Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Computer Science & Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 21748

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
1. Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral No 12, 6000-084 Castelo Branco, Portugal
2. Instituto de Telecomunicações, Rua Marquês d’Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Interests: mobility support for wireless sensor networks; Internet of Things; smart cities; smart farming
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Computer and Telematic Systems Engineering, School of Technology, University of Extremadura, Avda. de la Universidad s/n, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: software-defined networking; unmanned aerial vehicles; 5G; edge–fog computing; network function virtualization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart Cities stand to benefit the most from connecting people, data, and things by utilizing cutting-edge ICT technology to address urban challenges. The aim is to improve citizens’ quality of life and the quality of the services provided by governing entities and businesses through sustainable integrated solutions addressing city-specific challenges from different areas such as energy, environment, mobility, and services.

This Special Issue aims at bringing together researchers, engineers, and practitioners from both academia and industry to exchange and share their experiences and research results on the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered, and solutions adopted in the fields of smart cities. The topics of this Special Issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • Smart city theory, modeling, and simulation;
  • Smart city architectures and frameworks;
  • Smart city implementation;
  • Smart infrastructure;
  • Cloud, fog, and edge computing in smart cities;
  • Security and privacy solutions for smart cities;
  • Big data and open data in smart cities;
  • Smart city data analytics and visualization;
  • AI-based solutions for smart cities;
  • Services and applications for smart cities.

Prof. Dr. Vasco N. G. J. Soares
Prof. Dr. Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues
Prof. Dr. João M. L. P. Caldeira
Dr. Jaime Galán-Jiménez
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Smart cities
  • Sustainability
  • Urban planning
  • Quality of life
  • Quality of services

