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The CE-IoT Framework for Green ICT Organizations The interplay of CE-IoT as an enabler for green innovation and e-waste management in ICT


Abstract and Figures

The growth of the global middle class provokes significant increment in product consumption. As the available resources are limited, Circular Economy (CE) raises as a promising initiative towards the sustainable development. Except from the traditional approaches of reusing or recycling products, the current trend utilizes modern computer technologies and involves a data-driven aspect. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the main enabler for the integration of CE with technology. This paper proposes a framework for implementing the cooperative vision of CE and IoT. Via this solution, a pilot system is developed in a medium size telecommunication company for administrating the lifecycle of the deployed electronic equipment and the management of the related supply chains. Mechanisms and devices are maintained/repaired/fabricated in a regular basis, green computing techniques are efficiently applied, and the productive period is prolonged. When the business upgrades the system, the retired counterparts can be sold in start-ups or gifted in third-world countries. The overall approach extends the working period of the well-maintained electronic assets not only for the examined business but for the collaborating organizations as well. Recycling companies can then trace this supply chain and the assets' status in order to define their investment strategy at the end-consumer, contributing in the reduction of the electronic waste problem in the third-world.
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The CE-IoT Framework for Green ICT Organizations
The interplay of CE-IoT as an enabler for green innovation and e-waste management in ICT
George Hatzivasilis, Nikos Christodoulakis, Christos
Tzagkarakis, Sotiris Ioannidis
Institute of Computer Science
Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas
Heraklion, Crete, Greece
{hatzivas, christodoulakis, tzagarak, sotiris}
Giorgos Demetriou
Ecole des Ponts Business School
Paris, France
Konstantinos Fysarakis
Sphynx Technology Solutions AG
Zug, Switzerland
Marios Panayiotou
Cablenet Communication Systems Ltd.
Nicosia, Cyprus
Abstract—The growth of the global middle class provokes
significant increment in product consumption. As the available
resources are limited, Circular Economy (CE) raises as a
promising initiative towards the sustainable development. Except
from the traditional approaches of reusing or recycling products,
the current trend utilizes modern computer technologies and
involves a data-driven aspect. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the
main enabler for the integration of CE with technology. This
paper proposes a framework for implementing the cooperative
vision of CE and IoT. Via this solution, a pilot system is
developed in a medium size telecommunication company for
administrating the lifecycle of the deployed electronic equipment
and the management of the related supply chains. Mechanisms
and devices are maintained/repaired/fabricated in a regular
basis, green computing techniques are efficiently applied, and the
productive period is prolonged. When the business upgrades the
system, the retired counterparts can be sold in start-ups or gifted
in third-world countries. The overall approach extends the
working period of the well-maintained electronic assets not only
for the examined business but for the collaborating organizations
as well. Recycling companies can then trace this supply chain and
the assets’ status in order to define their investment strategy at
the end-consumer, contributing in the reduction of the electronic
waste problem in the third-world.
Keywords—Circular Economy; Internet of Things; Sustainable
development; Green computing; E-waste; Circularity by Design;
IoT; IIoT;
The continuous raise of the world population and the
expansion of the global economy are stressing the planet’s
physical resources. As the environmental sustainability is
threatened, several governmental initiatives try to tackle the
problem. Green innovation is gaining ground the last years due
to the environmental movement and climate change (e.g. [1],
[2]). In 1997, United Nations adopted the Kyoto protocol to
reduce the greenhouse gases emissions and counter global
warming. The main period of the protocol expired in 2012 and
its extension until 2020 was announced.
Circular Economy (CE) is such an act towards a
regenerative system, where the consumption of new resources
is minimized by extending the lifecycle of current products
([3], [4]). The economy is formed in closed loops and the
materials are reused over-and-over by the various actuators.
The main states of a CE model include long-lasting design,
maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and
recycling. The adoption of the CE principles in a large scale
inevitably leads to economic transformation and the
establishment of new business models [5]. An ambitious
innovation package by the European Union (EU) is provoking
this evolution in the Old World [6] and the global economy.
Significant efforts are also devoted by the Chinese government
Except from the ordinary CE settings, the integration with
Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is now emerging [8], [9].
Pioneer services for smart city and intelligent transportation are
popular here, while other significant economic sectors, like the
Information and Communications Technology (ICT), have not
gain much attention.
This paper proposes the CE-IoT: a data-driven framework
that materialize the CE business model and the integration with
the IoT infrastructure. An organization observes the deployed
equipment status via system monitors and IoT devices that
gather related knowledge. The information is then collected
and processed by machine learning (ML) and data-analytics
algorithms. The results are parsed to decision support systems
(DSS) that outcome the organization’s administration strategy.
The reactive policy is implemented by artificially intelligent
agents that manage the system at runtime and facilitate the CE
actions. Green computing techniques can be also enforced
increasing the utility of the current products [10].
