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FP7

FUTURE-CITIES Report Summary

Project ID: 316296
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Portugal

Final Report Summary - FUTURE-CITIES (Expand the Centre of Competence in Future Cities of the University of Porto to Strengthen Inter-Disciplinary Research and Knowledge Transfer to the Industry in the Norte Region of Portugal)

Executive Summary:
The goal of the Future Cities Project is to expand the Center of Competence for Future Cities of the University of Porto, thereby unlocking the full potential of interdisciplinary research in urban technologies, while strengthening knowledge transfer activities in close cooperation with local and global industrial partners. To this end, the project’s main objectives and activities were to build the Porto Living Lab, to expand human potential, to ensure sustainability and to raise international awareness.

The Porto Living Lab is the result of a long term partnership between the Municipality of Porto, Porto Digital, Instituto de Telecomunicações, and the universities of Porto and Aveiro, with strong support from the industry. It is led by the Center of Competence for Future Cities of the University of Porto, which serves as an agile collaboration platform for a critical mass of scientists and engineers based at various schools of the University of Porto.

The Porto Living Lab is turning Porto into a smart city, a living lab, by providing it with a wide range of sensors and communication equipment, thus creating the conditions for research and development using advanced technologies for data collection through mobile platforms, wireless communication and large-scale information processing.

The existing infrastructures are building blocks of the Porto Living Lab large-scale experimentation facilities, which are materialized as three test beds:

• Vehicular Ad-hoc Networking (VANET)
Network of vehicles which connect to each other and to the infrastructure. Split into two independent test beds: urban and harbour, located at the city of Porto and at the harbour of Porto, respectively.

• Hybrid Sensor Networking (UrbanSense Platform)
Large-scale infrastructure for local monitoring of a dedicated environment using wireless sensors, which comprises environmental sensors and pedestrian counters.

• Crowdsensor SenseMyCity
Infrastructure and smartphone app for simplified collection of geo-indexed data, which is gathered from multiple users using smartphones and various internal and external sensors (crowdsensing).

The Porto Living Lab is a network of wireless sensing and communication nodes, which includes both static and mobile units. The network is interoperable with the existing optical fibre backbone and Wi-Fi hotspots from Porto Digital, which provide fast and broadband connectivity, and is managed by a dedicated ICT infrastructure.

The Porto Living Lab network now comprises close to 800 communication and sensing nodes (excluding the SenseMyCity ones, which are not determined by us), which have been deployed by the Future Cities Project.

Our vision of the Porto Living Lab also comprises communications and sensing networks which are owned and managed by third-party institutions, in particular, the Municipality of Porto (CMP), Porto Digital, municipal companies and agencies, and companies.

The research and development team comprises members from several universities (Porto, Aveiro and Minho), numerous R&D institutes and groups (Citta, IEETA, INESC TEC, IT, LabRP, Lepabe, LIACC and LSTS), and from different scientific domains (telecommunications, electronics and computer engineering; psychology and health; architecture and design; computer science; and chemical and environmental engineering). By working with teams of different areas, the Future Cities Project promoted and strengthened interdisciplinary research and development.

The project enjoyed close industrial cooperation with several companies (small, medium and large), as well as municipalities in the Porto region, government agencies and other public institutions.

It is now becoming clearer and more tangible for the companies how important and valuable the Porto Living Lab is, not only for research, but also for product and service development, as well as testing and proof-of-concept demonstration with manageable costs.

In order to assure the sustainability of the research activities, the Center submitted several R&D project proposals for national and international programmes. Other applications are in preparation for future calls.

Synergies with the EU structural funds were identified and the objectives and resources have been successfully aligned. Specifically, the I-CITY projects (Future Mobility and Future Health) were carried out in conjunction with the Future Cities Project.

The academic cooperation was developed with three European partners, namely, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden, Stockholm), Supélec (France, Paris) and UCL-University College London (United Kingdom, London). Besides, the project also benefited from the close cooperation with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both at USA.

The Center of Competence for Future Cities of the University of Porto further developed the Expanded Faculty and Researcher Exchange (X-FARE) Programme, whose goal was to foster the exchange of knowledge and know-how between researchers at all faculties and departments of the University of Porto and its European partners. Several incoming and outgoing visits took place in 2014 and 2015.

The most important events organized along the project, which promoted the active exchange of knowledge on solutions for future cities, were three annual conferences and eight thematic workshops.

The members of the Future Cities Project also attended several meetings and third-party events, where they presented the Future Cities Project and some of its most recent results, and they fostered cooperation with new business and academic partners.

