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Abstract and Figures

Objects recognition is a necessary task in smart city environments. This recognition can be used in processes such as the reconstruction of the environment map or the intelligent navigation of vehicles. This paper proposes an architecture that integrates heterogeneous distributed information to recognize objects in intelligent environments. The architecture is based on the IoT / Industry 4.0 model to interconnect the devices, called Smart Resources. Smart Resources can process local sensor data and send information to other devices. These other devices can be located in the same operating range, the Edge, in the same intranet, the Fog, or on the Internet, the Cloud. Smart Resources must have an intelligent layer in order to be able to process the information. A system with two Smart Resources equipped with different image sensors has been implemented to validate the architecture. Experiments show that the integration of information increases the certainty in the recognition of objects between 2\% and 4\%. Consequently, in the field of intelligent environments, it seems appropriate to provide the devices with intelligence, but also capabilities to collaborate closely with other devices.
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Smart Resources for Smart Cities: Distributed
Architecture to Integrate Sensor Information
Jose-Luis Poza-Lujan 1,†* , Juan-Luis Posadas-Yagüe 1,† ,Jose E. Simó1,† and Francisco Blanes
University Institute of Control Systems and Industrial Computing (ai2). Universitat Politècnica de València
(UPV) Camino de Vera, s/n. 46022 Valencia (Spain);,,,
* Correspondence:; Tel.: +34-963877000 (J.P.)
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Objects recognition is a necessary task in smart city environments. This recognition can be
used in processes such as the reconstruction of the environment map or the intelligent navigation of
vehicles. This paper proposes an architecture that integrates heterogeneous distributed information
to recognize objects in intelligent environments. The architecture is based on the IoT / Industry 4.0
model to interconnect the devices, called Smart Resources. Smart Resources can process local sensor
data and send information to other devices. These other devices can be located in the same operating
range, the Edge, in the same intranet, the Fog, or on the Internet, the Cloud. Smart Resources must
have an intelligent layer in order to be able to process the information. A system with two Smart
Resources equipped with different image sensors has been implemented to validate the architecture.
Experiments show that the integration of information increases the certainty in the recognition of
objects between 2% and 4%. Consequently, in intelligent environments, it seems appropriate to
provide the devices with intelligence, but also capabilities to collaborate closely with other devices.
Smart Environment, Smart Sensors, Distributed Architectures, Object Detection,
Information Integration
1. Introduction15
The growth of cities has given rise to an environment populated by increasingly intelligent
and more connected devices. Practically all of them have sensors and actuators with very different
Classically, each one of these devices with sensors and actuators can be considered as a control
node. However, because of devices are connected between them and they can communicate to
share their resources, the concept of control node can change to the concept of intelligent resource
that provides services to the rest of the devices [
]. In addition, heterogeneous devices provide
complementary information that can be used to enrich the knowledge. Consequently, a distributed
system in which the devices are intelligent can be defined as an intelligent system or Smart System
]. Smart systems perform their tasks in dynamic environments with multiple features and changing
conditions. Urban environments are an example of dynamic systems, not predictable, in order to apply
intelligent systems.27
Therefore, the continuous and accurate knowledge of the environment is necessary to provide
autonomy and interact. Subsystems such as robots or vehicles navigation need to know the
environment to perform their tasks such as the planning of trajectories or the execution of missions
]. Most urban systems are based on devices with many sensors. A device with many sensors may
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be overloaded, or its sensors can be used very sporadically, with the consequent loss of efficiency. To
reduce the load on each device, it is important to be able to exchange sensory information between
them. For this, devices have to communicate not only with the devices of their own semantic level, but
with any element of the system. It is for this reason that devices in smart cities could be decoupled
from any hierarchy. Consequently, smart city architectures can be organised according to the amount of
information and frequency of exchange of such information. Therefore, interacting at the information
level instead of at the sensor level facilitates the intelligence of the system.38
The fact that the elements of the system can exchange information between them, decoupling
their location in the hierarchy of the architecture, has led to the emergence of new paradigms (Figure
1). These paradigms and standard architectures organise the components depending on dimensions
according to the amount of data with which they work, to the geographical scope, or to the immediacy
(real time) of the messages and responses of control [
]. Based on the dimensions proposed in [
the Industry 4.0 or Internet of Things (IoT) models stand out as very suitable for the design of any
system that provides intelligence to a city. The Reference Architectural Model Industry 4.0 (RAMI 4.0)
] is based on "smart products", which the IoT [
] model places in a layer called "Edge". Examples
of these products range from robots in an assembly line to smart street lamps that optimise energy
consumption. These devices have a scope of sensorization and action of the order of a few meters, and
a very fast reaction. When several devices of the Edge level communicate or interact on a wider level,
spatially or temporarily, it is called the smart factory or platform level. For example, when monitoring
the performance of all robots in an assembly line or when managing the lighting of an entire city.