The presented solution is quite generic and applicable in
various CE-IoT settings. Nevertheless, we demonstrate its
deployment in ICT organizations. Thus, a preliminary version
is developed and the main functionality is tested under the
cloud infrastructure of the medium-scale ICT provider,
, with collaborating organizations being emulated. To
our knowledge, this is the first concrete implementation of the
interplay between the CE and IoT visions in the ICT domain.
The rest of the paper is organized as: Section 2 mentions
the related work in the field of CE and IoT. Section 3 sketches
the CE-IoT framework and the deployment on the ICT
organization. Sections 4 presents the machine learning and data
analytics procedures that enhance forecasting and the
establishment of green computing policies. Section 5 details
the decision making model and the administration of the CE
actions. Finally, Section 6 concludes and refers future work.
A. CE and IoT
CE review studies in [3] and [4] present the business
principles of the new initiative. Further CE models and
indicative examples are detailed in [5]. Smart devices and the
IoT ecosystem enable new forms of interaction and business
models. The transformation of the traditional market into a
service-oriented setting is now a fact. The integration of CE
and IoT further promotes such data-driven service-oriented
architectures (SoA) [8], [9]. Related cases are presented below,
deriving the various examples from innovative industrial
The tire company Michelin added Fleet Solutions [11], a
leasing application for EU trucking fleets, manner back in
2000. The business-to-business enterprise initiative leases "tire
services" per the kilometer, charging a flat fee that scales
primarily based on automobile type and distance pushed. The
organization states that the carrier reduces the risk of
fluctuating costs that include variability in tire performance,
purchase fees, and unpredictable damage costs from owning
the tires. Rather than requiring clients to pay prematurely for
the tire and fee of changing it, Michelin absorbs a number of
that risk.
Cars are from several perspectives one of the most beneath-
utilized sources in modern lifestyles. A research in Denmark
reveals that an average vehicle transports around 1.4 humans
on the street and spends about 23 hours per day taking up
parking space [12]. Empty automobile seats are the most
important excess ability within the shipping enterprise, and this
inefficiency has a poor impact at the environment and is
highly-priced for car proprietors. GoMore’s platform [13]
offers a provider that permits drivers to ask persons to join a
journey on an already planned course. This will increase the
quantity of people in vehicles and reduces the range of cars on
the streets, making automobile journeys greener and friendlier
for the environment. It results a travel solution that is
inexpensive for both the auto owner and the passenger. Given
that GoMore changed into mounted in 2005, more than 1
million users have visited and used the service. As an end
result, more than 300,000 seats have been bought only in
Denmark, making GoMore a European chief in combining
ridesharing and peer-to-peer vehicle condo, and Scandinavia’s
main commercial enterprise inside the sharing economy.
In 2014, the French train manufacturer Alstom commenced
imparting HealthHub [14], a predictive protection device that
monitors the health of trains, train infrastructure, and signaling
structures. It uses advanced information analytics to extend and
maintain the beneficial life of trains. HealthHub uses records to
capture and diagnose the degree of performance of wheels,
brake pads, and put on-and-tear-inclined pantograph carbon
strips (the framework that conveys currents to trains from
overhead wires).
The German organization MAN Truck & Bus is a main
international provider of commercial and transport vehicles to
companies. It offers support and advice with car design for
fleets, operations, infrastructure, carrier, and maintenance. Last
year, MAN rolled out a data-driven service to assist
commercial truck and bus fleets with the transition to low-
carbon transportation [15]. Specifically, the corporation is that
specialize in helping companies with challenges which
includes variety making plans, charging infrastructure and
battery swapping issues, capacity planning and loading times,
and considerations round heating and air-conditioning
B. Green ICT
On the other hand, ICT is one of the main contributors of
the financial system. The ICT infrastructure consumes the 3%
of the global energy and produces about 2% of the global CO
emissions [16]. The trend of green computing and networking
includes practices of selecting energy efficient computing
technologies and products, minimizing resource consumption
whenever possible [2]. The Climate Group and the Global
eSustainability Initiative estimated that such movements could
reduce the global emissions by 15%, achieving around an
eight-fold benefit comparing to carbon reduction expectations
In general, the green ICT paradigms try to reduce the
consumption of non-renewable resources (e.g. [7], [18], [19],
[20], [21]). The integration of the two domains [22], [23] tries
to provide efficiency along the supply chain for the involved
products [24], [25], offering better rental [26] and e-waste
services [27], [28]. New business models are then applicable
materializing the so called recycle-rewarding system (RRS),
like the e-waste management framework in [29].
