Research Fellows Directory
Professor Dimitra Simeonidou
University of Bristol
By 2050, the human population will reach 9 billion people, with 75 percent living in cities. This trend drives the rise of smart cities, which aim to offer more efficient services to citizens by exploiting communications, sensors and cloud technologies. To achieve their goal, smart cities rely extensively on data collected from citizens, environment, vehicles and basically all the “things” in the city. The more data that becomes available, the more accurately city operations can be analyzed, which in turn will lead to the design and availability of smart-city services.
For the network infrastructure, citywide data retrieval means massive amounts of sensor data that needs to be collected, aggregated and transferred to data centers for storage and processing. Current urban networking and computing infrastructure can be a major bottleneck for such smart-city operations, as it does not offer the capacity, flexibility and scalability desirable for the emerging resource-demanding city applications. It is therefore important to resolve these bottlenecks through new technologies in order to ensure that cities are fit for purpose in the digital age.
My research on programmable networking technologies alleviates the above issues and offers unique capabilities for enhancing the performance of smart-city operations. These technologies exploit open software and hardware platforms, which users can program to tailor network functions for very diverse application requirements. Based on this work, I have proposed a new city concept, the Programmable City, which is able to adapt its digital infrastructure to challenging and unpredictable application needs and support flexible service scenarios meeting future city requirements.
My vision is to lead new research towards generalised, programmable city solutions where cities become nodes in a new type of global network, the new “Internet of Cities”.