Finally, when the devices are connected to exchange large amounts of data or there is a longer-term
reaction, it is called a connected world, the business level or the well-known concept of "cloud". The
control architectures of smart cities fit perfectly into these models [7].54
Figure 1. Architecture models in smart cities
The paradigms shown in Figure 1coincide in organizing the elements according to the level of
information or the frequency of access, rather than a dependence on the physical or logical topology.
Therefore, this article proposes a collaboration model for object recognition whose location and models
are in the Edge layer.58
The recognition of objects is one of the usual functionalities required by the elements of an
intelligent city. For example, vehicles need to recognise traffic signals for autonomous driving [
Other applications of the detection of objects in cities are the detection of people [
] or the detection of
vehicles [10], generally to improve road safety or the comfort of citizens.62
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Sensors can help to know the environment by detecting objects and some of their characteristics.
However, when the objects detected have to be classified and recognised, a set of patterns with which
to compare [
] is necessary. For example, the shape of a box can be detected by means of a 3D sensor,
but the same box can have different textures, so it is also necessary other type of sensor, for example an
RGB sensor, to recognise what type the box is. Therefore, using heterogeneous sensors to detect and
recognise the objects placed in an environment can increase the probability of success recognising the
right object. When working with heterogeneous sensors, their information must be merged, usually
remotely creating sensor networks [
]. As a summary, acquiring characteristics of the environment to
associate them with specific objects implies a sequence of actions shown in the Figure 2.71
Figure 2.
Overview of the components of the recognition process in the integration of sensory
The inclusion of object detection in the environment map adds a difficulty and force the use of
advanced sensors. Consequently, when there are many sensors the data fusion depends on the fusion
mechanism [
]. Once a certain precision in the detection of the object and its characteristics has been
achieved, it should be possible to classify the object [
]. The classification of the object requires the
use of patterns in order to compare the percentage of similarity [
]. Therefore, in an object recognition
system, a database of patterns is necessary. In the current models presented in Figure 1, the different
components of the process presented in Figure 1can be located at any level. The sensors belong to the
Edge, while classification and integration are processes that can be on the local device (Edge), on any
nearby device (Fog) or on dedicated servers (Cloud).80
The addition of micro-controllers and micro-processors to the sensors devices, has increased the81
information capacity that sensors can provide. These devices are usually called respectively smart, or
intelligent sensors [
]. When the sensor includes some advanced processing and, in some occasions,
actuators, some authors call them smart devices [
]. Adding communication interfaces allows smart
devices to share information and, consequently increase the knowledge of the environment. The use of
smart devices is growing from the environment like Smart cities [
] to the concept of Smart Objects
when these devices are included into the daily life of people [19]87
Consequently, the current situation is that sensors can send processed information rather than
raw data. The result is that sensor networks become into distributed systems that integrate sensor
information in order to take advantage of the processed information [
]. When there are different
distributed devices, there are some interesting problems to solve. One of the problems is to achieve
a balance between the number of devices used and the correct use of their sensors. That is, when a
new device is introduced, its sensors should help increase the probability of success when detecting
and recognising an object. Consequently, the composition and connection between the devices will
determine how to recognise the objects. For example, two devices with an RGB sensor can recognise
the same texture with a similar probability. However, the probability of success could increase by
using another type of sensor which reinforces the process, for example, a thermal camera that can
distinguish between different ink types. The diversity of available sensors is especially relevant in
smart cities. In the same street, it is possible to find traffic cameras at fixed points, but also navigation
cameras in vehicles. Both types of cameras can cooperate for the identification of objects on the tracks.