In the current ICT setting, a typical business would use the
bought equipment and serve the customers’ operations. When a
damage occurs, the counterpart is either repaired or replaced by
a new one. The retired equipment is threw away or recycled. If
the company participates in a collaborative movement, the
machinery could be re-sold in a low price or gifted to an
organization in a third-world country. Such actions have led to
an important increase of the Internet users and the expansion of
the ICT sector in these countries [27]. On the other hand, the
problem of environmental pollution and electronic waste (E-
waste) has emerged. As these end-users do not have the
adequate capacity to repair occurring breakdowns of the
outdated equipment, it becomes useless and ends up in
stockpiles, landfills, or swamps [28].
The CE-IoT framework integrates the two sectors of CE
and IoT. The efficiency of this combinatory approach is tested
on the ICT industry. The case study that is presented in this
paper, details the appliance of the proposed setting on
Cablenet. Cablenet is a privately-owned company in Cyprus
that offers telecommunication and entertainment services to the
retail and corporate markets. The network capacity is
terminated in key European locations and operates a fully
redundant, self-healing ring in mainland Europe over multi-
10G capacity. Among the various Cablenet’s products and
services, CE-IoT is deployed and administrates a cloud
services platform that is offered to the end-customers. With
CE-IoT in place 6 main goals are accomplished:
1. The current host organization monitors the assets status
and maintains them regularly and proactively, avoiding
breakdowns and economic loss
2. Green computing is applied by promoting policies that
distribute the computational/communicational effort
among inactive intervals, limiting the equipment
overworking during peak periods
3. The damaged products are repaired or fabricated and
they are reused, extending their beneficial lifecycle
4. When the company performs a system upgrade, the
retired equipment is sold to startups or gifted in third-
world countries, contributing to the collaborative acts
5. If the equipment cannot be fixed, it is recycled, reusing
the available materials in order to manufacture new
6. The recycling organizations can gather information
from the involved parties in order to facilitate their
investment strategies closer to the end-consumer,
improving their operation
In this subsection, we present a preliminary implementation
of the CE-IoT framework on real devices and the deployment
on the cloud platform. The system is also applied in an
emulated supply chain of the telecommunication sector where
data are collected in real-time by IoT technologies and
decisions are taken automatically regarding the CE aspects of
the system’s maintenance and equipment supply.
A. The Cloud Services Platform
The evaluated cloud services platform is hosted on
Cablenet’s infrastructure and the provided services include: i)
hosted exchange email, ii) web hosting with personalized cloud
control panel, iii) cloud server and mini Virtual Private Server
(VPS), iv) cloud backup with support on workstations, servers,
and Virtual Machines (VMs), and v) Domain Name System
(DNS) hosting. The high-level architecture of Cablenet Cloud
Platform includes different parts as depicted in Fig. 1. More
precisely, the most significant parts compiling the platform
infrastructure and functionalities are listed below:
Cloud platform is deployed utilizing Cablenet’s
Datacenter Virtual Infrastructure (DVI). DVI is
physically protected by a number of protection
measures focusing on controlling physical access,
mitigating powerrelated risks, providing air
conditioning and fire suppression
One of the major roles on the provision of DVI is the
heavy-duty support by the Internet Protocol (IP) /
Network infrastructure, which is the backbone towards
providing high quality connectivity and resiliency for
the DVI cloud services
Backbone/Core network operates based on multi-10G
self-healing and fully meshed setup and provide
connectivity over IP Multiprotocol Label Switching
(MPLS) / Virtual Private Network (VPN) throughout all
points of Cablenet presence and beyond
Data access is provided via multi-10G redundant
connections towards the cloud blade center depending
on the data exchange traffic and needs, as well as in
similar manner storage is directly connected on the
cloud blade chassis for the storage/inventory
The DVI includes installations of several products and
components to provide its services and ensure their
security from an IT perspective, including Microsoft’s
Exchange server and tools for clustering and replication
such as the VMWare High Availability Cluster,
Microsoft Cluster Service on VMware vSphere and
VMware vSphere Replication
DVI’s set up includes also tools for security,
antimalware management, data encryption and secure
communications, as well as tools for managing the
quality and Security and privacy requirements operation
of the data center infrastructure (e.g., tools for executing
backup processes, identifying improvements to server
application or maintenance levels, adjusting parameters
and physical resources such as memory, CPU, disk).
Fig. 1. Cloud services platform architecture.
B. IoT Technologies
A popular choice for materializing an intelligent application
is the agent technologies (e.g. [30], [31], and [32]). Software
agents collect ambient information from the underlying
subsystems and manage them based on artificially intelligent
procedures. The most commonly utilized and supported
enabler is the Java Agent DEvelopment platform (JADE) [33].
