Software-Intensive Systems for Smart Cities: From Ensembles to Superorganisms

  • Nicola Bicocchi
  • Letizia Leonardi
  • Franco Zambonelii
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8950)


Smart cities infrastructures can be considered as large-scale, software-intensive systems exhibiting close sinergies among ICT devices and humans. However, current deployments of smart city technologies rely on rather traditional technologies. This chapter introduces a novel perspective in which large-scale ensembles of software components, ICT devices, and humans, can be made working together in an orchestrated and self-organized way to achieve urban-level goals as if they were part of a single large-scale organism, i.e., a superorganism. Accordingly, we delineate our vision of urban superorganisms and overview related application areas. Finally, we identify the key challenges in engineering self-organizing systems that can work as a superorganism, and we introduce the reference architecture for an infrastructure capable of supporting our vision.


Sensor Network Smart City Heterogeneous Agent Reference Architecture Wireless Body Sensor Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aiello, F., Bellifemine, F., Fortino, G., Galzarano, S., Gravina, R.: An agent-based signal processing in-node environment for real-time human activity monitoring based on wireless body sensor networks. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence 24(7), 1147–1161 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Babaoglu, O., Canright, G., Deutsch, A., Di Caro, G.A., Ducatelle, F., Gambardella, L.M., Ganguly, N., Jelasity, M., Montemanni, R., Montresor, A., Urnes, T.: Design patterns from biology for distributed computing. ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems 1(1), 26–66 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bettini, C., Brdiczka, O., Henricksen, K., Indulska, J., Nicklas, D., Ranganathan, A., Riboni, D.: A survey of context modelling and reasoning techniques. Pervasive and Mobile Computing 6(2), 161–180 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bicocchi, N., Castelli, G., Lasagni, M., Mamei, M., Zambonelli, F.: Experiences on sensor fusion with commonsense reasoning. In: IEEE Workshop on Context Modeling and Reasonings, Lugano, CH (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bonabeau, E., Dorigo, M., Theraulaz, G.: Swarm Intelligence: from Natural to Artificial Systems. Oxford University Press, London (1998)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brambilla, M., Ferrante, E., Birattari, M., Dorigo, M.: Swarm robotics: a review from the swarm engineering perspective. Swarm Intelligence 7(1), 1–41 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brenna, M., Falvo, M.C., Foiadelli, F., Martirano, L., Massaro, F., Poli, D., Vaccaro, A.: Challenges in energy systems for the smart-cities of the future. In: IEEE International Energy Conference and Exhibition, pp. 755–762 (September 2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cheng, B.H.C., et al.: Software Engineering for Self-Adaptive Systems: A Research Roadmap. In: Cheng, B.H.C., de Lemos, R., Giese, H., Inverardi, P., Magee, J. (eds.) Software Engineering for Self-Adaptive Systems. LNCS, vol. 5525, pp. 1–26. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chourabi, H., Nam, T., Walker, S., Ramon Gil-Garcia, J., Mellouli, S., Nahon, K., Pardo, T., Scholl, H.: Understanding smart cities: An integrative framework. In: IEEE Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui (HI), USA (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davies, N., Langheinrich, M., José, R., Schmidt, A.: Open display networks: A communications medium for the 21st century. IEEE Computer 45(5), 58–64 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fernandez-Marquez, J.L., Di Marzo Serugendo, G., Stevenson, G., Ye, J., Dobson, S., Zambonelli, F.: Self-Managing and Self-Organising Mobile Computing Applications: a Separation of Concerns approach. In: Proceeding of the 29th Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2014 (2014)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fortino, G., Li, X., Lin, X., Mayora, O., Natalizio, E., Yuce, M.: Wireless technology for pervasive healthcare. Mobile Networks and Applications 19(3), 273–275 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Harnie, D., D’Hondt, T., Gonzales Boix, E., De Meuter, W.: Programming urban-area applications for mobility services. ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems 9(2) (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Helaoui, R., Riboni, D., Stuckenschmidt, H.: A probabilistic ontological framework for the recognition of multilevel human activities. In: ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, Zurich, CH (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Holldobler, B., Wilson, O.: The Superorganism: the Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness, of Insect Societies. W. W. Norton and Company, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hu, X., Wang, W., Leung, V.: Vssa: A service-oriented vehicular social-networking platform for transportation efficiency. In: International Symposium on Design and Analysis of Intelligent Vehicular Networks and Applications, New York (NY), USA (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jelasity, M., Montresor, A., Babaoglu, Ö.: Gossip-based aggregation in large dynamic networks. