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IISc scientists lead the way to smart cities with a novel software framework.

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru have developed a data driven software platform that can efficiently manage Internet of Things (IoT) resources and applications. The software, if commercialized, could be employed for efficient management of smart cities.

Imagine a place where every object could communicate to every other object. Your car can talk to other cars, avoiding accidents. Your car could inform about your arrival to your air conditioner at home, so that your home is at an ideal temperature as you enter. Your refrigerator can remind you of groceries needed by sending you an alert on the phone. Internet of Things, where devices and systems can communicate with each other over the internet, could in fact make such a place a reality. A smart city is a city or town (generally an urban location) that uses data from different assets in the area to efficiently manage resources and services within the city. This can be data about individual households, power plants, traffic management systems, water management systems, peoples (and sometimes vehicles) movement on footpaths and boulevards, and even the quality of the air. Data is collected with the help of sensors, which can then communicate with a computer. The computer may be a centrally based cloud computing device or an edge device located closer to the sensors. Once the data center receives the data, software can then decide the most efficient way to manage those resources. Such a data-driven approach is essential for the realization to smart cities.

“The Internet of things (IoT) is emerging as the next big wave of digital presence for billions of devices on the Internet. A data‐driven IoT software platform is essential for realizing manageable and sustainable smart utilities and for novel applications to be developed upon them” remark the authors about the importance of a data-driven platform.

In their new research published in the journal of Software: Practice and Experience, researchers have proposed data-driven software architecture for management of smart city applications. An image of the research was selected as the cover image for the June 2018 edition of the journal.

The software architecture is designed to address two key operational activities: the IoT fabric for resource management, which manages the sensors and routers that form the IoT architecture, and the data and application platform for decision‐making, which manages and processes the data received from the sensors.

The design requirements were further fine-tuned using the smart water management domain.  “Some of these requirements are unique to developing nations” remark the authors. Campus-scale software architecture was then put to the test at IISc. The researcher further claim that the architecture is “scalable to a township or city while also generalizable to other smart utility domains”