Project Context and Objectives:
The goal of the Future Cities Project is to expand the Center of Competence for Future Cities of the University of Porto, thereby unlocking the full potential of interdisciplinary research in urban technologies, while strengthening knowledge transfer activities in close cooperation with local and global industrial partners. To this end, the project’s main objectives and activities are as follows:

• Build Porto Living Lab: Acquire and install critical equipment for developing large-scale test beds and prototypes in the areas of intelligent transportation systems and urban sensor networks, which leverage the city of Porto as a natural living lab for future city technologies and builds research capacity for city-scale experiments.

• Expand human potential: Foster a critical mass of researchers with inter-disciplinary expertise; promote the active exchange of knowledge on information and communication technologies for future cities through thematic workshops and conferences; foster talent in key scientific methodologies, such as distributed control, transportation science, operations research, broadband networks, public policy and large-scale systems, in order to improve the research portfolio of the Center.

• Ensure sustainability: Seek matching funds from the industry to complement the European Commission support; use the test beds and living labs to attract new partners; explore national and European funding sources; involve partner companies in the consortium for future European projects; establish an Industrial Affiliates Program; protect industrial property rights; boost exchange of knowledge and technology transfer.

• Raise international awareness: Connect the Center’s affiliates to the global knowledge networks; work with mentoring institutes based at prestigious universities in Europe, namely, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Supélec and University College London (UCL), which have agreed to serve as mentors by sharing their knowledge and promoting the exchange of key personnel; continue to deepen the strong partnerships established with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which include joint research and training programs.

The Future Cities Project focuses on the concept of future city as an urban environment centered on human needs, while exploiting the massive use of ICT embedded in the city fabric. By working with teams of different areas, the Future Cities Project promotes and strengthens interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer to the Portuguese industry.

The intelligent use of low-cost ICT solutions in advanced urban systems that support large-scale sensing, sustainable mobility and citizen engagement, can go a long way in improving the environmental sustainability and quality of life in the cities, while providing new opportunities for business and technology commercialization.

The overall strategy of the project is based on the following key guiding principles:

• Multidisciplinary team: The project is being developed with the support and collaboration of several companies and institutional partners, both national and international. This typifies the project's strategy, stressing the existing collaboration with some of the best research centers in the world and fostering new partnerships.

• Living lab (test beds): A key goal of the project is to turn the city of Porto into an urban-scale living lab, where researchers, companies and startups can develop and test technologies, products and services, exploring relevant topics including sustainable mobility, urban-scale sensing, safety and privacy, and quality of life for the general population.

• Work closely with end users: End users are a priority for the project. From day one, the role of end users is essential towards understanding the benefits and advantages of using the sensing and communication platforms to improve urban life.

• Partnerships with industry: The establishment of an Industrial Affiliates Program, in order to stimulate the development of technologies, products and services, thus enabling the resolution of real-life problems, the creation of economic value and the exchange of knowledge and technology transfer, is another priority of the project.

• Knowledge creation and sharing: The interdisciplinary work enables the creation and exchange of knowledge among partners and other companies and institutions. The data sets acquired throughout the project will be shared, encouraging future research and innovation.
Project Results:
The Porto Living Lab is the result of a long term partnership between the Municipality of Porto (CMP), Porto Digital, Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), and the universities of Porto (UP) and Aveiro (UA), with strong support from the industry, in particular, from Raditáxis, STCP and Veniam. It is led by the Center of Competence for Future Cities of the University of Porto, which serves as an agile collaboration platform for a critical mass of scientists and engineers based at various schools of the University of Porto, including the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP), the Faculty of Sciences (FCUP) and the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (FPCEUP).

The Porto Living Lab is turning Porto into a smart city, a living lab, by providing it with a wide range of sensors and communication equipment, thus creating the conditions for research and development using advanced technologies for data collection through mobile platforms, wireless communication and large-scale information processing. This living lab enables the development of research in areas such as sustainability, mobility, urban planning, and information and communication technologies.
The existing infrastructures are building blocks of the Porto Living Lab large-scale experimentation facilities, which are materialized as three test beds:

• Vehicular Ad-hoc Networking (VANET)
Network of vehicles which connect to each other and to the infrastructure. Split into two independent test beds: urban and harbour, located at the city of Porto and at the harbour of Porto, respectively.

• Hybrid Sensor Networking (UrbanSense Platform)
Large-scale infrastructure for local monitoring of a dedicated environment using wireless sensors, which comprises environmental sensors and pedestrian counters.

• Crowdsensor SenseMyCity
Infrastructure and smartphone app for simplified collection of geo-indexed data, which is gathered from multiple users using smartphones and various internal and external sensors (crowdsensing).

The Porto Living Lab is a network of wireless sensing and communication nodes, which includes both static and mobile units. The network is interoperable with the existing optical fibre backbone and Wi-Fi hotspots from Porto Digital, which provide fast and broadband connectivity, and is managed by a dedicated ICT infrastructure.