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 23(3), 219–252 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jones, A.J.I., Artikis, A., Pitt, J.: The design of intelligent socio-technical systems. Artificil Intelicence Review 39(1), 5–20 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kehoe, M., et al.: Understanding IBM Smart Cities. Redbook Series, IBM Corporation (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lathia, N., Pejovic, V., Rachuri, K.K., Mascolo, C., Musolesi, M., Rentfrow, P.J.: Smartphones for large-scale behavior change interventions. IEEE Pervasive Computing 12(3), 66–73 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mamei, M., Menezes, R., Tolksdorf, R., Zambonelli, F.: Case studies for self-organization in computer science. Journal of Systems Architecture 52(8-9), 443–460 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mamei, M., Roli, A., Zambonelli, F.: Emergence and control of macro-spatial structures in perturbed cellular automata, and implications for pervasive computing systems. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part A 35(3), 337–348 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mitchell, M.: Self-awareness and control in decentralized systems. In: AAAI Spring Symposium: Meta-cognition in Computation, Palo Alto (CA), USA (2005)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Van Parunak, H.D.: Go to the ant: Engineering principles from natural multi-agent systems. Annals of Operations Research 75, 69–101 (1997)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pitt, J., Bourazeri, A., Nowak, A., Roszczynska-Kurasinska, M., Rychwalska, A., Rodriguez Santiago, I., Lopez Sanchez, M., Florea, M., Sanduleac, M.: Transforming big data into collective awareness. Computer 46(6), 40–45 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pitt, J., Schaumeier, J., Artikis, A.: Axiomatization of socio-economic principles for self-organizing institutions: Concepts, experiments and challenges. ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems 7(4), 39 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Radu, A.-L., Ionescu, B., Menéndez, M., Stöttinger, J., Giunchiglia, F., De Angeli, A.: A hybrid machine-crowd approach to photo retrieval result diversification. In: Gurrin, C., Hopfgartner, F., Hurst, W., Johansen, H., Lee, H., O’Connor, N. (eds.) MMM 2014, Part I. LNCS, vol. 8325, pp. 25–36. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rahwan, I., Dsouza, S., Rutherford, A., Naroditskiy, V., McInerney, J., Venanzi, M., Jennings, N., Cebrian, M.: Global manhunt pushes the limits of social mobilization. IEEE Computer 46(4), 68–75 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rosi, A., Mamei, M., Zambonelli, F.: Integrating social sensors and pervasive services: approaches and perspectives. Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications 9(4), 294–310 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sassi, A., Zambonelli, F.: Towards an agent coordination framework for smart mobility services. In: 8th International workshop on agents in traffic and transportation (May 2014)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Scerri, P., Ma, Z., Chien, S.Y., Wang, H., Lee, P.-J., Lewis, M., Sycara, K.P.: An initial evaluation of approaches to building entry for large robot teams. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems 64(2), 145–159 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Scheidler, A., Merkle, D., Middendorf, M.: Swarm controlled emergence for ant clustering. International Journal on Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics 6(1), 62–82 (2013)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wirsing, M., Banâtre, J.-P., Hölzl, M., Rauschmayer, A. (eds.): Soft-Ware Intensive Systems. LNCS, vol. 5380. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wirsing, M., Hölzl, M., Tribastone, M., Zambonelli, F.: ASCENS: Engineering Autonomic Service-Component Ensembles. In: Beckert, B., Damiani, F., de Boer, F.S., Bonsangue, M.M. (eds.) FMCO 2011. LNCS, vol. 7542, pp. 1–24. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Yuen, M., Chen, L., King, I.: A survey of human computation systems. In: International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, Vancouver, Canada (2009)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Zambonelli, F.: Toward sociotechnical urban superorganisms. IEEE Computer 45(8), 76–78 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Zambonelli, F., Castelli, G., Mamei, M., Rosi, A.: Programming self-organizing pervasive applications with SAPERE. In: Zavoral, F., Jung, J.J., Badica, C. (eds.) IDC 2013. SCI, vol. 511, pp. 93–102. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zambonelli, F., Viroli, M.: A survey on nature-inspired metaphors for pervasive service ecosystems. Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications 7, 186–204 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Bicocchi
    • 1
  • Letizia Leonardi
    • 1
  • Franco Zambonelii
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Modena and Reggio EmiliaItaly

Personalised recommendations