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Electronics, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 160 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): We present a fully-differential implementation of the classical Sallen Key filter, which is can operate up to about 10 GHz by exploiting, unlike previously published solutions, both bipolar and MOS transistors of commercial 55-nm BiCMOS technology. The layout of the biquad filter has been implemented, and the results of post-layout simulations are reported. The biquad stage exhibits excellent SFDR (64 dB) and dynamic range (about 50 dB) due to the closed-loop operation, and good power efficiency (0.94 pW/Hz/pole) with respect to comparable active inductorless lowpass filters reported in the literature.View this paper.
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Article
An Analysis of Battery Degradation in the Integrated Energy Storage System with Solar Photovoltaic Generation
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040701 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
Renewable energy generation and energy storage systems are considered key technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy system planning and operation requires more accurate forecasts of intermittent renewable energy resources that consider the impact of battery degradation on the system caused by the [...] Read more.
Renewable energy generation and energy storage systems are considered key technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy system planning and operation requires more accurate forecasts of intermittent renewable energy resources that consider the impact of battery degradation on the system caused by the accumulation of charging and discharging cycles. In this study, a statistical model is presented for forecasting a day-ahead photovoltaic (PV) generation considering solar radiation and weather parameters. In addition, the technical performance of energy storage systems (ESS) should be evaluated by considering battery degradation that occurs during the charge and discharge cycles of the battery. In this study, a battery degradation model based on the data-driven method is used. Based on a suitable forecasting model, ESS scheduling is performed to charge the maximum amount of PV generation and discharge for the self-consumption of the customer load when PV generation ends. Since the battery is highly dependent on operating conditions such as depth of discharge, state of charge and temperature, two different ESS charge and discharge modes are proposed. From the simulation with the battery degradation model using parameters derived from experiments, we show that the battery is degraded along with charging cycles during testing periods. Variations in state of health are observed owing to the different characteristics of the battery according to the ESS operation modes, which are divided into the low and high SOC. Through experimental validation, it is proved that the state of charge (SOC), 0.45 is the optimal threshold that can determine the low and high SOC. Finally, the simulation results lead to the conclusion that the battery degradation in different operation modes should be taken into account to extend the end of life efficiently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Storage Technologies)
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Review
Quality of Life, Quality of Experience, and Security Perception in Web of Things: An Overview of Research Opportunities
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040700 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1131
Abstract
The Web of Things (WoT) is a technology concept that allows the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the World Wide Web (WWW). It will vastly affect our lives in the near future given that it offers new services and applications [...] Read more.
The Web of Things (WoT) is a technology concept that allows the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the World Wide Web (WWW). It will vastly affect our lives in the near future given that it offers new services and applications via the well-known web window. In todays’ world where one can hardly imagine everyday life without access to various online services and applications via a plethora of devices, one can notice that technology has a huge impact on our day-to-day quality of living. That is why a user’s Quality of Experience (QoE) towards used technology in general plays a crucial role in their Quality of Life (QoL). Furthermore, security perception in terms of technology is the feature that vastly affects QoE and, consequently, QoL, as the number of security and privacy threats, risks, and vulnerabilities in cyber space, i.e., the technology environment that we increasingly use, is constantly rising. In order to reach the ultimate goals—the adoption of WoT technology and improvement of our QoL—we must know how this important aspect of security is so far addressed and analyzed. Therefore, this paper gives a comprehensive and structured analysis of the existing literature in this field through a proposed framework and provides an overview of research opportunities that should be addressed and elaborated in future investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embedding Internet of Everything in New-Age Smart Environments)
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Article
Novel Low-Cost Power Divider for 5.8 GHz
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040699 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 807
Abstract
This paper presents a new capacitive lump-free structure for power dividers using a printed-circuit board, while maintaining size reduction and physical isolation. The conventional lumped capacitors approach has self-resonant problem and cause worse S 22 and isolation at high frequencies. To overcome such technical issues, the coupled-line structures were introduced in the isolation network. After optimizing the distance between output ports and position of the isolation network, tuning the characteristic impedance and electrical length of transmission lines can decide the value of the lump resistor. The first example was designed at 1 GHz, and the resistor in the isolation network was 330 ohm, having 0.2-dB insertion loss and 19% total bandwidth, while maintaining 80-degree distance between split ports and 180-degree total length, providing 21% to 67% size reduction. The second example was designed at 5.8 GHz, which was five times greater than in past research, using an RO4003C substrate while maintaining a 0.24-dB insertion loss, 17% total bandwidth, and 0.06 dB amplitude imbalance, which was only 0.01 dB more than in recent research. Such superior performance is mainly attributed to the coupled transmission lines in the isolation network featuring a capacitive lump-free isolation network. Our data indicate that amplitude imbalance, bandwidth, and miniaturization are superior to any published data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microwave and Wireless Communications)
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Article
Hydrogen vs. Battery in the Long-term Operation. A Comparative Between Energy Management Strategies for Hybrid Renewable Microgrids
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040698 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
The growth of the world’s energy demand over recent decades in relation to energy intensity and demography is clear. At the same time, the use of renewable energy sources is pursued to address decarbonization targets, but the stochasticity of renewable energy systems produces [...] Read more.