In this way, it is possible to access a system that allows to distinguish between authorised objects (such
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as cleaning and work temporal signals) and objects not allowed (such as garbage or even potentially
dangerous objects).103
To study how different types of devices can cooperate, the Smart Resource model used in previous
researches has been used [
]. Smart resources allow high connection flexibility since the features
are offered as services. Services offered depend on the available sensors and the computing capacity
of each smart resource. Clients determine the necessary services, establishing a connection topology
depending on their needs. For example, in the case of a smart resource that detects and identifies
an object with a high probability, more information to corroborate the identified object could not be
required. However, if the probability is low, the smart resource will need other measurements from
other sensors that allow to increase the probability to identify successfully the object.111
Figure 3shows an example in which various devices have to detect objects in an urban
environment. If both vehicles have cameras, they will be able to detect objects based on the patterns
they have and the type of camera. When the vehicles are in a nearby environment, they will be able to
dialogue in order to increase the certainty of their observations. In this way, if the driver of the bike
is interested in looking for a waster bin and the electric scooter has recognised the object with more
certainty, the electric scooter will be able to facilitate the location of the waster bin to the driver of the
Figure 3.
Urban environment in which various smart devices can collaborate in order to detect objects
more accurately
Integration of sensory information is produced along with all levels of the architecture and
provides a layer over sensory fusion to enrich the semantic meaning of the information provided to
other components. Research into the integration of sensory information is based on the enrichment
of the semantic meaning of the information depending on the architecture level where is integrated.
The more architecture level, the more semantic meaning. For example, in the lower level of the
architecture could be interesting to provide all the values of a temperature sensor but in a higher level
the interesting information could be the average of these values and its comparison with the values
of other temperature sensors. Sensory information is shared by the components of the architecture
transparently to their location. Components could be close or located in the cloud. Therefore, it
is interesting to study how the functionalities offered by the system devices improve through the
integration of sensory information.129
The aim of this paper is to present the study and implementation of a solution to integrate sensory
information in order to increase certainty in the object recognition process. Currently, the elements of
smart cities are increasing their capacity of processing and communication. Therefore, it is interesting
to study how the efficiency of the systems can improve when their heterogeneous elements collaborate
in order to integrate the information they have.134
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Paper has been organised as follow. Once the aim of the investigation has been contextualised,
section 2, materials and methods, describes the proposed architecture and its classification according136
to the models presented above. Next, the system implemented with their sensors and methods is
presented. The section 3 presents the scenario on which the system has been tested and the results of
the experiments performed for the recognition of two different objects. The results obtained verify
how the integration of information from the services provided by the smart resources improves the
accuracy to detect objects. Next, section 4 of Discussion analyses the results and the repercussions
of the proposed architecture. Finally, the conclusions are drawn and some of the future lines to be
developed are presented.143
2. Materials and Methods144
2.1. System Architecture145
According to the concept of cloud, fog and edge computing, and the need to have elements
capable of interacting between all layers, an architecture has been designed whose components are
based on the Smart Resources (Figure 4).148
Figure 4.
Concept and components of an Smart Resource. From interaction with the physical world
(left) to interaction with the rest of the system (right)
An intelligent resource is defined as an element of intelligent control that offers its capabilities for
interaction with the environment through services. As an intelligent control element, it has a direct
connection to the physical environment through a set of sensors and actuators. In order to carry out
the control actions, the smart resource has the functions of acquisition, reactive processing and action.
Up to this point, a smart resource does not differ from a control node. For example, a traffic light
with a VGA camera, a set of relays to control the light, and an Arduino Microcontroller with network
connection constitute a control node. The role of the microcontroller is to acquire and transmit images,
and to receive orders to turn on or off the lights. However, depending on the processing capacity of
the smart resource and the functionalities it offers, there will be a set of processes with a higher level of
intelligence. If the previous device was provided with a more powerful microprocessor that allows, for
example, to store a history to infer the evolution of traffic, or to detect the number of vehicles waiting,
it would be a Smart Resource. These advanced features are offered through services to other Smart
Resources or system elements.161
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Figure 5.
Location of the Smart Resources in the architecture. Edge interaction is possible when smart
resources are physically in contact, that is, they overlap their operating ranges. The interaction in the
Fog allows communication with real-time restrictions between Smart Resources without the need to
share the physical space. The cloud interaction allows connection to other components and data servers
without real-time restrictions.