VEHICULAR AD-HOC NETWORKING (VANET) TEST BED

The VANET test bed consists of hundreds of networked vehicles, which use DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communications), Wi-Fi or 4G/3G/GPRS to connect to each other and to the infrastructure.
The VANET test bed comprised the installation of communication systems which assure vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-roadside (V2R) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. This vehicular communication network was deployed by installing on-board units (OBUs) on vehicles, road side units (RSUs) at particular city spots and by connecting the RSUs to the access infrastructure (fibre network).

The VANET test bed is split into two independent ones: the urban test bed, which is located at the city of Porto and the harbour test bed, which is located at the harbour of Porto (Porto de Leixões).

The harbour test bed has been deployed at the sea harbour of Porto (Porto de Leixões), which is managed by APDL, and comprises container lift and moving trucks from Transportes Sardão, tow boats and patrol vessels equipped with OBUs, and RSUs connected to the fibre optic backbone available at the port.

The harbour acts as a small-scale city environment with high density of moving vehicles, where container piles are comparable to buildings, which create dead communication zones. It is much smaller than the urban one, but allows researchers to make preliminary studies and developments on a controlled and predictable environment, which are then disseminated to the urban test bed for further tests at a city scale. Current tests and developments include cloud-based code deployment, remote network control and distributed data collection from moving vehicles and RSUs, thereby enabling a wide range of experiments and performance analyses.

The test bed is currently in use not only for testing purposes, but also as the communication infrastructure of choice for supporting harbour operations. More specifically, different members of the port ecosystem such as the port authority, port operators and trucking companies use the vehicular network to share critical information and improve the coordination and safety of key operations involving vessels, vehicles and cranes.

In both the harbour and urban test beds, each vehicle is equipped with an OBU, which includes a GPS receiver, and DSRC, Wi-Fi and cellular communication interfaces. Vehicles connect to the Internet through a RSU or by cellular communications. Vehicles connect to each other (V2V) and to the RSUs (V2I) by DSRC, and data is sent to the cloud via the Internet. A data packet can reach the RSU directly or via multihop communications with neighbour vehicles within range. In case a vehicle is out of range of both a RSU and another vehicle, it makes use of cellular communication, in particular, for sending real-time data. Wi-Fi communication is also available both at the RSUs and OBUs, turning each vehicle into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, which enables users to connect to the network with portable devices.

The majority of the deployed RSUs at the urban test bed were installed at buildings and equipment managed by the Municipality of Porto (traffic light poles and traffic control camera poles) and at buildings managed by the University of Porto. Each RSU is connected to the local optical fibre backbone from Porto Digital, either directly or through the backhauls of the City Council and the University of Porto.

STCP is the company that owns and operates the public buses at the city of Porto and its metropolitan area. The Future Cities Project has been installing OBUs on its bus fleet since 2013, in order to deploy a large vehicular network at the city of Porto.

This bus network of more than 400 nodes (almost the entire fleet) brings higher density to the VANET test bed, which is great for field tests, real-world experimentation and research. Besides, it provides STCP with important data that was not previously available, enabling the company to manage its fleet, lines and service in a more efficient way.

The OBUs deployed by the Future Cities Project increased the quality of the data available to STCP (for example, their own GPS location system has a sampling period of 30 s, but the OBUs collect data with a sampling period of 1 s) and provide additional data (for example, speed, stop time, moving time and trip time).

This data enabled the realization of several mobility studies in order to increase the service efficiency, to identify possible bottlenecks and to increase the service quality.

One of the main goals of the bus network and the established partnership with STCP was to turn each bus into a Wi-Fi hotspot and to offer free Internet access to bus passengers. This goal was recently accomplished. On September 2014, STCP launched the STCP Free Wifi service, which covers almost the entire fleet (404 out of 474 buses).

This service is the outcome of a solid partnership established within the Future Cities Project between STCP, Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), the universities of Porto and Aveiro, the Municipality of (CMP), Porto Digital, NOS (a telecom operator) and the spin-off company Veniam.

The bus network uses DSRC for V2V communication and offloads the high data traffic generated by the bus passengers to the fibre optic network of Porto Digital, either by the deployed RSUs or by Porto Digital’s own Wi-Fi hotspots. 4G cellular communication is also available (provided by NOS), which is only used when DSRC or Wi-Fi is not available or does not provide the required QoS.

Although STCP’s bus fleet covers the entire metropolitan area of Porto (cities of Gondomar, Maia, Matosinhos, Porto, Valongo and Vila Nova de Gaia), the STCP Free WiFi service is only available within the city of Porto, because this is the only city equipped with RSUs and with a metropolitan optical fibre network, which is owned and managed by the Municipality of Porto through Porto Digital.