The growth of the world’s energy demand over recent decades in relation to energy intensity and demography is clear. At the same time, the use of renewable energy sources is pursued to address decarbonization targets, but the stochasticity of renewable energy systems produces an increasing need for management systems to supply such energy volume while guaranteeing, at the same time, the security and reliability of the microgrids. Locally distributed energy storage systems (ESS) may provide the capacity to temporarily decouple production and demand. In this sense, the most implemented ESS in local energy districts are small–medium-scale electrochemical batteries. However, hydrogen systems are viable for storing larger energy quantities thanks to its intrinsic high mass-energy density. To match generation, demand and storage, energy management systems (EMSs) become crucial. This paper compares two strategies for an energy management system based on hydrogen-priority vs. battery-priority for the operation of a hybrid renewable microgrid. The overall performance of the two mentioned strategies is compared in the long-term operation via a set of evaluation parameters defined by the unmet load, storage efficiency, operating hours and cumulative energy. The results show that the hydrogen-priority strategy allows the microgrid to be led towards island operation because it saves a higher amount of energy, while the battery-priority strategy reduces the energy efficiency in the storage round trip. The main contribution of this work lies in the demonstration that conventional EMS for microgrids’ operation based on battery-priority strategy should turn into hydrogen-priority to keep the reliability and independence of the microgrid in the long-term operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Modelling and Control in Renewable Energy Systems)
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Article
A 2.4 GHz 2.9 mW Zigbee RF Receiver with Current-Reusing and Function-Reused Mixing Techniques
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040697 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
This study presents a low-power Zigbee receiver with a current-reusing structure and function-reused mixing techniques. To reduce the overall power consumption, a low noise amplifier (LNA) and a power amplifier (PA) share the biasing current with a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) in the receiving [...] Read more.
This study presents a low-power Zigbee receiver with a current-reusing structure and function-reused mixing techniques. To reduce the overall power consumption, a low noise amplifier (LNA) and a power amplifier (PA) share the biasing current with a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) in the receiving (RX) mode and transmitting (TX) mode, respectively. The function-reused mixer reuses the radio frequency trans-conductance (RF gm) stage to amplify the down-converted intermediate frequency (IF) signal, obtaining a free IF gain without extra power consumption. A peak detector circuit detects the receiving signal strength and auto-adjusts the biasing current to save power when a strong signal strength is detected. Meanwhile, the peak detector helps to provide a coarse gain control as part of the auto-gain-control function. As part of the IF gain range is shared by the multiple-feedback (MFB) low-pass filter, the number of programmable-gain IF amplifier stages can be reduced, which also means a decrease in power consumption. A prototype of this wireless sensor network (WSN) receiver was designed and fabricated using the TSMC 130 nm CMOS process under a supply voltage of 1 V. The entire receiver realizes a noise figure (NF) of 3.5 dB and a receiving sensitivity of −90 dBm for the 0.25 Mbps offset quadrature phase shift keying (O-QPSK) signal with a power consumption of 2.9 mW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale CMOS Technologies)
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Article
A Visitor Assistance System Based on LoRa for Nature Forest Parks
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040696 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 809
Abstract
Ecotourism activities are attracting more people each day, including national forest parks. Unfortunately, the number of incidents involving visitors to natural parks grows at the same pace. Among the most prevalent risks inside forests are getting lost and the occurrence of natural disasters. [...] Read more.
Ecotourism activities are attracting more people each day, including national forest parks. Unfortunately, the number of incidents involving visitors to natural parks grows at the same pace. Among the most prevalent risks inside forests are getting lost and the occurrence of natural disasters. In this work, we propose a system for monitoring and assisting visitors of forest parks, based on a low power wide range wireless network, LoRa. The proposed visitor assisting system is composed of mobile terminals that communicate between them and with fixed infrastructure, using a protocol designed for exchanging visitor locations data. The infrastructure consists of wireless gateways distributed on the trails, the totems. User terminals, the mobile nodes, work collaboratively through a Delay and Disruption Tolerant Network (DTN), to cope with the possibility that the gateway infrastructure does not cover the whole trail. In addition to improvements and gains for minimizing risks, the proposal also brings contributions to the preservation of the environment, raising awareness of the influence of human presence in the natural environment and to the development of environmental education actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Wireless Sensor Networks in Monitoring)
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Article
A Novel FastSLAM Framework Based on 2D Lidar for Autonomous Mobile Robot
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040695 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
The autonomous navigation and environment exploration of mobile robots are carried out on the premise of the ability of environment sensing. Simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) is the key algorithm in perceiving and mapping an environment in real time. FastSLAM has played an [...] Read more.