For the semantic representation of the knowledge and
reasoning concepts, we select the Discrete Event Calculus
Knowledge Theory (DECKT) – an implementation of Event
Calculus (EC) in the rule engine Jess [34]. Reasoning is
formed as an agent’s behavior and is embodied in JADE
The various agents can also exchange knowledge. The FIPA
standardized Agent Communication Language (ACL) [35] is
selected for this purpose. The agents communicate well-
formed messages based on the ACL format containing events,
alarms, or other reports and notifications for the evaluated
C. CE Decision Making
In the telecom CE-IoT scenario, we deploy JADE agents for
administrating distinct subsystems of the examined
organization (the abovementioned cloud services platform
components). The agents receive messages from their
underlying IoT devices and process them based on the
DECKT-enabled reasoning process. These local agents are
close to the edge system and perform the required embedded
For this demonstration setting, the smart agents model the
Location, Condition, and Availability (LCA) perspectives of
the system. The agents are aware for each component’s
location, its working condition, and the availability. More
specifically, the three properties are determined as:
Location: the physical location of the component (i.e.
the room where a server is installed)
Condition: good or requiring maintenance, repair,
refurbishment, and recycling
Availability: working, ready for reuse, or broken
Once entered in the organization, the component’s location
is recorded by the system operator. Initially, it is of good
operational condition and is either placed and working
immediately or waits to be used. Nevertheless, when a
component is integrated in the system and performs the
desirable functionality, the operator determines the
maintenance strategy. Three maintenance types are defined as:
Periodic: implemented as a triggered event in the
accountable agent’s reasoning behavior after a specified
period (e.g. every three months)
Decay: the agent collects usage data for the component
and raises a maintenance event when it exceeds a
threshold (e.g. after 1000 hours of operation)
Or a combination of the two.
Meanwhile, if the component is broken, the operator specifies
the new condition as requiring repair/refurbishment/recycling
and the maintenance events are postponed. If the component is
repaired, the good operational condition is restored and the
component is available for reuse.
The local agents also exchange this information to similar
agents that are placed in the upper system layers and the
backend infrastructure that implement the high level business
intelligence. This includes, among others, the presentation of
integrated reports to the high level management or even the
automated communication with the relevant agents from
cooperated businesses and the planning of adequate and timely
equipment supplies.
Except from the LCA properties, the agents also gather the
data for the ML algorithms that enable the green computing
features. The ML procedures and detailed in the next section.
D. Scalability and Performance
As concerns the scalability and performance of the agent
artificial intelligence and reasoning, Jess implements an
efficient pattern matching method. The computational
complexity is linear to the working memory size, and more
specifically, it is strongly affected by the number of facts that
are required in order to model the components of the
underlying subsystem. In the examined scenario, each
component requires around 10-20 facts to be modelled,
resulting only in a low processing overhead in the nanosecond
range. Fig. 2 depicts the agent GUI, 4 emulated components
and the triggered event where the component C1 needs
Fig. 2. The CE-Iot agent GUI.
We demonstrate the proposed CE-IoT framework in an
emulated environment, where BeagleBone embedded devices
imitate the operation and the LCA properties of the
organization’s components. Totally, we deploy 4 devices that
communicate information to the relevant agent that runs on a
local computer. On average, it takes 57 ms to perform a
reasoning operation, requiring 40 MB RAM and 1.8 MB code
In this subsection, we further extend the main monitoring
framework with machine learning (ML) techniques (e.g. [36],
[37]). Lightweight ML algorithms at the edge process the
collected data from the local agents. Then, predictions are
made concerning the maintenance of the monitored assets.
Data analytics are also performed at the backend with
mainstream ML technologies enhancing the overall business
logic and the applied CE strategies.
A. Smart sensing and prediction
Smart monitoring/prediction is heavily based on the AI
embedded sensing platform used in the field (layer) to sense
the physical world, obtain the raw signals and thus, collecting
the data in a parallel fashion. These units also include self-
learning, self-adaptive, self-configuration, and self-
management capabilities. The platform utilizes a sophisticated
design methodology imposing a hierarchical, naturally
distributed, thus scalable, processing chain.
Towards this twofold direction (of monitoring and
prediction), the set of AI sensing units can be placed in the
specific locations of the ICT infrastructure measuring a wide
range of qualitative characteristics such as traffic load, CPU
usage, memory consumption, room temperature or humidity
etc. The robustness of the ICT network can be reflected in the
aforementioned parameters. Dependability could be
compromised by equipment aging, overworking, sudden
environmental conditions, etc. Those threats can lead to
failures resulting in significant economic losses.
The critical infrastructure is monitored through the AI
embedded sensing platform. The collected data are processed
locally and then transmitted to the upper IoT architecture
level, which includes a data center capable of further
analyzing the acquired information.