The Wi-Fi coverage is available both inside the bus and on the outside, which is also great for people waiting at a bus stop, as they capture the Wi-Fi signal from the nearby buses.

The service is free and does not require a login password or registration. The Wi-Fi network is available at any device equipped with a Wi-Fi radio, and is identified by “STCP|PortoDigital”. When connected, the device pops-up a splash screen on the Internet browser, which identifies the main partners and provides links to a feedback centre and to the service terms and conditions.

The STCP Free WiFi service is used by almost 195,000 passengers by month, which generate monthly data traffic of approximately 2.5 TB. Until now, this service provided free Internet access during 1.9 million sessions and 350.000 hours of surfing time. Up to 70% of this data traffic is being offloaded from the cellular network in the areas with high demand.

The launch event occurred on the 22nd of September 2014 (the World Car Free Day) and within the 2014 European Mobility Week 2014.

Another innovation that is currently being developed within the VANET test bed is the use of vehicles as ‘data mules’. Once fully implemented, this feature will add great value to the vehicular network and to the Porto Living Lab, as it will allow vehicles to carry data from the sensors of the UrbanSense Platform which are not connected to the network.

In this case, buses download and store the data generated by the static data collection units (DCUs) – environmental sensors and pedestrian counters – when passing close to them. By doing so, the bus carries the data on the existing OBU, and downloads it to the server’s database when a free connection to the network is available, either through a RSU or Wi-Fi hotspot from Porto Digital. The same principle also applies to taxis, but in this case, the availability of a data mule for a given static unit will be rather uncertain. For obvious reasons, this solution only applies to delay tolerant data (which is the case of both the environmental sensors and the pedestrian counters) and can’t be used with real-time data applications.

This feature also brings a great value to the Municipality of Porto, as it enables the vehicular network to collect data from other wireless sensors available along the city, such as, water supply meters at homes and buildings (smart-metering) and garbage fill-level sensors from garbage containers.

Presently, the data generated by these kinds of sensors is typically acquired either by using cellular communications (telemetry, which implies communication costs) or by making local data readings (which implies a journey to the sensor location). By using the vehicular network to acquire data from these sensors, we can eliminate the costs associated with both communications and meter registration journeys.

The Future Cities Project is working together with the Municipality of Porto and the companies Tnl and Veniam on the development of a monitoring system which enables measuring the fill-level of garbage containers. The biggest innovation incorporated on this system is the use of the VANET buses as ‘data mules’. These vehicles carry the sensor data from the container or sensor aggregation hub to a RSU, which routes the data to the destination server.

The system that is currently being developed is a major improvement of Tnl’s system and comprises wireless fill-level sensors installed at each garbage container, a processing and communication unit installed close to garbage containers, buses equipped with OBUs and RSUs located at the city of Porto.
This opportunistic communication system (‘data mule’) makes use of the existing vehicular network at the city of Porto to carry the garbage fill-level sensor data to its final destination, avoiding the cost of cellular communications. Besides, this monitoring system will enable the Municipality of Porto to manage and design its garbage collection routes in a more efficient way, avoiding unnecessary journeys and stops. These two system features may save time and money to the Municipality of Porto, and increase the garbage collection efficiency.

The VANET test bed is fully deployed. The harbour test bed network comprises 40 nodes on land and sea: 10 RSUs and 30 OBUs on trucks, tow boats and patrol vessels (including 3 portable units). The urban test bed network comprises 618 nodes: 57 RSUs at the city and bus depots, 404 OBUs on buses, and OBUs on taxis, garbage trucks and vacuum street sweepers.

HYBRID SENSOR NETWORKING TEST BED

The Hybrid Sensor Networking test bed (branded as UrbanSense Platform) is a large-scale infrastructure for local monitoring of a dedicated environment using wireless sensors, and involves the deployment of two independent sensing networks: environmental sensors and pedestrian counters.

Both sensing units have local processing and Wi-Fi interfaces, which, apart from power supply issues, make them autonomous and stand-alone sensing nodes. The environmental sensors contain a computational module with storage, a sensor board that acquires data from the individual sensors, a control board that performs analog-to-digital conversion and a Wi-Fi transmitter. The pedestrian counters contain a computational module with storage, a Wi-Fi transmitter and a camera.

The sensing units are being placed close to an existing RSU or at a region with free Wi-Fi coverage provided by Porto Digital’s network, which assures proper wireless communication to the sensing nodes.

The environmental sensors are positioned at several city spots and measure environmental parameters: noise, temperature, humidity, luminosity, solar radiation, particles, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and levels of pollutant gases (CO, NO2 and O3), which monitor the air quality at that area.