The autonomous navigation and environment exploration of mobile robots are carried out on the premise of the ability of environment sensing. Simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) is the key algorithm in perceiving and mapping an environment in real time. FastSLAM has played an increasingly significant role in the SLAM problem. In order to enhance the performance of FastSLAM, a novel framework called IFastSLAM is proposed, based on particle swarm optimisation (PSO). In this framework, an adaptive resampling strategy is proposed that uses the genetic algorithm to increase the diversity of particles, and the principles of fractional differential theory and chaotic optimisation are combined into the algorithm to improve the conventional PSO approach. We observe that the fractional differential approach speeds up the iteration of the algorithm and chaotic optimisation prevents premature convergence. A new idea of a virtual particle is put forward as the global optimisation target for the improved PSO scheme. This approach is more accurate in terms of determining the optimisation target based on the geometric position of the particle, compared to an approach based on the maximum weight value of the particle. The proposed IFastSLAM method is compared with conventional FastSLAM, PSO-FastSLAM, and an adaptive generic FastSLAM algorithm (AGA-FastSLAM). The superiority of IFastSLAM is verified by simulations, experiments with a real-world dataset, and field experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Control, and Applications of Field Robotics)
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Article
A Compact Broadband Monolithic Sub-Harmonic Mixer Using Multi-Line Coupler
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040694 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 757
Abstract
A compact broadband monolithic sub-harmonic mixer is presented in a 70 nm GaAs Technology for millimeter wave wireless communication application. The proposed mixer adopts a novel multi-line coupler structure; where the two-sided coupling energy of radio frequency (RF) and local oscillation (LO) signals [...] Read more.
A compact broadband monolithic sub-harmonic mixer is presented in a 70 nm GaAs Technology for millimeter wave wireless communication application. The proposed mixer adopts a novel multi-line coupler structure; where the two-sided coupling energy of radio frequency (RF) and local oscillation (LO) signals are both collected and efficiently feed to anti-parallel diode pair (APDP) topology; resulting in broadband performance and compact chip size. As a comparison in the same circuit configuration; the five-line coupler can expand the bandwidth of the existing three-line coupler by 85% and reduce the area by 39.5% when the central frequency is 127 GHz. The measured conversion gain is −16.2 dB to −19.7 dB in a wide operation frequency band of 110–170 GHz. The whole chip size is 0.47 × 0.66 mm2 including test pads. The proposed mixer exhibits good figure-of-merits for D-band down-converter applications Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Millimeter-Wave Integrated Circuits and Systems for 5G Applications)
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Article
Machine Learning to Ensure Data Integrity in Power System Topological Network Database
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040693 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Operational and planning modules of energy systems heavily depend on the information of the underlying topological and electric parameters, which are often kept in database within the operation centre. Therefore, these operational and planning modules are vulnerable to cyber anomalies due to accidental [...] Read more.
Operational and planning modules of energy systems heavily depend on the information of the underlying topological and electric parameters, which are often kept in database within the operation centre. Therefore, these operational and planning modules are vulnerable to cyber anomalies due to accidental or deliberate changes in the power system database model. To validate, we have demonstrated the impact of cyber-anomalies on the database model used for operation of energy systems. To counter these cyber-anomalies, we have proposed a defence mechanism based on widely accepted classification techniques to identify the abnormal class of anomalies. In this study, we find that our proposed method based on multilayer perceptron (MLP), which is a special class of feedforward artificial neural network (ANN), outperforms other exiting techniques. The proposed method is validated using IEEE 33-bus and 24-bus reliability test system and analysed using ten different datasets to show the effectiveness of the proposed method in securing the Optimal Power Flow (OPF) module against data integrity anomalies. This paper highlights that the proposed machine learning-based anomaly detection technique successfully identifies the energy database manipulation at a high detection rate allowing only few false alarms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of IoT for Microgrids)
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Article
SMO-DNN: Spider Monkey Optimization and Deep Neural Network Hybrid Classifier Model for Intrusion Detection
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040692 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
The enormous growth in internet usage has led to the development of different malicious software posing serious threats to computer security. The various computational activities carried out over the network have huge chances to be tampered and manipulated and this necessitates the emergence [...] Read more.
The enormous growth in internet usage has led to the development of different malicious software posing serious threats to computer security. The various computational activities carried out over the network have huge chances to be tampered and manipulated and this necessitates the emergence of efficient intrusion detection systems. The network attacks are also dynamic in nature, something which increases the importance of developing appropriate models for classification and predictions. Machine learning (ML) and deep learning algorithms have been prevalent choices in the analysis of intrusion detection systems (IDS) datasets. The issues pertaining to quality and quality of data and the handling of high dimensional data is managed by the use of nature inspired algorithms. The present study uses a NSL-KDD and KDD Cup 99 dataset collected from the Kaggle repository. The dataset was cleansed using the min-max normalization technique and passed through the 1-N encoding method for achieving homogeneity. A spider monkey optimization (SMO) algorithm was used for dimensionality reduction and the reduced dataset was fed into a deep neural network (DNN). The SMO based DNN model generated classification results with 99.4% and 92% accuracy, 99.5%and 92.7% of precision, 99.5% and 92.8% of recall and 99.6%and 92.7% of F1-score, utilizing minimal training time. The model was further compared with principal component analysis (PCA)-based DNN and the classical DNN models, wherein the results justified the advantage of implementing the proposed model over other approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Neural Networks and Their Applications)
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Article
Spectrum Modeling of Out-of-Band Intermodulation for Dual-Band RF Amplifiers in OFDM Modulation
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040691 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Dual-band RF amplifiers play increasingly important roles in next-generation mobile communication systems including 5G, and the out-of-band intermodulation products are often not negligible since they generate interference to adjacent channels. In this article, following our previous modeling of cross-modulation for amplified dual-band signals, [...] Read more.