During monitoring, raw/physical data are collected and
processed (by each sensing unit) in a real-time fashion. It
should be highlighted that monitoring is strongly related with
event detection and thus, online machine learning algorithms
can be applied in order to identify specific abnormal patterns
within the streaming data. Moreover, feature extraction and
feature selection can be applied in each sensing unit (in a
distributed manner) to reveal the hidden inter-sensor data
information structure. The estimated features could then be
transmitted to the backend for further processing, i.e.,
performing event detection. Several off-the-shelf approaches
could be adopted for event or anomaly detection such as
Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), autoencoders, Long Short
Term Memory (LSTM) autoencoders, k-NN (nearest
neighbor), and Local Outlier Factor (LOF) ([38], [39]).
Moreover, data fusion-based event detection algorithms could
be devised to achieve higher detection rates by exploiting
multisensory data fusion.
As aforementioned, the analyzed data are sent to the
backend for prediction purposes. The aggregated data can be
exploited for long-term prediction towards identifying specific
time of failures, estimating the parts of the infrastructure that
are about to malfunction and in general ensuring that potential
problems are discovered well before they actually occur.
Prediction of critical events can be performed using decision
trees, support vector machines (SVMs), deep learning and
other machine learning time-series forecasting/prediction
techniques ([38], [39]).
It is obvious from the description above that monitoring is
taking place at the edge of the IoT system related with online,
real-time detection, while prediction is related to short or long-
term estimation of critical events. The extracted special data
transferred from the lower edge level to the upper cloud/data
center level can be used for prediction. However, continuous
data aggregation can be exploited to retrain the predictor and
an updated version of the monitoring algorithm can be
obtained by sending down data that are computed during the
prediction procedure. As a result, this information from the
upper level can be used to obtain an updated robust
monitoring version at the edge level, since we can determine
what type of sensed data is needed to be acted on quickly and
what can be analyzed at a later time. In some cases, it may be
determined that certain data points are not worth capturing and
analyzing at all, particularly in instances where enormous
amounts of data are being generated.
The outcome of the local computations is a decision on how
to act in case of a detected event. In some cases, the decision
making is going to be affected by the feedback from the
backend as a result of a long-term monitoring and prediction
procedure of the whole system. The expected long-term
outcome is to minimize the risk of infrastructure failure and
accomplish an unobstructed operation.
Finally, the stakeholders can update the policy accordingly
if needed and disseminate it in a top-bottom fashion though
the IoT system. More specific, stakeholders such as IoT
vendors or service providers can exploit the processed data in
order e.g. to replace failed or malfunctioned IoT equipment
which is critical for the smart infrastructure
monitoring/prediction capabilities.
V. B
The CE-IoT framework implements a utility-driven
operation by exploiting the aforementioned smart sensing and
data analysis procedures. A decision support system (DSS) is
utilized for this purpose. The Analytic-Synthetic method,
called Stochastic UTA (UTilites Additives – Additive utility)
[40], evaluates and rates the alternative choices (Sell, Dispose,
Repair). The utilization method is described below.
A. The CE decision making model
The presented stochastic method is used in the
interconnected environment with sensors/monitors on the
products sending data about their lifecycle to the backend. The
CE-IoT collects information about the “health” of each product
and diagnoses if it needs ‘repair’, ‘buy new’ or ‘sold as an asset
to another consumer’. The products are considered as assets
and can reentered to the CE with a price depending from the
market request.
The CE-IoT agents send data to a server which also collects
data from other CE users and from the market. These data are
used by the DSS using the Analytic-Synthetic approach in
which a Decision Maker has to take the Decision. As is shown
in Fig. 3, a product is considered as an asset. The
consumers/businesses buy this product due to their needs.
Fig. 3. The CE-IoT business model for a single user.
The Stochastic Method is applied when we want to create a
Hierarchy Model for our decisions. The Stochastic UTA
method implements this Analytic-Synthetic approach [40]. The
philosophy of this approach in the context of the multi-criteria
analysis lies in the estimation of a preference model, which
emerges as a conclusion from a given expression of the overall
preference on alternative activities. The aim is to provide
support for decision-making actions using operational models
In the traditional form of the synthetic approach followed
by the majority of the multi-criteria analysis problems, the
composition model of the individual criteria is a priori known,
while the overall preference is unknown [40].
The Stochastic UTA method exhibits the total utility of
each of the three alternatives: sell, buy or repair. The decision
maker takes the final decision about what to do with the
product. Also, indexes are included that reveal the stability of
the proposed model, like the Average Stability Index [40].
Fig. 4 illustrates an emulated iteration of the CE-IoT loop.
As aforementioned our organization (Cablenet) uses its
equipment to serve end-customers. When the system is
upgraded, the related machinery is sold to start-ups in UK.
Similarly, these companies can re-sell the CE assets when their
utility goes beyond a threshold. Afterwards, the assets are
gifted to third-world countries that use older technologies in
their networks. When the products are no longer working, they
are recycled in businesses that are close to these areas. Finally,
a subset of useful materials are exported back to the
manufacturers and the loop starts again.