Data is downloaded to the server’s database through a nearby RSU or Wi-Fi hotspot from Porto Digital. Another possibility that is being tested is to use buses as ‘data mules’, in particular, for places where a RSU or Wi-Fi hotspot is not available. In this case, buses download and store the data generated by the static units when passing nearby; by doing so, the bus carries the data on the existing OBU, and downloads it to the server’s database when a free connection to the network is available (a city RSU, a Wi-Fi hotspot from Porto Digital or a RSU at a bus depot).

Our deployment plan comprised 25 static units of environmental sensors. The units are spread along the city of Porto, in particular at the city centre, and cover several industrial, park, traffic, touristic, waterside and residential areas.

The data collecting units (DCUs) measure environmental parameters: temperature, humidity, luminosity, particles and levels of pollutant gases (CO, NO2 and O3),which monitor the city air quality. This creates a network of spread sensors along the city, which enables mapping the city’s air quality and environmental conditions. Data is collected when a bus passes near the DCUs and downloaded to the server’s database when the bus finds a free connection to the network (a city RSU, a Wi-Fi hotspot from Porto Digital or a RSU at a bus depot).

The pedestrian counters take the configuration of static units, which are positioned at several city spots and count pedestrians at a given area. This creates a network of spread sensors along the city, which enables the measurement of pedestrian concentration.

A pedestrian counter comprises a power supply, a computational module with storage, a Wi-Fi transmitter, a camera, and a computer vision algorithm for detecting and counting pedestrians. The camera captures video frames, which are locally processed by the computational module with a customized algorithm that was developed by the Future Cities Project. By doing so, no video frames are stored or transmitted by the system, which guarantees the privacy and anonymity of citizens.

The pedestrian counter was developed with low-cost hardware from Raspberry Pi; accordingly, the computer vision method for counting pedestrians was designed for running in small computers with low computing resources. This solution is scalable in the sense that is based on low-cost hardware that locally performs all video processing and inference, allowing the deployment of a large number of devices with minimal impact on the server side.

Our deployment plan comprised 50 units of pedestrian counters. The units are spread along the city of Porto, in particular at the city centre, and cover several industrial, park, traffic, touristic, waterside and residential areas.

Following the requirements from the Municipality of Porto, some of the pedestrian counters were deployed at the movida region at the city centre, which also includes environmental sensing units with noise sensors. This area is highly populated with bars (which attract a lot of people and creates high noise levels, especially during the night) but is also habited by many citizens. Presently, our pedestrian counters only work with daylight, but some preliminary tests were done with an infrared camera, which may enable pedestrian counting during the night. Pedestrian counting at night will also involve significant algorithm changes and performance improvements.

The UrbanSense Platform is fully deployed at the city of Porto. The UrbanSense Platform network comprises 125 nodes: 75 environmental sensors and 50 pedestrian counters.

CROWDSENSOR SENSEMYCITY TEST BED

The Crowdsensor SenseMyCity test bed consists of an infrastructure for simplified collection of geo-indexed data, which is gathered from multiple users using smartphones and various sensors, along with a pool of users willing to participate in experiments and on the logistic support for city-wide experiments.

The technical infrastructure comprises a mobile app for smartphones using Android operating system with a configurable set of sensors to gather data from the available sensors, a back-office server for data storage on a database and data processing, a visualization interface to access information in a user-friendly way and a data provision service.

The logistics infrastructure must support a pool of volunteers, which includes distributing experiment description among the pool of volunteers, and collecting expressions of interest; collecting informed consent forms and assuring that they comply with ethical guidelines, and managing software and hardware distribution when necessary.

The SenseMyCity app enables, through the use of sensors, the registration of the everyday life of users for further analysis. Information such as fuel consumption per journey, possibility of car sharing and levels of stress are some of the data that are currently under study at Porto. With this app, designed to be used in multidisciplinary research projects, such as engineering and psychology, users can record (consciously and voluntarily) their daily routine through sensors embedded in their mobile phones.

The user records his routine through sensors embedded in his smartphone and then views it on a web page created for that purpose. The collection and analysis of such data can lead to some conclusions regarding the consumption of fuel per journey, comparing different routes in terms of fuel consumption, time and distance, places or situations that increase stress levels of drivers, among others. A similar analysis considering the data from all participants (the crowd in crowdsourcing) can be used in intelligent mobility services, e.g. to optimize routes and consumption, meaning that the use of the SenseMyCity app allows, for example, the identification of people with similar mobility patterns (boosting car sharing and carpooling) and city mapping, suggesting bike routes with little slope and flat floor.

This app can also be used for the analysis of pooled data from several users (crowdsensing), enabling longitudinal studies of occupational stress which integrate questionnaires and vital sensors, and has already been applied to firefighters, bus drivers and police officers.