One of the characteristics of smart city architectures is the interconnection capacity between
elements or components. Connections between elements must be transparent to their location in the
fog or in the cloud. A Smart Resource can have a communications system that allows connections at
both the cloud and fog levels, or even at the edge level. In this last case, smart resources are physically
very close (direct contact on the Edge) and the communication channels used are specific, such as
Bluetooth or direct connection such as I2C.167
Previously, has been discussed the importance of having mechanisms for semantic information
conversion. For example, when a big number of calculations are required on a historical archive of
temperature samples to obtain an daily average or predict a trend with a time horizon of one day.
These semantic conversions require knowledge (for example the temperatures history found in the
Cloud), and some data found directly within the smart resources. The element that allows semantic
conversions between Fog and Cloud, is called the Semantic Gateway. The Semantic Gateway acts as a
broker that can provide information to the Edge.174
Connections in the Edge are possible when two smart resources are in the same physical space or
operating range. This operating range is defined as the physical space where the sensors and actuators
of an Smart Resource interact. For example, when a person rides on a bicycle, the sensors of the bicycle
can connect and collaborate with the sensors of the person. The position sensors of a mobile device
of the cyclist can collaborate with a camera installed on the bicycle to transmit the route or recognise
objects. This collaboration is interesting because the same device can collaborate with other devices
during different intervals of time. Therefore, a communication protocol that allows the collaboration
between heterogeneous devices is necessary. Figure 6shows the proposed protocol oriented to services.
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Figure 6.
Communication protocol diagram between two Smart Resources at the Edge level
The diagram in figure 6is placed into the application level. When two smart resources have
been connected, both offer their services by exchanging a JSON message. A smart resource i offers its
services to another smart resource j. When the smart resource j requires a service of the smart resource
i, it will request it and the smart resource i will generate a response with the result or information
provided by the service. That response could include an action, too.188
At the Fog level, a channel with connection management is necessary, which allows
communication between elements independent their location. The Publish-Subscribe [
] paradigm
is one of the most suitable since it allows to uncouple physically the devices involved in the
communication and connect each device to the information that they are interested in. Communications
system used is the CKMultiPeer, described in [
], CKMultiPeer is based in the Data Distribution
Service (DDS) model, widely used in critical distributed systems [
]. Communication through
CKMultipeer is done through Topics. A topic is a common communication space in which information
can be published. The element that publishes the information writes the data in a specific Topic.
The elements that wish to know the information of the Topic, subscribe to this Topic and, when the
information changes, they receive a message with the new data.198
The communication protocol between two smart resources using the CKMultipeer at the Fog level
is shown in detail in the figure 7200
Figure 7.
Communication protocol diagram between the CKMultipeer broker and the Smart Resources
at the Fog level (
The communication protocol at the Fog level is based on the publish-subscriber paradigm. The
exchange of services is carried out through topics and the Smart Resources interact decoupled. First, the
Smart Resources request at the Fog the list of available Topics through the broker called CKMultipeer.
As a result, they receive a JSON file with the list of services offered, features and service quality
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parameters [
]. When the Smart Resource j requires a service, it subscribes to the associated topic
through the CKMultipeer broker. CKMultipeer is responsible to send automatically to subscribers all
information published in the topics. When the smart resource, that provides the service required (smart
resource i, in the figure 7), publishes new information in the associated topic, the CKMultipeer notifies
and sends the new information to all smart resources subscribed. Subscribers read asynchronously the
information, that is, by means of a notifications model based on events. When the smart resource j does
not need to receive more information, it can unsubscribe from the corresponding topic. Additionally,
Smart Resources can read any topic synchronously without any subscription.212
2.2. Smart resource-based object recognition213
As described in the previous section, the classification and integration steps imply the use of
patterns and the decision is based on the probabilities of each pattern provided from the different
sensors. The process is described in Figure 8.216
Figure 8.
Smart Resources scheme and connection with the patterns for object recognition based on the
analysis of the similarity between measurements and patterns.