Fig. 4. The CE-IoT emulated application.
The ongoing interplay of the CE and IoT sectors enables
new business opportunities while promoting green
technologies. This paper presents the CE-IoT framework,
which forms an enhanced recycle-rewarding system for ICT
organizations. Except from recycling, the overall approach
extends the productive period of the electronic assets, enhances
the e-waste management, and improves the economic
operations of the involved stakeholders. A preliminary
implementation on a real equipment is detailed, which also
involves AI, ML, and DSSs. The CE-IoT is applied on a
medium-size ICT provider and the overall trace of a real
supply-chain scenario is described. The ML techniques
promote green computing/networking policies on the
organization that currently operates the valuable assets, while
the AI and DSS procedures administrate the CE-IoT
functionality and provide valuable insights for the decision
making staff.
However, as the cooperating organizations exchange the
CE assets, we need a transparent way to administrated and
authorize the performed actions. Thus, the usage of
blockchains as a distributed ledger that will maintain this
information is considered as future work.
This work has received funding from the European Union
Horizon’s 2020 research and innovation programme H2020-
DS-SC7-2017, under grant agreement No. 786890 (THREAT-
ARREST), as well as the Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions
(MSCA) Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE),
H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017, under grant agreements No.
777855 (CE-IoT) and No. 778229 (Ideal Cities).
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... Further, they did not inherently consider the co-existence and potential of 5G networks, nor did they feature cross-layer reasoning capabilities, separating edge, network and backend assets and properties. Furthermore, they have not, at the time of writing, defined patterns for all properties and sub-properties, while early implementations were limited in scope, not spanning cross-layer interactions, and relying on a different approach for property reasoning, based on Event Calculus (Hatzivasilis et al., 2019). ...
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The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, applications and services gradually transform our everyday lives. In parallel, the transition from linear to circular economic (CE) models provide an even more fertile ground for novel types of services, and the update and enrichment of legacy ones. To fully realize the potential of the interplay between IoT and CE, the design-time definition of IoT orchestrations with proven circularity properties, and the run-time management of these orchestrations based on said properties, is of paramount importance. Nevertheless, the circularity requirements and associated properties are not only difficult to achieve at the IoT orchestration design and deployment initialization phases, but also hard to prove and maintain at run-time. Motivated by this, this paper presents the CIRCE framework for circular and trustworthy by-design IoT orchestrations. The CIRCE approach leverages concepts from pattern-driven engineering, whereby patterns are used to encode proven dependencies between the Location, Condition, and Availability (LCA) properties of individual smart objects and corresponding properties of orchestrations (compositions) involving them. These are augmented by patterns encoding trustworthiness-related properties, namely Connectivity, Security, Privacy, Dependability, and Interoperability (CSPDI). Thereby, these patterns are used to generate IoT orchestrations with proven LCA and CSPDI properties, as needed, at design time. At runtime, these properties are monitored in real-time, leveraging reasoning engines deployed across system layers, triggering adaptations to return the deployed orchestration to the desired LCA and CSPDI states, when required. Details are provided on the above novel combination of IoT, CE and pattern-based engineering, along with a proposed architecture and implementation approach. Furthermore, an assessment of a proof-of-concept implementation is provided, validating the feasibility of the proposed approach.
... However, institutional pressures generally enable the adoption of digitalisation technologies and CE practices (Bag et al., 2021). This section outlines, in particular, the prominent digitalisation technologies and how they uniquely influence organisational transformation towards CE (see IoT is the main enabler of the integration of processes with other technologies, which, in turns, enhances circularity (Hatzivasilis et al., 2019). IoT bolsters CE initiatives by supporting data-driven solutions for optimisation (C. ...
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The circular economy (CE) has the potential to capitalise upon emerging digital technologies, such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the Internet of things (IoT), amongst others. These digital technologies combined with business model innovation are deemed to provide solutions to myriad problems in the world, including those related to circular economy transformation. Given the societal and practical importance of CE and digitalisation, last decade has witnessed a significant increase in academic publication on these topics. Therefore, this study aims to capture the essence of the scholarly work at the intersection of the CE and digital technologies. A detailed analysis of the literature based on emerging themes was conducted with a focus on illuminating the path of CE implementation. The results reveal that IoT and AI play a key role in the transition towards the CE. A multitude of studies focus on barriers to digitalisation-led CE transition and highlight policy-related issues, the lack of predictability, psychological issues and information vulnerability as some important barriers. In addition, product-service system (PSS) has been acknowledged as an important business model innovation for achieving the digitalisation enabled CE. Through a detailed assessment of the existing literature, a viable systems-based framework for digitalisation enabled CE has been developed which show the literature linkages amongst the emerging research streams and provide novel insights regarding the realisation of CE benefits.