One of the projects leveraging our platform aimed at cardiac stress detection among public bus drivers. The ECG monitor (external sensor) supported by our app can gather cardiac information, which was used to estimate stress and create a stress map.

The SenseMyCity app is currently being used in citizen mobility studies, which consist in collecting data from a large number of users for extracting information about their individual and collective mobility.
The SenseMyCity test bed is fully deployed. The SenseMyCity platform has gathered around 210 million rows of data from 219 different volunteers, comprising 15.250 trips with a total of 71.000 km, and a total of more than 10.640 hours of sensing time. From those we have 13 million GPS points, 27.7 million points of accelerometer data at approximately 5 Hz, 7.1 million OBD vehicle data points, 4.7 million points of fuel consumption, and 71 million Wi-Fi signal level points from 420.000 different access points.

We also developed the SenseMyHeart service as a spin-off of the SenseMyCity platform. SenseMyHeart is a cloud-based service that aims at providing an application programming interface (API) in heart and ambulatory monitoring of stress and fatigue through cardiovascular assessment, which is provided by the study of electrocardiogram (ECG) data.

The SenseMyHeart project is led by the BRAIN (Biomedical Research and Innovation) group at INESC TEC, which partners with the company Biodevices, FEUP and the Future Cities Project. Biodevices is the company that manufactures VitalJacket®, a wearable ECG monitor that has been used by the Future Cities Project and other complementary projects (SCOPE-Stress and Coping among Police Officers and VitalResponder) to assess stress and fatigue among policemen, first-responders and bus drivers.

SenseMyHeart is directed to developers and research and crowd-sourcing infrastructures that work towards creating desktop, mobile or web applications linked to wearable technology and continuous health monitoring. SenseMyHeart intends to promote the interoperability between operating systems and machines, offering the client a variety of operations and scenarios of application, ranging from long-term ECG analysis on the cloud, to mobile collaborative short-term stress analysis.

An application scenario of the SenseMyHeart is the following: the SenseMyHeart app is a customisation of the SenseMyCity app, and shares the same ICT infrastructure, together with the three test beds. Mobility data is gathered by the SenseMyCity app, which can be used to study the mobility habits of the citizens of Porto and to support further research on urban mobility. Stress and fatigue assessment of bus drivers is provided by a customised version of the SenseMyCity app, while stress and fatigue assessment of ordinary citizens is provided by the SenseMyHeart app.

Noise and traffic are two stress causes among the city. Noise data is available by the UrbanSense Platform, while traffic data is available by both the VANET and SenseMyCity test beds. Accordingly, heart and ambulatory monitoring of stress and fatigue can be combined with noise and traffic data, enabling stress city mapping and correlation studies.

The SenseMyMood data collection campaign has been ongoing since June 2015 as trial, but the large scale data gathering campaign was delayed to happen in the Fórum do Futuro event, sponsored by the Porto Municipality, and which hosted a session called “The Sensor of Happiness” to present
the MoodSensor pilot study and the results on November 6th, 2015. Porto Municipality is leading the
dissemination of the SenseMyMood app.

The SenseMyMood data collection shall provide a mobility dataset of the participants, which can be used to study the mobility habits of the citizens of Porto and to support further research on urban mobility.

The SenseMyMood app relies on the SenseMyCity crowdsensing platform and is available for the Android operating systems at Google Play and for iOS at the AppStore. Once installed on the citizen’s mobile device, the app collects the informed consent on the first opening and request citizen demographic data. The participant is prompted to contribute mood data randomly during the day, but she can also pro-actively contribute his mood by pressing a button. Mood self-assessment is input either by filling out the level of each emotion according to Ekman’s emotion model, or by indicating their level of happiness in a scale of 1 to 5. After recording mood input, SenseMyMood additionally collects temperature and environment noise (1 second scan), and performs a Wi-Fi scan.

Location data (GPS or network aided) is collected whenever the citizen is on the move, and transparently synchronized to the back-office whenever the mobile device is connected to the Internet by Wi-Fi. Data gathering starts automatically when the participant starts moving and stops when he arrives somewhere.

The collected data allow us to understand whether there are areas where people feel better/happier, and whether there are environmental factors that correlate with the perceived happiness, like noise or the reason for being there. Moreover, SenseMyMood collects mobility information, to quantify traffic light waiting times, identify traffic congestions at different times of day, and know how many people actually move from one part of the city to another, using which transportation mode.

As results, we build daily mood maps of Porto, aggregating all contributions. The maps show the emotion distribution in the city. Collecting all daily maps, we obtain the historic mood map of Porto. The data collection also provides a mobility dataset of the participants, which can be used to study the mobility habits of the citizens of Porto and to support further research on urban mobility. Each participant can also access her own data, and manage it in a web front-end.