Dual-band RF amplifiers play increasingly important roles in next-generation mobile communication systems including 5G, and the out-of-band intermodulation products are often not negligible since they generate interference to adjacent channels. In this article, following our previous modeling of cross-modulation for amplified dual-band signals, an analytical expression of out-of-band intermodulation for dual-band orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing signals is derived using the third-order intercept points I P 3 . The experimental measurement results validate the proposed analytical expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microwave and Wireless Communications)
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Article
Use of Both Eyes-Open and Eyes-Closed Resting States May Yield a More Robust Predictor of Motor Imagery BCI Performance
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040690 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Motor-imagery brain-computer interface (MI-BCI) is a technique that manipulates external machines using brain activities, and is highly useful to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients who cannot move their limbs. However, it is reported that approximately 15–30% of users cannot modulate their brain signals, which [...] Read more.
Motor-imagery brain-computer interface (MI-BCI) is a technique that manipulates external machines using brain activities, and is highly useful to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients who cannot move their limbs. However, it is reported that approximately 15–30% of users cannot modulate their brain signals, which results in the inability to operate motor imagery BCI systems. Thus, advance prediction of BCI performance has drawn researchers’ attention, and some predictors have been proposed using the alpha band’s power, as well as other spectral bands’ powers, or spectral entropy from resting state electroencephalography (EEG). However, these predictors rely on a single state alone, such as the eyes-closed or eyes-open state; thus, they may often be less stable or unable to explain inter-/intra-subject variability. In this work, a modified predictor of MI-BCI performance that considered both brain states (eyes-open and eyes-closed resting states) was investigated with 41 online MI-BCI session datasets acquired from 15 subjects. The results showed that our proposed predictor and online MI-BCI classification accuracy were positively and highly significantly correlated (r = 0.71, p < 0.1 × 10 7 ), which indicates that the use of multiple brain states may yield a more robust predictor than the use of a single state alone. Full article
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Review
On the Application of Machine Learning to the Design of UAV-Based 5G Radio Access Networks
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040689 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
A groundbreaking design of radio access networks (RANs) is needed to fulfill 5G traffic requirements. To this aim, a cost-effective and flexible strategy consists of complementing terrestrial RANs with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, several problems must be solved in order to effectively [...] Read more.
A groundbreaking design of radio access networks (RANs) is needed to fulfill 5G traffic requirements. To this aim, a cost-effective and flexible strategy consists of complementing terrestrial RANs with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, several problems must be solved in order to effectively deploy such UAV-based RANs (U-RANs). Indeed, due to the high complexity and heterogeneity of these networks, model-based design approaches, often relying on restrictive assumptions and constraints, exhibit severe limitation in real-world scenarios. Moreover, design of a set of appropriate protocols for such U-RANs is a highly sophisticated task. In this context, machine learning (ML) emerges as a useful tool to obtain practical and effective solutions. In this paper, we discuss why, how, and which types of ML methods are useful for designing U-RANs, by focusing in particular on supervised and reinforcement learning strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Networks)
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Article
BEGAN v3: Avoiding Mode Collapse in GANs Using Variational Inference
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040688 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1130
Abstract
In the field of deep learning, the generative model did not attract much attention until GANs (generative adversarial networks) appeared. In 2014, Google’s Ian Goodfellow proposed a generative model called GANs. GANs use different structures and objective functions from the existing generative model. [...] Read more.
In the field of deep learning, the generative model did not attract much attention until GANs (generative adversarial networks) appeared. In 2014, Google’s Ian Goodfellow proposed a generative model called GANs. GANs use different structures and objective functions from the existing generative model. For example, GANs use two neural networks: a generator that creates a realistic image, and a discriminator that distinguishes whether the input is real or synthetic. If there are no problems in the training process, GANs can generate images that are difficult even for experts to distinguish in terms of authenticity. Currently, GANs are the most researched subject in the field of computer vision, which deals with the technology of image style translation, synthesis, and generation, and various models have been unveiled. The issues raised are also improving one by one. In image synthesis, BEGAN (Boundary Equilibrium Generative Adversarial Network), which outperforms the previously announced GANs, learns the latent space of the image, while balancing the generator and discriminator. Nonetheless, BEGAN also has a mode collapse wherein the generator generates only a few images or a single one. Although BEGAN-CS (Boundary Equilibrium Generative Adversarial Network with Constrained Space), which was improved in terms of loss function, was introduced, it did not solve the mode collapse. The discriminator structure of BEGAN-CS is AE (AutoEncoder), which cannot create a particularly useful or structured latent space. Compression performance is not good either. In this paper, this characteristic of AE is considered to be related to the occurrence of mode collapse. Thus, we used VAE (Variational AutoEncoder), which added statistical techniques to AE. As a result of the experiment, the proposed model did not cause mode collapse but converged to a better state than BEGAN-CS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Solutions for Artificial Intelligence Healthcare)
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Article
Cooperative Task Assignment of a Heterogeneous Multi-UAV System Using an Adaptive Genetic Algorithm
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040687 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
The cooperative multiple task assignment problem (CMTAP) is an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem. In this paper, CMTAP is to allocate multiple heterogeneous fixed-wing UAVs to perform a suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) mission on multiple stationary ground targets. To solve this problem, [...] Read more.