Taking into account that each object j has a specific pattern from each type of sensor i. A pattern is
built with the object characteristics detected from a type of sensor. If the whole process was centralised,
each device should have access to as many sensors as possible, and the patterns to compare with those
sensors. The storage load of all the patterns and the processing load of all the sensors in the same
device could be too much. In addition, in the case that a sensor obtains a very high probability with a
specific object pattern, it would be not necessary to continue processing more sensors, unless a 100 %
certainty was required. Therefore, a distributed system can be an adequate and efficient solution [
In this system, only when a device has a low certainty in the recognition of an object, it should request
more results from other devices that have recognised that object. So, a device A needs to have only
the patterns of the sensors used. The device A should be able to consult a device B about an object, in
order to reinforce the probability of the recognised object. In order to distribute the object recognition
process, a system based on distributed intelligent devices, called Smart Resources, has been developed.
The smart resource model is described in [
]. A smart resource is an extension of a smart device,
that offers services to the others system elements. For example, in the system described in the next
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section, smart resources offer as a services, among others, their position in the map, and the probability
detected for each pattern.232
In order to communicate the devices, a communication system is needed that allows the
subscription to specific services, offering a balanced network load. For example, in the Figure 8,
the object of pattern 1 may have associated the sensors type 1, 2, and 3. But if there is a device that
only has a sensor type 1 and 2, and another device with the type 3 sensor, it is convenient for both
devices to send and receive information of a type of pattern and not of a specific device.237
The communication system allows a device to connect to a source of information (the pattern
of a specific object) from which to obtain data that can reinforce the identification of a specific object,
fulfilling the requirements mentioned above.240
2.3. System implemented241
To validate the architecture and test the operation of smart resources a system with two smart
resources has been implemented.243
Figure 9.
The case study used in the experiments. The vehicles are replaced by autonomous robots and
street objects replaced by boxes. The robots can be controlled better than a real bike or scooter, this
allows the experiment to be replicated.
System is shown in figure 10. Two robots Turtlebot [
] carry on the smart resources. Any smart
resource is composed by one BeagleBone [
], the corresponding sensors and one IEEE802.11 interface
to communicate between them. In the experiments performed, real-world vehicles are replaced by
robots. Using well known and controllable robots, the experiments can be replicated with identical
vehicles vehaviour and movements. Turtlebot 1 carry on the Smart Resource 1 and Turtlebot carry on
Smart Resource 2. The first smart resource used, has two sensors, a deep camera to detect the geometry
and an RGB camera to detect the texture. The second smart resource has only a sensor, a thermal
camera that produces an RGB associated to the colour reflected. The colour of the image depends on
the temperature and is directly associated with the ink composition.252
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Figure 10.
Details of the system implemented to perform the experiments and the corresponding step
associated with the component (top of the figure).
The reason for using a different RGB sensor is to be able to use the same recognition algorithms
(2D image), but with different patterns of the same object.254
2.4. Scenario and experiment performed255
The objective of the experiment is to characterise the performance of the presented architecture.
The experiments that were performed evaluate the obtained results in both single and multi-robot
approaches. While the single robot experiments offer information for characterising the access to
on-board smart devices, the multi-robot approach shows how to deal with spatially decoupled
sensor. In order to provide these statistical values, a set of environment features are recognised
and integrated as environment knowledge. This set includes heterogeneous object samples 11, which
are representative for testing.262
Figure 11.
Objects (boxes) used in the experiments. Other objects are used to measure the false positives
In the proposed system shown in the Figure 11, two specific objects are proposed to be detected
and recognised by means of two different smart resources. Both objects have the same geometry
(boxes) but different textures (the box of a Xtion and the box of a BeagleBone).265
The patterns used to recognize the textures have been the images of the six sides of each face
of the boxes to be detected. Both smart resources contain both the texture (images) and geometry
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(3D shape) patterns of the two boxes. Therefore, the matching pattern-sensor measurement will be
performed in both smart resources. Figure 12 shows the processes that will be carried out based on
smart resources and boxes.270
Figure 12.
Objects (boxes) used in the experiments, sensor into the smart resources, and patters used to
recognise the boxes.
The experiment starts when the two robots find the box. First was tested with the Beaglebone box,
and after the Xtion box. When Smart Resource 1 detects a box with a reasonable prospect of certainty
(upper than 0.500) publish the estimated box position, time and certainly value in the topic ’BBBox’ or
’XtionBox’. A topic is a common space to share data in a Publish-subscribe system. Smart Resource 2,
receives the data of the certainly of both boxes and integrates the information with the data obtained
from their sensors. To check the integration efficiency compensates the transmission time, all data
path between both smart resources must be checked (Figure 13)277
Figure 13.
