Using Delay Tolerant Networks as a Backbone for Low-Cost Smart Cities

O. Madamori and E. Max-Onakpoya and C. Grant and C. Baker
In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP), 2019

Rapid urbanization burdens city infrastructure and creates the need for local governments to maximize the usage of resources to serve its citizens. Smart city projects aim to alleviate the urbanization problem by deploying a vast amount of Internet-of-things (IoT) devices to monitor and manage environmental conditions and infrastructure. However, smart city projects can be extremely expensive to deploy and manage. A significant portion of the expense is a result of providing Internet connectivity via 5G or WiFi to IoT devices. This paper proposes the use of delay tolerant networks (DTNs) as a backbone for smart city communication; enabling developing communities to become smart cities at a fraction of the cost. A model is introduced to aid policy makers in designing and evaluating the expected performance of such networks. Preliminary results are presented based on a public transit network data-set from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Finally, innovative ways of improving network performance in a low-cost smart city is discussed.

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