The cooperative multiple task assignment problem (CMTAP) is an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem. In this paper, CMTAP is to allocate multiple heterogeneous fixed-wing UAVs to perform a suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) mission on multiple stationary ground targets. To solve this problem, we study the adaptive genetic algorithm (AGA) under the assumptions of the heterogeneity of UAVs and task coupling constraints. Firstly, the multi-type gene chromosome encoding scheme is designed to generate feasible chromosomes that satisfy the heterogeneity of UAVs and task coupling constraints. Then, AGA introduces the Dubins car model to simulate the UAV path formation and derives the fitness value of each chromosome. In order to comply with the chromosome coding strategy of multi-type genes, we designed the corresponding crossover and mutation operators to generate feasible offspring populations. Especially, the proposed mutation operators with the state-transition scheme enhance the stochastic searching ability of the proposed algorithm. Last but not least, the proposed AGA dynamically adjusts the number of crossover and mutation populations to avoid the subjective selection of simulation parameters. The numerical simulations verify that the proposed AGA has a better optimization ability and convergence effect compared with the random search method, genetic algorithm, ant colony optimization method, and particle search optimization method. Therefore, the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm is proven. Full article
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Article
A Load Balancing Algorithm for Mobile Devices in Edge Cloud Computing Environments
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040686 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
As current data centers and servers are growing in size by orders of magnitude when needed, load balancing is a great concern in scalable computing systems, including mobile edge cloud computing environments. In mobile edge cloud computing systems, a mobile user can offload [...] Read more.
As current data centers and servers are growing in size by orders of magnitude when needed, load balancing is a great concern in scalable computing systems, including mobile edge cloud computing environments. In mobile edge cloud computing systems, a mobile user can offload its tasks to nearby edge servers to support real-time applications. However, when users are located in a hot spot, several edge servers can be overloaded due to suddenly offloaded tasks from mobile users. In this paper, we present a load balancing algorithm for mobile devices in edge cloud computing environments. The proposed load balancing technique features an efficient complexity by a graph coloring-based implementation based on a genetic algorithm. The aim of the proposed load balancing algorithm is to distribute offloaded tasks to nearby edge servers in an efficient way. Performance results show that the proposed load balancing algorithm outperforms previous techniques and increases the average CPU usage of virtual machines, which indicates a high utilization of edge servers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Processing for Systems under Uncertainty or Perturbation)
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Article
Gaussian-Process-Based Surrogate for Optimization-Aided and Process-Variations-Aware Analog Circuit Design
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040685 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
Optimization algorithms have been successfully applied to the automatic design of analog integrated circuits. However, many of the existing solutions rely on expensive circuit simulations or use fully customized surrogate models for each particular circuit and technology. Therefore, the development of an easily [...] Read more.
Optimization algorithms have been successfully applied to the automatic design of analog integrated circuits. However, many of the existing solutions rely on expensive circuit simulations or use fully customized surrogate models for each particular circuit and technology. Therefore, the development of an easily adaptable low-cost and efficient tool that guarantees resiliency to variations of the resulting design, remains an open research area. In this work, we propose a computationally low-cost surrogate model for multi-objective optimization-based automated analog integrated circuit (IC) design. The surrogate has three main components: a set of Gaussian process regression models of the technology’s parameters, a physics-based model of the MOSFET device, and a set of equations of the performance metrics of the circuit under design. The surrogate model is inserted into two different state-of-the-art optimization algorithms to prove its flexibility. The efficacy of our surrogate is demonstrated through simulation validation across process corners in three different CMOS technologies, using three representative circuit building-blocks that are commonly encountered in mainstream analog/RF ICs. The proposed surrogate is 69 X to 470 X faster at evaluation compared with circuit simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Circuit and Signal Processing)
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Article
An Efficient Hardware Implementation of Residual Data Binarization in HEVC CABAC Encoder
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040684 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1379
Abstract
HEVC-standardized encoders employ the CABAC (context-based adaptive binary arithmetic coding) to achieve high compression ratios and video quality that supports modern real-time high-quality video services. Binarizer is one of three main blocks in a CABAC architecture, where binary symbols (bins) are generated to [...] Read more.
