Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - SORBET (Smart Objects for Intelligent Building Management)

The European FP7 Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Industry-Academia Partnership and Pathways (IAPP) project SOrBet (GA no. 612361 - addressed the need of research and development (R&D) for open architectures, scalable and reliable interconnectivity, and decentralized management in the application domain of intelligent buildings. The project fuses and integrates the scientific expertise of two academic sites with the industrial know-how of an industrial SME, to deliver technological solutions smart buildings management.

SOrBet had the following overall scientific and technological objectives:
• Analyse requirements of intelligent buildings vis-à-vis (i) the input smart objects need to provide,
(ii) applications enabled within them, (iii) management support.
• Develop an architecture that allows to connect large numbers of heterogeneous software/hardware smart
Objects scalably, leveraging virtualization and cognitive radio technology.
• Model the trustworthiness of smart objects to enable system reliability and self-monitoring of the network to detect events and mitigate failures.
• Implement a modular open software platform on the SOrBet architecture and use it (i) to demonstrate
the performance of the developed schemes and (ii) for prototyping.

The project effort is organized in five work packages (WPs). The first three focus on the R&D aspects of SOrBet, and the last two WPs comprise management, dissemination/outreach activities, and exploitation.

For the former three, the following work has been performed.
- Within WP1, we have been working on setting the foundations for the technical work of the project by identifying and describing in detail the three use cases that are of interest of the project. The use cases are tackling key issues of smart buildings, namely monitoring the energy consumption, monitoring the indoors environmental conditions and providing opportunities for automating procedures. Building on the use cases, functional requirements were extracted, which led to the definition of the functional architecture and the SOrBet IoT domain model. Then, we worked on mechanisms for the autoconfiguration of smart devices, with a main focus on spectrum and channel assignment to avoid interference from the other wireless transmissions. Finally, we focused on developing a mechanism for improving the trustworthiness and the reliability of smart devices to ensure that only trusted devices will participate in the system decisions.
As a major scientific outcome, the work of WP1 produced the project architecture based on the methodology and the reference model of the IoT-A (the flagship IoT EU-FP7 project).
- For WP2, we investigated the potential for enhancing smart objects with Cognitive Radio. Throuh mathematical performance analysis we have produced significant results on the ability of such a telecommunication to withstand interference and exploited resource allocation for reliability. Focusing on scalable interconnectivity we proposed optimization-based models for reliable network configuration and resource allocation for assignment of resources to services. Addressing energy efficiency of the communication system we investigated, sensing methods based on rate adaptation and compressive sensing. We have further conducted analyses of trade-offs between robustness (in terms of link failures), system performance (delay and throughput) and energy efficiency, focused on tractable wireless networking models of more than one relays i.e. wireless gateways. The work in WP2 has led to a key achievement of potential high impact for SOrBet: the usage of the novel performance metric of Age of Information as a means to evaluate of the end-to-end delivery capabilities of the system and provide design insights for adaptation mechanisms. We have delivered one among the first dozen of publications on the usage of this metric, in IEEE ICC 2015, thus having a significant impact potential.
- WP3 Produced the project test scenarios integrating sample mechanisms developed in WP2 and WP1 onto selected SOrBet use cases. We have developed a methodology for validating the performance of the mechanisms implemented within WP3. The SOrBet platform prototype developed aims to provide a solution that can use a large number of smart devices that sense the environment, make decisions, and act when needed, transparently to the in-habitant of the building.

The technical output of the project is showcased by the total of 51 scientific peer-reviewed publications in the form of journals and conferences/workshops proceedings articles, book chapters and demos.

The Project’s Management Board has organized the work conducted in the research WP’s, ensuring the accomplishment of all milestones, organized the intersectoral fellows secondments, assisting in the organization of two summer schools, an workshop adjunct to IEEE flagship conference GLOBECOM of 2015 and also the IEEE CAMAD 2017. Two summer schools were also co-organized by SOrBet as central means of knowledge transfer.

Overall the project mobilized a research team of over 20 researchers, and focusing on the development of the human capital performed transfer of knowledge between the three partner sites. To this end two summer schools were set up, three advanced graduate level courses, tutorials and over fifty technical seminars were given. The fellows were also actively involved in reaching out to the broader public and raising awareness about the goals of the project and its potential benefits, as well as of research activities funded by the EU at large. Aside from the general public industrial partners in the EU telecom domain were exposed to the activities of the project through workshops and information days.

A direct result of the joint work within the project a beyond-expectations number of scientific publications has been produced. The project also created synergy, by establishing strong collaboration and relations between the partners of the project consortium: (LiU and FORTH) are two core partners in the H2020 WiVi-2020 project. The SOrBet Platform and its potential impact can be viewed from the perspective that massive connectivity is a strong requirement for the Internet of Things paradigm, where large numbers of inexpensive sensors can be deployed indoors and fuse the buildings with 'intelligence'. The project's results therefore introduce significant opportunities for stakeholders (building managers, BMS solution providers, home owners, etc.) to design systems that will optimally leverage the technological benefits of a massive IoT deployment of smart objects.
The project uses its website:, to present the project objectives and work. The website also provides project news and disseminates the results in form of scientific publications.

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