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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31 pages, 11873 KiB  
Article
The Design of a Safe Charging System Based on PKS Architecture
by Jianhong Zeng, Yi Zhang, Youhua Xue, Wenqi Li, Jing Li, Linchao Zhang and Shipu Zheng
Electronics 2022, 11(20), 3378; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11203378 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1621
Abstract
With the development of new energy vehicles, information sharing and charging service-sharing in the Internet of Vehicles have become popular directions in smart city research. The number of new energy vehicles has surged, and the ensuing range anxiety and low charging efficiency have [...] Read more.
With the development of new energy vehicles, information sharing and charging service-sharing in the Internet of Vehicles have become popular directions in smart city research. The number of new energy vehicles has surged, and the ensuing range anxiety and low charging efficiency have become the main problems to be solved urgently in charging services. In the era of big data, privacy leakage is becoming more and more serious, and information security and privacy protection cannot be delayed. This paper proposes an efficient charging and privacy protection system based on the PKS system. The original single-stage topology is improved by adding the PFC and LLC circuit topologies. The PID method is used to precisely control the voltage and current loss to improve the conversion efficiency of the charging pile. The private data in the shared information uses the RSA encryption algorithm to prevent the leakage of private data and enhance the security of system communication. This paper aims to improve the charging efficiency of charging piles and the security of private information in network communication. Simulation experiments are carried out on the proposed hardware topology and software encryption system scheme. Experiments compare the waveform state of the improved output current and voltage and the safety protection area of the system architecture. The results show that the proposed charging system is efficient and safe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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17 pages, 3709 KiB  
Article
Human Mobility Prediction with Calibration for Noisy Trajectories
by Qing Miao, Min Li, Wenhui Lin, Zhigang Wang, Huiqin Shao, Junwei Xie, Nanfei Shu and Yuanyuan Qiao
Electronics 2022, 11(20), 3362; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11203362 - 18 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Human mobility prediction is a key task in smart cities to help improve urban management effectiveness. However, it remains challenging due to widespread intractable noises in large-scale mobility data. Based on previous research and our statistical analysis of real large-scale data, we observe [...] Read more.
Human mobility prediction is a key task in smart cities to help improve urban management effectiveness. However, it remains challenging due to widespread intractable noises in large-scale mobility data. Based on previous research and our statistical analysis of real large-scale data, we observe that there is heterogeneity in the quality of users’ trajectories, that is, the regularity and periodicity of one user’s trajectories can be quite different from another. Inspired by this, we propose a trajectory quality calibration framework for quantifying the quality of each trajectory and promoting high-quality training instances to calibrate the final prediction process. The main module of our approach is a calibration network that evaluates the quality of each user’s trajectories by learning their similarity between them. It is designed to be model-independent and can be trained in an unsupervised manner. Finally, the mobility prediction model is trained with the instance-weighting strategy, which integrates quantified quality scores into the parameter updating process of the model. Experiments conducted on two citywide mobility datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach when dealing with massive noisy trajectories in the real world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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16 pages, 1783 KiB  
Article
Improving Delivery Probability in Mobile Opportunistic Networks with Social-Based Routing
by Manuel Jesús-Azabal, José García-Alonso, Vasco N. G. J. Soares and Jaime Galán-Jiménez
Electronics 2022, 11(13), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11132084 - 2 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2247
Abstract
There are contexts where TCP/IP is not suitable for performing data transmission due to long delays, timeouts, network partitioning, and interruptions. In these scenarios, mobile opportunistic networks (MONs) are a valid option, providing asynchronous transmissions in dynamic topologies. These architectures exploit physical encounters [...] Read more.
There are contexts where TCP/IP is not suitable for performing data transmission due to long delays, timeouts, network partitioning, and interruptions. In these scenarios, mobile opportunistic networks (MONs) are a valid option, providing asynchronous transmissions in dynamic topologies. These architectures exploit physical encounters and persistent storage to communicate nodes that lack a continuous end-to-end path. In recent years, many routing algorithms have been based on social interactions. Smartphones and wearables are in vogue, applying social information to optimize paths between nodes. This work proposes Refine Social Broadcast (RSB), a social routing algorithm. RSB uses social behavior and node interests to refine the message broadcast in the network, improving the delivery probability while reducing redundant data duplication. The proposal combines the identification of the most influential nodes to carry the information toward the destination with interest-based routing. To evaluate the performance, RSB is applied to a simulated case of use based on a realistic loneliness detection methodology in elderly adults. The obtained delivery probability, latency, overhead, and hops are compared with the most popular social-based routers, namely, EpSoc, SimBet, and BubbleRap. RSB manifests a successful delivery probability, exceeding the second-best result (SimBet) by 17% and reducing the highest overhead (EpSoc) by 97%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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27 pages, 22048 KiB  
Article
Computational Simulation of an Agricultural Robotic Rover for Weed Control and Fallen Fruit Collection—Algorithms for Image Detection and Recognition and Systems Control, Regulation, and Command
by João P. L. Ribeiro, Pedro D. Gaspar, Vasco N. G. J. Soares and João M. L. P. Caldeira
Electronics 2022, 11(5), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11050790 - 3 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3835
Abstract
The continuous rise in the world’s population has increased the need for food, resulting in a rise of agricultural holdings to ensure the supply of these goods directly to the populations and indirectly to all processing industries in the food business. This situation [...] Read more.
The continuous rise in the world’s population has increased the need for food, resulting in a rise of agricultural holdings to ensure the supply of these goods directly to the populations and indirectly to all processing industries in the food business. This situation has led agriculture to reinvent itself and introduce new technics and tools to ensure tighter control of the crops and increase yields in food production. However, the lack of labor coupled with the evolution of weeds resistant to herbicides created a crisis in agricultural food production. However, with the growing evolution in electronics, automation, and robotics, new paths are emerging to solve these problems. A robotic rover was designed to optimize the tasks of weed control and collection of fallen fruits of an orchard. In weed control, a localized spraying system is proposed, therefore reducing the amount of applied herbicides. With fruit collection, it is possible to direct fallen fruits for animal feeding and possible to reduce microbial activity on the next campaign crops, therefore avoiding damage. This study proposes the simulation of this robotic rover on robotic simulation software. It also proposes the replication of a similar environment of an orchard to generate an algorithm that controls the rover on the tasks of localized spraying and fallen fruit collection. Creating and testing these algorithms by using a robotic simulator speed up and ease the evaluation of different scenarios and hypotheses, with the added benefit of being able to test two tasks simultaneously. This method also allows greater freedom and creativity because there are no concerns about hardware damage. It should also be noted that development costs are very low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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12 pages, 15169 KiB  
Article
Artificial Intelligence Decision Support System Based on Artificial Neural Networks to Predict the Commercialization Time by the Evolution of Peach Quality
by Estevão Ananias, Pedro D. Gaspar, Vasco N. G. J. Soares and João M. L. P. Caldeira
Electronics 2021, 10(19), 2394; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10192394 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Climacteric fruit such as peaches are stored in cold chambers after harvest and usually are maintained there until the desired ripening is reached to direct these fruit to market. Producers, food industries and or traders have difficulties in defining the period when fruit [...] Read more.
Climacteric fruit such as peaches are stored in cold chambers after harvest and usually are maintained there until the desired ripening is reached to direct these fruit to market. Producers, food industries and or traders have difficulties in defining the period when fruit are at the highest level of quality desired by consumers in terms of the physical-chemical parameters (hardness –H–, soluble solids content –SSC–, and acidity –Ac–). The evolution of peach quality in terms of these parameters depends directly on storage temperature –T– and relative humidity –RH–, as well on the storage duration –t–. This paper describes an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Decision Support System (DSS) designed to predict the evolution of the quality of peaches, namely the storage time required before commercialization as well as the late commercialization time. The peaches quality is stated in terms of the values of SSC, H and Ac that consumers most like for the storage T and RH. An Artificial neuronal network (ANN) is proposed to provide this prediction. The training and validation of the ANN were conducted with experimental data acquired in three different farmers’ cold storage facilities. A user interface was developed to provide an expedited and simple prediction of the marketable time of peaches, considering the storage temperature, relative humidity, and initial physical and chemical parameters. This AI DSS may help the vegetable sector (logistics and retailers), especially smaller neighborhood grocery stores, define the marketable period of fruit. It will contribute with advantages and benefits for all parties—producers, traders, retailers, and consumers—by being able to provide fruit at the highest quality and reducing waste in the process. In this sense, the ANN DSS proposed in this study contributes to new AI-based solutions for smart cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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17 pages, 6969 KiB  
Article
Applying a Genetic Algorithm to a m-TSP: Case Study of a Decision Support System for Optimizing a Beverage Logistics Vehicles Routing Problem
by David E. Gomes, Maria Inês D. Iglésias, Ana P. Proença, Tânia M. Lima and Pedro D. Gaspar
Electronics 2021, 10(18), 2298; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10182298 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4034
Abstract
Route optimization has become an increasing problem in the transportation and logistics sector within the development of smart cities. This article aims to demonstrate the implementation of a genetic algorithm adapted to a Vehicle Route Problem (VRP) in a company based in the [...] Read more.
Route optimization has become an increasing problem in the transportation and logistics sector within the development of smart cities. This article aims to demonstrate the implementation of a genetic algorithm adapted to a Vehicle Route Problem (VRP) in a company based in the city of Covilhã (Portugal). Basing the entire approach to this problem on the characteristic assumptions of the Multiple Traveling Salesman Problem (m-TSP) approach, an optimization of the daily routes for the workers assigned to distribution, divided into three zones: North, South and Central, was performed. A critical approach to the returned routes based on the adaptation to the geography of the Zones was performed. From a comparison with the data provided by the company, it is predicted by the application of a genetic algorithm to the m-TSP, that there will be a reduction of 618 km per week of the total distance traveled. This result has a huge impact in several forms: clients are visited in time, promoting provider-client relations; reduction of the fixed costs with fuel; promotion of environmental sustainability by the reduction of logistic routes. All these improvements and optimizations can be thought of as contributions to foster smart cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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Review