HEVC-standardized encoders employ the CABAC (context-based adaptive binary arithmetic coding) to achieve high compression ratios and video quality that supports modern real-time high-quality video services. Binarizer is one of three main blocks in a CABAC architecture, where binary symbols (bins) are generated to feed the binary arithmetic encoder (BAE). The residual video data occupied an average of 75% of the CABAC’s work-load, thus its performance will significantly contribute to the overall performance of whole CABAC design. This paper proposes an efficient hardware implementation of a binarizer for CABAC that focuses on low area cost, low power consumption while still providing enough bins for high-throughput CABAC. On the average, the proposed design can process upto 3.5 residual syntax elements (SEs) per clock cycle at the maximum frequency of 500 MHz with an area cost of 9.45 Kgates (6.41 Kgates for the binarizer core) and power consumption of 0.239 mW (0.184 mW for the binarizer core) with NanGate 45 nm technology. It shows that our proposal achieved a high overhead-efficiency of 1.293 Mbins/Kgate/mW, much better than the other related high performance designs. In addition, our design also achieved a high power-efficiency of 8288 Mbins/mW; this is important factor for handheld applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computer Science & Engineering)
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Article
A New Intra-Cluster Scheduling Scheme for Real-Time Flows in Wireless Sensor Networks
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040683 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 831
Abstract
Real-time flows using time division multiple access (TDMA) scheduling in cluster-based wireless sensor networks try to schedule more flows per time frame to minimize the schedule length to meet the deadline. The problem with the previously used cluster-based scheduling algorithm is that intra-cluster [...] Read more.
Real-time flows using time division multiple access (TDMA) scheduling in cluster-based wireless sensor networks try to schedule more flows per time frame to minimize the schedule length to meet the deadline. The problem with the previously used cluster-based scheduling algorithm is that intra-cluster scheduling does not consider that the clusters may have internal or outgoing flows. Thus, intra-cluster scheduling algorithms do not utilize their empty time-slots and thus increase schedule length. In this paper, we propose a new intra-cluster scheduling algorithm by considering that clusters may have having internal or outgoing flows. Thus, intra-cluster scheduling algorithms do not differentiate the intra-cluster time slots and utilize their empty time slots. The objective is to schedule more flows per time frame, to reduce schedule length and improve the acceptance rate of flows. Simulation results show that the acceptance rate of the proposed scheme has a higher performance than the previous scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Sensor Networks)
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Editorial
Mobile Oriented Future Internet (MOFI): Architectural Designs and Experimentations
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040682 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 582
Abstract
With the explosive growth of smart phones and Internet-of-Things (IoT) services, the effective support of seamless mobility for a variety of mobile devices and users is becoming one of the key challenging issues [...] Full article
Review
On-Site and External Energy Harvesting in Underground Wireless
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040681 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Energy efficiency is vital for uninterrupted long-term operation of wireless underground communication nodes in the field of decision agriculture. In this paper, energy harvesting and wireless power transfer techniques are discussed with applications in underground wireless communications (UWC). Various external wireless power transfer [...] Read more.
Energy efficiency is vital for uninterrupted long-term operation of wireless underground communication nodes in the field of decision agriculture. In this paper, energy harvesting and wireless power transfer techniques are discussed with applications in underground wireless communications (UWC). Various external wireless power transfer techniques are explored. Moreover, key energy harvesting technologies are presented that utilize available energy sources in the field such as vibration, solar, and wind. In this regard, the Electromagnetic (EM)- and Magnetic Induction (MI)-based approaches are explained. Furthermore, the vibration-based energy harvesting models are reviewed as well. These energy harvesting approaches lead to design of an efficient wireless underground communication system to power underground nodes for prolonged field operation in decision agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Power/Data Transfer, Energy Harvesting System Design)
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Article
Performance Analysis of Cooperative Low-Power Wide-Area Network for Energy-Efficient B5G Systems
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040680 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 851
Abstract
Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) have received extensive attention from both academia and industry, since they can efficiently provide massive connectivity to internet of things (IoT) devices in wide geographical areas with low cost and low power consumption. Recently, it was shown that macro-diversity [...] Read more.
Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) have received extensive attention from both academia and industry, since they can efficiently provide massive connectivity to internet of things (IoT) devices in wide geographical areas with low cost and low power consumption. Recently, it was shown that macro-diversity among multiple gateways significantly improves the performance of uplink LPWANs by coherently combining multiple received signals at gateways. We call such networks cooperative LPWANs. In this paper, the error performance of an uplink cooperative LPWAN is mathematically analyzed in terms of outage probability, bit error rate (BER), and diversity order. It is assumed that there exist multiple (two or more) gateways that have multiple antennas and are located at arbitrary positions in the LPWAN area. Each gateway exploits the optimal maximum-ratio combining (MRC) technique to decode the received signal, and then the signals after MRC are delivered to the cloud fusion center for coherent combining in the cooperative LPWAN. The main results, the closed-form expressions of outage probability and BER, were derived by utilizing the hyper-Erlang distribution. Furthermore, the macro-diversity order was mathematically derived. The mathematical analysis was validated through extensive computer simulations. It worth noting that the mathematical analysis of the error performance of cooperative LPWANs is the first theoretical result in the literature to the best of our knowledge. Full article
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Article
A Collision-Free Hybrid MAC Protocol Based on Pipeline Parallel Transmission for Distributed Multi-Channel Underwater Acoustic Networks
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040679 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
The transmission rate between two nodes is usually very low in underwater acoustic networks due to the low available bandwidth of underwater acoustic channels. Therefore, increasing the transmission parallelism among network nodes is one of the most effective ways to improve the performance [...] Read more.