Preliminary results obtained from 17 participants and 200 answers shows different emotion levels during work, commuting and leisure periods. We can observe significantly lower reported happiness levels when waiting for transport than when working or in leisure. Some anedoctal observations were also made, like the very low happiness level when stopped on the highway, presumably at a traffic jam. This pilot study is a cooperation between the the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP) and the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (FPCEUP), within the scope of the Center of Competence for Future Cities.

ICT INFRASTRUCTURE

The ICT infrastructure was deployed with the following objectives:
• Availability and fault tolerance
Should have a top (cloud hosted) layer with 24/7/365 availability. Core services should have a cloud industry standard up time and fault tolerance. The infrastructure, as a whole, must be redundant and able to survive to one (and only one) module failure.

• Elasticity
Should efficiently accommodate heavy load/financing periods and also periods of low load and scarce funding.

• Integrated management
Should minimize the daily maintenance. Whenever possible, it should provide provisioning portals and graphic interfaces to manage the available computing resources.

The cloud-hosted ICT infrastructure has three virtual servers, three public addresses and one closed network. This infrastructure uses six CPU cores, 18 GB RAM and approximately 600 GB storage. Cloud infrastructure only hosts the core, heavy duty and High Availability Databases, Webservers and Applications. Cloud operation system and application layer is populated by open source software such as Ubuntu Server Linux, PostgreSQL and MySQL database engines and Apache webserver.

The on-premise (in-house) ICT infrastructure has five discrete rack mountable servers, four public addresses, one closed network (LAN) and one closed storage network (SAN). Despite all in-house servers are physically hosted at FEUP’s datacentre, four of them are connected to the Internet via FEUP and one via Porto Digital’s network. This infrastructure has 40 CPU cores, 52 GB RAM and approximately 38 TB RAW storage.

Because in-house hardware is heterogeneous, physical infrastructure monitoring and management rely mainly on software solutions such as Webmin, Cloudmin and Nagios on the near future. Operating system, hypervisors and application layer is populated by open source software. We use Ubuntu Server to operate the servers, Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to support virtualization, PostgreSQL and MySQL to support databases, and SAMBA, SSHd and Open iSCSCI to support volume/file sharing.

FEUP and Cloud Provider closed network are used to securely connect local nodes. Communication between Porto Digital, FEUP and Cloud Provider are made through internet encrypted tunnels. Each site (cloud and in-house) has just one gateway server/address, and all user traffic flows through those gateways. The remaining addresses are used for service ‘pay-load’ only.

All production services and all core data is hosted on the cloud infrastructure. Each project defined a database and file lists that are periodically backed-up from the cloud to in-house sites. A set of backup policies were defined and several automated routines were deployed to do the data replication between sites. In-house infrastructure, not only hosts all the backups, but also supports several read only production database clones, development platforms (normally virtual machines without any backup), data brokers and adaptors, personal virtual machines, user/groups file workspace/backup and their interfaces.

In both infrastructures, all Future Cities’ services are hosted on virtual machines and all data is stored on logical (flexible) volumes. On the in-house ICT infrastructure, the physical servers support all the virtual machines, virtual networking, firewalls and low level storage interfaces (such as iSCSI and LVM). All project production or development services, VPN, Active Directories and sFTP, NFS and CIFS servers are supported by virtual machines.

At this phase, the project is following a physical machine centred computation resources provisioning scheme. This means that new virtual machines, virtual networks or logical volumes are allocated on each physical server, with common templates, and through Cloudmin web interface or Linux/KVM primitives. Presently, the project doesn’t use any platform to orchestrate the resources provisioning over the in-house physical infrastructure.

The ICT infrastructure is fully deployed. It comprises cloud-hosted and on-premise (in-house) infrastructure and services. The cloud-hosted infrastructure has three virtual servers, three public addresses and one closed network, which uses 6 CPU cores, 18 GB RAM and approximately 600 GB storage. The in-house infrastructure has five discrete rack mountable servers, four public addresses, one closed network and one closed storage network, which uses 40 CPU cores, 52 GB RAM and approximately 38 TB RAW storage.

The Porto Living Lab network now comprises close to 800 communication and sensing nodes (excluding the SenseMyCity ones, which are not determined by us), which have been deployed by the Future Cities Project.

Our vision of the Porto Living Lab also comprises communications and sensing networks which are owned and managed by third-party institutions, in particular, the Municipality of Porto (CMP), Porto Digital, municipal companies and agencies, and companies.

The Urban test bed comprises a communications network and a sensing network. The communications network comprises mobile and static nodes. The mobile units (OBUs) are nodes of the VANET test bed, which are installed or can be easily installed at several vehicles from STCP, Raditáxis and CMP. The static units comprise RSUs and Wi-Fi hotspots from Porto Digital, which are both operating.