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34 pages, 2714 KiB  
Review
Applications of Integrated IoT-Fog-Cloud Systems to Smart Cities: A Survey
by Nader Mohamed, Jameela Al-Jaroodi, Sanja Lazarova-Molnar and Imad Jawhar
Electronics 2021, 10(23), 2918; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10232918 - 25 Nov 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4656
Abstract
Several cities have recently moved towards becoming smart cities for better services and quality of life for residents and visitors, with: optimized resource utilization; increased environmental protection; enhanced infrastructure operations and maintenance; and strong safety and security measures. Smart cities depend on deploying [...] Read more.
Several cities have recently moved towards becoming smart cities for better services and quality of life for residents and visitors, with: optimized resource utilization; increased environmental protection; enhanced infrastructure operations and maintenance; and strong safety and security measures. Smart cities depend on deploying current and new technologies and different optimization methods to enhance services and performance in their different sectors. Some of the technologies assisting smart city applications are the Internet of Things (IoT), fog computing, and cloud computing. Integrating these three to serve one system (we will refer to it as integrated IoT-fog-cloud system (iIFC)) creates an advanced platform to develop and operate various types of smart city applications. This platform will allow applications to use the best features from the IoT devices, fog nodes, and cloud services to deliver best capabilities and performance. Utilizing this powerful platform will provide many opportunities for enhancing and optimizing applications in energy, transportation, healthcare, and other areas. In this paper we survey various applications of iIFCs for smart cities. We identify different common issues associated with utilizing iIFCs for smart city applications. These issues arise due to the characteristics of iIFCs on the one side and the requirements of different smart city applications on the other. In addition, we outline the main requirements to effectively utilize iIFCs for smart city applications. These requirements are related to optimization, networking, and security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends, Issues and Challenges in Smart Cities)
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