Data path of the experiment performed. From the data adquisition (left) by means of the
smart resources sensors to the result obtained with the integration of the information (right).
At the bottom of Figure 13 the times used by each smart resource to classify an object are shown.
The time
refers to the acquisition time of the images by the cameras used. In the experiments it
remains constant depending on the sensor used.280
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The time
is the time it takes to classify the images according to the available patterns. A
Reliability-Based Particle Filter was used for classification, which is shown in [
]. In order not to alter
the experiments, the patterns were already preloaded in each intelligent resource. When the pattern is
not available, the Smart Resource has to request it from the fog through the CKMultipeer or even from
the cloud.285
The time
is the time it takes to fusion various results. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) very
used in similar environments was used [
]. It is important that, once the object detected by the camera
is classified, the percentage of certainty is used as the inverse error (the greater certainty, the less error)
in the measurement of a sensor. That is, when comparing an image with a pattern, for example the
BBBox box, it is considered a BBBox box sensor with a specific percentage of certainty. The integration
must provide an increase in certainty in the recognition of an object. But for integration, the smart
resources must communicate between them. The time
is the communications time. CKMultipeer
was used on a 54Mpps WiFi network.293
The time
is the time of the integration of the results. A summary of the average times obtained
is shown in the results section.295
3. Results296
3.1. Latency time297
Experiments that are detailed in this section make use of the robotic platform Turtlebot 2 [
]. Two
Turtlebot robots with heterogeneous sensor configuration have been designed for these experiments.
Every sensor has been integrated as a part of a different Smart Resource. Therefore, sensory information
and its management are always accessed through the distributed services that are provided by
the related Smart Resource. First Turtlebot configuration implements an Asus Xtion Pro(depth
camera) Smart Resource as a 3D sensor [
], and a monocular RGB camera Smart Resource as a
2D sensor. Therefore, these experiments include two different feature classifications that involve
heterogeneous magnitude observations in the 2D and the 3D plane. Second Turtlebot has endowed
with thermal camera Smart Resource, which adds a new magnitude classification in the 2D plane.
The smart resources were implemented on a beaglebone board [
]. This board has an ARM Cortex
8 microprocessor with 1 GHz processing frequency. In order to make different experiments with
different smart resource links, we use the CKMultipeer middleware to Fog and Cloud level. The
average times of the message latency times obtained in these channels are obtained using the protocol
presented in the previous section.311
The figure 13 shows the total time to obtain a final result of information integration, that is
the addition of all times involved in the data path. Times have been taken from processes running
independently. Table 1shows the estimated process times based on the decoupled tasks and results. In
the case that a smart resource has two sensors (turtlebot 1) common times, as
, considered are
the worst time between all sensors times.316
Table 1.
Resuls of the average estimated times in each stage of the process. The acronym "n.a". (not
appropriate) means that time is not provided because this phase is not done in the experiment.
Object SR tatcl tftctiTotal
BBox turtlebot 1 16 ms. 12 ms. 25 ms. n.a. n.a. 53 ms.
turtlebot 2 32 ms. 18 ms. n.a. n.a. n.a. 50 ms.
Integration (Fog) n.a. n.a. n.a. 244 ms. 23 ms 320 ms.
XtionBox turtlebot 1 16 ms. 15 ms. 24 ms. n.a. n.a. 55 ms.
turtlebot 2 32 ms. 17 ms. n.a. n.a. n.a. 49 ms.
Integration (Fog) n.a. n.a. n.a. 244 ms. 25 ms. 318 ms.
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It should be noted that the process times are similar, due to both smart resources use the same
libraries, microcontroller board, and the boxes to detect are quite similar. It can be see, CKMultipeer
introduces high latency. To check if information integration is profitable, it is necessary to study if the
latency time and spent to increase object recognition can justify a low percentage of certainly improved.
The ratio obtained using local integration and colaborative integration is studied in the next subsection.