The sensing network comprises mobile and static units. The mobile units are nodes of the SenseMyCity test bed. The SenseMyCity comprises smartphone embedded sensors and external sensors, like ECG monitors and heart rate monitors.

The static units are nodes of the UrbanSense Platform or other networks. The UrbanSense Platform comprises the environmental sensors and the pedestrian counters. Other networks include garbage sensors from the company Tnl and water meters from the company Águas do Porto, whose data acquisition systems are both under development.

We are partnering with the company Tnl and the Municipality of Porto on the development of a monitoring system which enables measuring the fill-level of garbage containers; besides, we are partnering with the company Águas do Porto (municipal water supply company) and the Municipality of Porto on the development of a system which collects data from water supply counters (smart-metering). Both systems make use of the vehicular network deployed at the city, which will be used as data mules.

A similar situation happens at the Harbour test bed, which comprises OBUs at tow boats, patrol vessels and trucks and RSUs at the harbour. Cranes and service vehicles can be easily equipped with OBUs.

Potential Impact:
The Future Cities project was instrumental in placing not only the University of Porto but also the City of Porto and its living laboratory on the map of smart cities in Europe and worldwide. The project has proven the viability of a city-scale mesh network of connected vehicles that become part of the city infrastructure to expand wireless coverage and gather massive amounts of actionable city data for a wide range of smart city applications. The socio-economic impact of this achievement has been widely reported by the international media. In addition, the project led to the creation and growth of a university spin-off company, Veniam, which is successfully translating the results of the basic research into products, services, qualified jobs and export opportunities.

The Porto living lab will continue its operation beyond the duration of the project as a joint venture among the University of Porto’s Competence Centre for Future Cities and Porto Digital, the municipal agency in charge of managing its fiber network and related IT infrastructure. New projects include topics as varied as environmental monitoring, traffic management through intelligent signalling, and assessment of citizen emotions in different parts of the city. None of these follow-up activities would have been possible without the hardware, software and cloud components developed and deployed by the Future Cities project during the last three years.

The project enjoyed close industrial cooperation with several companies (small, medium and large), as well as municipalities in the Porto region, government agencies and other public institutions. All the partnerships are now more mature and active, and the full deployment and integration of all the test beds enabled the creation of new partnerships, both with industry and academic institutions. It is now becoming clearer and more tangible for the companies how important and valuable the Porto Living Lab is, not only for research, but also for product and service development, as well as testing and proof-of-concept demonstration with manageable costs.

The academic cooperation was developed with three European partners, namely, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden, Stockholm), Supélec (France, Paris) and UCL-University College London (United Kingdom, London). Besides, the project also benefited from the close cooperation with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both at USA.

The Center of Competence for Future Cities of the University of Porto further developed the Expanded Faculty and Researcher Exchange (X-FARE) Programme, whose goal was to foster the exchange of knowledge and know-how between researchers at all faculties and departments of the University of Porto and its European partners. Several incoming and outgoing visits took place in 2014 and 2015.

The most important events organized along the project, which promoted the active exchange of knowledge on solutions for future cities, were three conferences and eight thematic workshops:

• 2013 Future Cities Conference (January 2013)
• Workshop on Large-scale Sensing for Future Cities (December 2013)
• 2014 Future Cities Conference (January 2014)
• Workshop on Sustainable Mobility in Future Cities (March 2014)
• Workshop on Human Living in Future Cities (July 2014)
• Workshop “Making Places” (October 2014)
• Workshop on Vehicular Networks and Sustainable Mobility Testbed (April 2015)
• Workshop on Cyber-physical Systems Platforms (May 2015)
• Workshop on Entrepreneurship Strategies and Business Opportunities in Future Cities (September 2015)
• Workshop on Human Interaction, Security and Privacy (September 2015).
• 2015 Future Cities Conference (September 2015)

List of Websites:
Website
www.futurecities.up.pt
www.futurecitiesproject.eu

Newsletter archive: http://tinyurl.com/p64v3xs

Social networks
• Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/pbrz8h2
• Flickr: http://tinyurl.com/q6ao235
• LinkedIn: http://tinyurl.com/qj9m9sr
• Slideshare: http://tinyurl.com/q27eqgh
• Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/p4fd8jo
• YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/qbnesu8

Main contacts
• Principal Investigator: João Barros (jbarros@fe.up.pt)
• Administrative Officer: Cristiana Silva (info@futurecities.up.pt)

Related information

Contact

Mafalda Soeiro, (Financial Officer)
Tel.: +351 220413577
E-mail
Record Number: 188104 / Last updated on: 2016-08-11