... George Hatzivasilis [18] proposes the CE-IoT framework that materializes the CE business model and the integration with the IoT infrastructure which is quite generic and applicable in various CE-IoT settings. Decision Support Systems (DSS) are parsed with the outcome that represented the organization's administration strategy. ...
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Green computing is considered to the procedure of designing, manufacturing, using the products and managing them in a correct way to minimize the hazards from the environment. Ewaste has become an emerging concern in the whole environment. The utilization of e-waste has become a nonavoidable problem that the environment and ecology face. This paper focuses on the description of e-waste management for implementing green computing. This paper helps out the reader to get knowledge about e-waste management and green computing and how they can influence each other in the activation process. Therefore, E-waste management is working as an approach to green computing.
... Cuttingedge technologies, such as the ones showcased in Fig. 1 , are revolutionizing the way corporations operate their manufacturing lines. There is a growing investment in the optimization of the operating systems, transforming the industrial environment in high-tech data-driven installations interconnected by communication devices ( Bai et al., 2020 ;Hatzivasilis et al., 2019 ;Manavalan and Jayakrishna, 2019 ). In this new framework, excess in the use of resources, energy, and waste generation are minimalized by data gathering and monitoring, which indicates a convergence with the CE principles of reducing raw resource use and designing out waste and pollution ( Andrews, 2015 ;Inoue et al., 2020 ) Additionally, CE goes beyond sustainable production and acts on responsible consumption as well. ...
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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are an interconnected strategy for the promotion of sustainable practices and solutions that addresses the main issues faced by our society. Concomitantly, two emerging topics are currently gaining interest due to their potential to implement systematic shifts and contribute to achieving the SDG-Circular Economy (CE) and Industry 4.0 (I4.0). This research performed a systematic literature review to identify how the CE-I4.0 nexus, the combination of CE practices and I4.0 technologies, could contribute to achieving the SDG. A total of 50 peer-review articles that addressed the simultaneous or individual link between CE and I4.0 to sustainability form the review portfolio. The articles were first screened with regard to the I4.0 technologies and CE practices applied, and further analyzed in order to understand the stronger links to the SDG. Findings show that the CE-I4.0 nexus directly benefits SDG 7, SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 11, SDG 12, and SDG 13. The specific targets addressed by the combined implementation of CE practices and I4.0 technologies are disclosed and discussed. We argue that the CE-I4.0 nexus is pivotal in the endeavors to reach the SDG, as it connects innovative technologies with novel circular production and business models, which ultimately brings the opportunity to tackle the SDG targets intensified in this study. Further research could quantitatively address the impacts of the CE-I4.0 nexus, investigate secondary effects on the SDG, or develop further case studies under the CE-I4.0 umbrella.
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Implementing a circular economy business model which is profitable for businesses operating physical assets, while at the same time does not conflict with strategic goals of environmental policies can be a complex and risky undertaking for a single entity, especially if the asset operator is a small-to-medium enterprise (SMEs). To mitigate this, a collaborative circular economy business model is proposed, where the circular economy cycle is materialized by assets transitioning between asset operators on a demand-driven approach. Demand itself is partially based on the asset's state, which is described by its circular properties (location, condition, availability). The asset state and its transition between operators can be monitored by auditors and governmental regulators to ensure asset integrity and compliance with environmental targets. This common view of asset state between all parties can be enabled by blockchains and smart contracts, which can provide the underlying technology to share data with integrity, while simultaneously offering more efficient interoperability between participants. To demonstrate how this could be achieved, a conceptual asset record access and sharing mechanism is presented which is suitable for regulated environmental jurisdictions.
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The paper provides an overview of the literature on Circular Economy (CE) theoretical approaches, strategies and implementation cases. After analyzing different CE approaches and the underlying principles the paper then proceeds with the main goal of developing tools for CE implementation. Two tools are presented. The first is a CE Strategies Database, which includes 45 CE strategies that are applicable to different parts of the value chain. The second is a CE Implementation Database, which includes over 100 case studies categorized by Scope, Parts of the Value Chain that are involved, as well as by the used Strategy and Implementation Level. An analysis of the state of the art in CE implementation is also included in the paper. One of the observations from the analysis is that while such Parts of the Value Chain as Recovery/Recycling and Consumption/Use are prominently featured, others, including Manufacturing and Distribution, are rarely involved in CE. On the other hand, the Implementation Levels of the used Strategies indicate that many market-ready solutions exist already. The Scope of current CE implementation considers selected products, materials and sectors, while system changes to economy are rarely suggested. Finally, the CE monitoring methods and suggestions for future development are also discussed in this paper. The analysis of the theoretical approaches can serve as an introduction to CE concept, while the developed tools can be instrumental for designing new CE cases.
