use of software defined networks, in order to enhance interoperability among the various heterogeneous wireless networks. In addition, software defined networks can take advantage of the data retrieved from available sensors and use them as part of the intelligent decision making process contacted during the resource allocation procedure. In this paper, we propose an architecture combining heterogeneous wireless networks with social networks using software defined networks. Specifically, we exploit the information retrieved from location based social networks regarding users’ locations and we attempt to predict areas that will be crowded. To achieve this, we propose the use of specially-designed machine learning techniques. By reaching predictions about possibly crowded areas, we can enhance the network resource allocation procedures, providing mobile operators with recommendations about areas where they can activate or deactivate data cells.

Last update: 6 February 2015

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