The transmission rate between two nodes is usually very low in underwater acoustic networks due to the low available bandwidth of underwater acoustic channels. Therefore, increasing the transmission parallelism among network nodes is one of the most effective ways to improve the performance of underwater acoustic networks. In this paper, we propose a new collision-free hybrid medium access control (MAC) protocol for distributed multi-channel underwater acoustic networks. In the proposed protocol, handshaking and data transmission are implemented as a pipeline on multiple acoustic channels. Handshaking is implemented using the time division multiple access (TDMA) technique in a dedicated control channel, which can support multiple successful handshakes in a transmission cycle and avoid collision in the cost of additional delay. Data packets are transmitted in one or multiple data channels, where an algorithm for optimizing the transmission schedule according to the inter-nodal propagation delays is proposed to achieve collision-free parallel data transmission. Replication computation technique, which is usually used in parallel computation to reduce the requirement of communication or execution time, is used in the data packet scheduling to reduce communication overhead in distributed environments. Simulation results show that the proposed protocol outperforms the slotted floor acquisition multiple access (SFAMA), reverse opportunistic packet appending (ROPA), and distributed scheduling based concurrent transmission (DSCT) protocols in throughput, packet delivery rate, and average energy consumption in the price of larger end-to-end delay introduced by TDMA based handshaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Communication and Networking Systems)
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Article
A Smart Glucose Monitoring System for Diabetic Patient
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040678 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Diabetic patients need ongoing surveillance, but this involves high costs for the government and family. The combined use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), artificial intelligence and smart devices can reduce these costs, helping the diabetic patient. This paper presents an intelligent architecture [...] Read more.
Diabetic patients need ongoing surveillance, but this involves high costs for the government and family. The combined use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), artificial intelligence and smart devices can reduce these costs, helping the diabetic patient. This paper presents an intelligent architecture for the surveillance of diabetic disease that will allow physicians to remotely monitor the health of their patients through sensors integrated into smartphones and smart portable devices. The proposed architecture includes an intelligent algorithm developed to intelligently detect whether a parameter has exceeded a threshold, which may or may not involve urgency. To verify the proper functioning of this system, we developed a small portable device capable of measuring the level of glucose in the blood for diabetics and body temperature. We designed a secure mechanism to establish a wireless connection with the smartphone. Full article
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Article
Inexpensive Millimeter-Wave Communication Channel Using Glow Discharge Detector and Satellite Dish Antenna
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040677 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 954
Abstract
A full proof of concept for low-cost millimeter wave (MMW) communication link is demonstrated in this study. The suggested MMW channel is based on a very inexpensive commercially available off-axis dish antenna usually used for TV satellites, two Arduino Uno micro controller boards, [...] Read more.
A full proof of concept for low-cost millimeter wave (MMW) communication link is demonstrated in this study. The suggested MMW channel is based on a very inexpensive commercially available off-axis dish antenna usually used for TV satellites, two Arduino Uno micro controller boards, and glow discharge detectors (GDD). The GDD is a robust and inexpensive room-temperature plasma device which was found to be a sensitive MMW radiation detector. The Arduino micro controllers are used to encode a text message into serial bits and also decode it. Those serial bits were used to modulate the MMW radiation in On-Off keying. The detection of MMW radiation was performed using a simple and inexpensive GDD. The suggested MMW channel can be used as point to point backhaul wireless communication for the 5th generation of cellular communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Millimeter and Terahertz Wireless Communications)
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Article
Capacitive Coupling Wireless Power Transfer with Quasi-LLC Resonant Converter Using Electric Vehicles’ Windows
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040676 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
This paper proposes a new capacitive coupling wireless power transfer method for charging electric vehicles. Capacitive coupling wireless power transfer can replace conventional inductive coupling wireless power transfer because it has negligible eddy-current loss, relatively low cost and weight, and good misalignment performance. [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a new capacitive coupling wireless power transfer method for charging electric vehicles. Capacitive coupling wireless power transfer can replace conventional inductive coupling wireless power transfer because it has negligible eddy-current loss, relatively low cost and weight, and good misalignment performance. However, capacitive coupling wireless power transfer has a limitation in charging electric vehicles due to too small coupling capacitance via air with a very high frequency operation. The new capacitive wireless power transfer uses glass as a dielectric layer in a vehicle. The area and dielectric permittivity of a vehicle’s glass is large; hence, a high capacity coupling capacitor can be obtained. In addition, switching losses of a power conversion circuit are reduced by quasi-LLC resonant operation with two transformers. As a result, the proposed system can transfer large power and has high efficiency. A 1.6 kW prototype was designed to verify the operation and features of the proposed system, and it has a high efficiency of 96%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Power Electronics)
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Article
Coverage and k-Coverage Optimization in Wireless Sensor Networks Using Computational Intelligence Methods: A Comparative Study
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040675 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
The domain of wireless sensor networks is considered to be among the most significant scientific regions thanks to the numerous benefits that their usage provides. The optimization of the performance of wireless sensor networks in terms of area coverage is a critical issue [...] Read more.