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In this paper, a survey of the literature of the past fifteen years involving Machine Learning (ML) algorithms applied to self organizing cellular networks is performed. In order for future networks to overcome the current limitations and address the issues of current cellular systems, it is clear that more intelligence needs to be deployed, so that a fully autonomous and flexible network can be enabled. This paper focuses on the learning perspective of Self Organizing Networks (SON) solutions and provides, not only an overview of the most common ML techniques encountered in cellular networks, but also manages to classify each paper in terms of its learning solution, while also giving some examples. The authors also classify each paper in terms of its self-organizing use-case and discuss how each proposed solution performed. In addition, a comparison between the most commonly found ML algorithms in terms of certain SON metrics is performed and general guidelines on when to choose each ML algorithm for each SON function are proposed. Lastly, this work also provides future research directions and new paradigms that the use of more robust and intelligent algorithms, together with data gathered by operators, can bring to the cellular networks domain and fully enable the concept of SON in the near future.
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The need to manage embedded systems, brought forward by the wider adoption of pervasive computing, is particularly vital in the context of secure and safety-critical applications. Technology infiltrates in ordinary things, hitching intelligence and materializing smart systems. Each of these individual entities monitors a specific set of parameters and deduces a constrained local view of the surrounding environment. Many distributed devices exchange information in order to infer the real system state and achieve a consistent global view. However, conflicts may arise due to the integration of deficit pieces of local knowledge. Robust and efficient conflict resolution is essential, especial in cases of emergency where the system must contribute with timely and accurate data to the overall crisis management operation. In this paper, we present AmbISPDM - a formal framework for the management of embedded systems with a coherent conflict resolution mechanism. The process is implemented as a software agent's reasoning behaviour and applied in the multi-agent domain. As a proof of concept, a smart university campus setting is deployed, with agents controlling embedded devices to assist living conditions in normal operation and the evacuation planning in case of fire.
Conference Paper
This paper highlights the interplay between Circular Economy and Internet of Things, and identifies novel ways in which this interaction can drastically change the nature of products, services, business models and ecosystems. It emphasizes the potential of novel circular economy business models and service supply chains to unlock synergies in order to generate direct value for customers/end-users and to augment resource productivity across economies. Furthermore, we sketch an open, circular-by-design IoT architecture, where "smart" IoT objects are integrated in the IoT ecosystem with proven key circularity-enabling properties to maximize IoT resource and data harvesting in a new breed of circular-by-design IoT ecosystems.
Circular economy (CE) is a sustainable development strategy that is being proposed to tackle urgent problems of environmental degradation and resource scarcity. CE's 3R principles are to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. This study is a review of the rapidly growing literature on CE covering its concept and current practices and assessing its implementation. The review also serves as an assessment of the design, implementation and effectiveness of CE-related policies. It first presents the concept of CE and compares it with the current linear economy. The paper then introduces current practices that have been introduced and discusses standards for the assessment of CE's development and performance. Third, based on an analysis of literature, the paper identifies the underlying problems and challenges to CE in an entrepreneurial perspective. Finally, the review provides a conclusion on CE's current development and gives policy suggestions for its future development.
Circular Economy has undoubtedly become one of the hot topics in public debates about new and more sustainable industrial paradigms and strategies. In this respect, the fashion of Circular Economy is in the fact that it aims at overcoming the dominant linear take, make, disposal economy model, i.e. “a traditional open-ended economy model developed with no built-in tendency to recycle, which is reflected by treating the environment as a waste reservoir” (Su et al., 2013). Circular Economy, indeed, bases on the establishment of closed production systems, where resources are reused and kept in a loop of production and usage, allowing generating more value and for a longer period. Despite the interest for Circular Economy by politicians and practitioners, scholars, particularly in the strategic management field, are still struggling with a lack of a framework explaining how companies willing to become circular adapt their existing business model or create a new one. By extensively reviewing, through the lens of business model literature, the extant contributions on Circular Economy, we propose a taxonomy of Circular Economy Business Models based on the degree of adoption of circularity along two major dimensions: (i) the customer value proposition & interface, i.e. the implementation of the circularity concept in proposing value to customers; (ii) the value network, i.e. the ways through which interacting with suppliers and reorganizing the own internal activities. The taxonomy is then initially tested through some explorative case studies, showing in practice the ability of the framework to properly distinguish different modes of adoption of Circular Economy.
In the last few years, the circular economy has attracted increasing attention as a way to overcome the problems of the current production and consumption model based on continuous growth and increasing resource throughput. A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. Although supply chains are the key unit of action in the change towards a circular economy, the academic literature on supply chain management approaches in a circular economy is very much in its infancy. However, two distinct literature streams, namely sustainable supply chain management and product service systems, seem to offer valuable insights into the investigation of supply chain management in a circular economy. The aim of this paper is to analyse the main characteristics and challenges of supply chain management in a circular economy and identify how these two literature streams can contribute to researching it.