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On the Design of Smart Parking Networks in the Smart Cities: An Optimal Sensor Placement Model

Intelligent Systems and Advanced Telecommunication Laboratory Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, Cape Town, South Africa
Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Architettura, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Via A.Valerio 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy
ICT4D Laboratory, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Via Beirut 7, 34151 Trieste, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Puliafito
Sensors 2015, 15(7), 15443-15467;
Received: 1 May 2015 / Revised: 10 June 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities)
PDF [773 KB, uploaded 1 July 2015]


Smart parking is a typical IoT application that can benefit from advances in sensor, actuator and RFID technologies to provide many services to its users and parking owners of a smart city. This paper considers a smart parking infrastructure where sensors are laid down on the parking spots to detect car presence and RFID readers are embedded into parking gates to identify cars and help in the billing of the smart parking. Both types of devices are endowed with wired and wireless communication capabilities for reporting to a gateway where the situation recognition is performed. The sensor devices are tasked to play one of the three roles: (1) slave sensor nodes located on the parking spot to detect car presence/absence; (2) master nodes located at one of the edges of a parking lot to detect presence and collect the sensor readings from the slave nodes; and (3) repeater sensor nodes, also called “anchor” nodes, located strategically at specific locations in the parking lot to increase the coverage and connectivity of the wireless sensor network. While slave and master nodes are placed based on geographic constraints, the optimal placement of the relay/anchor sensor nodes in smart parking is an important parameter upon which the cost and efficiency of the parking system depends. We formulate the optimal placement of sensors in smart parking as an integer linear programming multi-objective problem optimizing the sensor network engineering efficiency in terms of coverage and lifetime maximization, as well as its economic gain in terms of the number of sensors deployed for a specific coverage and lifetime. We propose an exact solution to the node placement problem using single-step and two-step solutions implemented in the Mosel language based on the Xpress-MPsuite of libraries. Experimental results reveal the relative efficiency of the single-step compared to the two-step model on different performance parameters. These results are consolidated by simulation results, which reveal that our solution outperforms a random placement in terms of both energy consumption, delay and throughput achieved by a smart parking network. View Full-Text
Keywords: Internet-of-Things; wireless sensor networks; smart parking; radio frequency identification; optimal sensor placement Internet-of-Things; wireless sensor networks; smart parking; radio frequency identification; optimal sensor placement
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bagula, A.; Castelli, L.; Zennaro, M. On the Design of Smart Parking Networks in the Smart Cities: An Optimal Sensor Placement Model. Sensors 2015, 15, 15443-15467.

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