The domain of wireless sensor networks is considered to be among the most significant scientific regions thanks to the numerous benefits that their usage provides. The optimization of the performance of wireless sensor networks in terms of area coverage is a critical issue for the successful operation of every wireless sensor network. This article pursues the maximization of area coverage and area k-coverage by using computational intelligence algorithms, i.e., a genetic algorithm and a particle swarm optimization algorithm. Their performance was evaluated via comparative simulation tests, made not only against each other but also against two other well-known algorithms. This appraisal was made using statistical testing. The test results, that proved the efficacy of the algorithms proposed, were analyzed and concluding remarks were drawn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Networks)
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Article
Tan-Sun Transformation-Based Phase-Locked Loop in Detection of the Grid Synchronous Signals under Distorted Grid Conditions
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040674 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
When three-phase voltages are polluted with unbalance, DC offsets, or higher harmonics, it is a challenge to quickly detect their parameters such as phases, frequency, and amplitudes. This paper proposes a phase-locked loop (PLL) for the three-phase non-ideal voltages based on the decoupling [...] Read more.
When three-phase voltages are polluted with unbalance, DC offsets, or higher harmonics, it is a challenge to quickly detect their parameters such as phases, frequency, and amplitudes. This paper proposes a phase-locked loop (PLL) for the three-phase non-ideal voltages based on the decoupling network composed of two submodules. One submodule is used to detect the parameters of the fundamental and direct-current voltages based on Tan-Sun transformation, and the other is used to detect the parameters of the higher-harmonic voltages based on Clarke transformation. By selecting the proper decoupling vector by mapping Hilbert space to Euclidean space, the decoupling control for each estimated parameter can be realized. The settling time of the control law can be set the same for each estimated parameter to further improve the response speed of the whole PLL system. The system order equals the number of the estimated parameters in each submodule except that a low-pass filter is required to estimate the average amplitude of the fundamental voltages, so the whole PLL structure is very simple. The simulation and experimental results are provided in the end to validate the effectiveness of the proposed PLL technique in terms of the steady and transient performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grid-Connected and Isolated Renewable Energy Systems)
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Article
Expedited Globalized Antenna Optimization by Principal Components and Variable-Fidelity EM Simulations: Application to Microstrip Antenna Design
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040673 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Parameter optimization, also referred to as design closure, is imperative in the development of modern antennas. Theoretical considerations along with rough dimension adjustment through supervised parameter sweeping can only yield initial designs that need to be further tuned to boost the antenna performance. [...] Read more.
Parameter optimization, also referred to as design closure, is imperative in the development of modern antennas. Theoretical considerations along with rough dimension adjustment through supervised parameter sweeping can only yield initial designs that need to be further tuned to boost the antenna performance. The major challenges include handling of multi-dimensional parameter spaces while accounting for several objectives and constraints. Due to complexity of modern antenna topologies, parameter interactions are often involved, leading to multiple local optima as well as difficulties in identifying decent initial designs that can be improved using local procedures. In such cases, global search is required, which is an expensive endeavor, especially if full-wave electromagnetic (EM) analysis is employed for antenna evaluation. This paper proposes a novel technique accommodating the search space exploration using local kriging surrogates and local improvement by means of trust-region gradient search. Computational efficiency of the process is achieved by constructing the metamodels over appropriately defined affine subspaces and incorporation of coarse-mesh EM simulations at the exploratory stages of the optimization process. The resulting framework enables nearly global search capabilities at the costs comparable to conventional gradient-based local optimization. This is demonstrated using two antenna examples and comparative studies involving multiple-start local tuning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microwave and Wireless Communications)
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Article
Practical Time-Release Blockchain
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040672 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 853
Abstract
Time-release cryptography is a special encryption technique that allows a message to be hidden for some time. The previous schemes have shortcomings in that the encryptor should predict the decryptor’s computing power precisely or the trusted agent should be always available. In this [...] Read more.
Time-release cryptography is a special encryption technique that allows a message to be hidden for some time. The previous schemes have shortcomings in that the encryptor should predict the decryptor’s computing power precisely or the trusted agent should be always available. In this paper, we propose a new, practical time-release blockchain, and find the key to decrypt the content after a certain time. In order to verify the effectiveness of the blockchain system automatically, which uses the proof-of-work (PoW) and the consensus algorithm in the the proposed technique, we have implemented a prototype version of our blockchain system using Python. The proposed method has the following advantages. First, the decryption time is automatically adjusted, even if the miner’s computing power changes over time. Second, unlike previous time-lock puzzle schemes, our algorithm does not require additional computation work for solving the puzzle. Third, our scheme does not need any trusted agents (third parties). Fourth, the proposed method uses standard cryptographic algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Security)
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