3.2. Object recognition323
In the proposed scenario, the two robots (Turtlebot 1 and Turtlebot 2) navigate until they detect
the same set of objects. Both robots have a different perspective, and they are located correctly on the
map. To show the process better, the results of each detected object have been shown separately.326
The table 2shows the results obtained when the data from the sensors of the first robot (Turtlebot
1) is compared with the geometries of boxes. It can be seen that both are very similar, with a certain
difference favourable to the box of the BeagleBone. In the case of texture, the RGB sensor clearly
detects a tendency to the correct object.330
Table 2.
Results in the percentage of certainty in the correct object detection applying the integration
method with two similar objects patterns (BeagleBone box)
Object: BeagleBone box Turtlebot 1 Turtlebot 2
Object Pattern Geometry Texture Fusion Texture Integration
BeagleBone box 0.726 0.671 0.792 0.789 0.824
Asus Xtion box 0.647 0.127 0.651 0.192 0.658
As can be seen in the table, when the Smart Resource 2 requests the system (through the
CKMultiPeer topics) the certainty of the object, the correct object is always reinforced. Data in
the opposite direction, when the integration is done by Smart Resource 1, and the information of
certainty is provided by Smart Resource 2, are similar. Consequently, it is possible that two uncoupled
and heterogeneous systems collaborate to improve their perceptions.335
Table 3.
Results in the percentage of certainty in the correct object detection applying the integration
method with two similar objects patterns (XTion box)
Object: Xtion box Turtlebot 1 Turtlebot 2
Object Pattern Geometry Texture Fusion Texture Integration
BeagleBone box 0.243 0.231 0.253 0.210 0.259
Asus Xtion box 0.851 0.712 0.886 0.812 0.902
The Turtlebot 2, has also detected the two objects, but only by means of texture. Consequently,
the smart resource of the Turtlebot 2, requests the texture service to the , and upon receiving the data,
the correct object is reinforced. When merging the information, in the Turtlebot 2 the object recognized
as the BeagleBone box will be reinforced much more than the Xtion box object (table 3). In the case of
the second object, you can check the same trend, but it is the box of the Xtion that is reinforced.340
4. Discussion341
In the experiments and results presented previously, it can be seen how the local processing
of information is less expensive in time than the information integration. On average, information
integration spends, in terms of time, six times than the classification and subsequent local integration.
However, the information integration provides an improvement in object recognition. Obviously, with
the results obtained, the waiting time is high only to improve a low percentage in recognition. The
presented system allows a smart resource to decide if the percentage of local certainty recognizing an
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object is enough to make a decision, or if it is better to use information integration with other smart
resources to reinforce certainty. For example, if a user is looking for a specific object such as a waste
bin, it is probably enough to recognize it with low certainty and wait for the vehicle to recognize
another with a higher percentage. After all, there are many waste bin in the city. However, if the object
recognized with little certainty is a traffic cone, which indicates a problem and a potential accident, it is
better for the vehicle to decrease their speed and ask the nearby smart resources for more information
to integrate it, and increase the certainty rate. From the result of the information integration, a smart
resource can take a decision, for example, if it is possible to avoid the obstacle or better stops the
The system used and experiments performed are placed on the Fog level. Fog level implies the use
of a common communication channel between all smart resources. Additionally, the communication
channel, must manage the connection between smart resources and third parties. The use of a
common communication channel provides smart resources of transparent and decoupled access to
information. If two, or more, smart resources need to be coupled, for example, to share high-speed
or high-frequency rate information, it is necessary to use a communication channel close to the Edge
level. This communications channel can be oriented to a physical connection, such as I2C or wireless
such as Bluetooth.364
To know what improvements the Fog brings, local accuracy has been compared with the accuracy
obtained by the collaboration of the two smart resources 4. In this table, optimization is obtained by
dividing between the best local accuracy and fog accuracy. The cost of optimization is obtained by
dividing into optimization and maximum latency. This last parameter indicates how many milliseconds
we need to spent to increase the accuracy in one percentual point.369
Table 4. Comparison results between local and fog accuracy and latency, and optimization
Local Fog
Object SR Accuracy Latency Accuracy Latency Optimization Optimization Cost
BBBox 1 0,792 53 ms.
2 0,789 50 ms. 0.824 320 ms. 4% 79.2 ms
xTionbox 1 0.886 55 ms.
2 0.812 49 ms. 0.902 318 ms. 2% 176.1 ms.
In the case of the study presented the Cloud has not been considered. This is because this level
manage large amount of complex data and consequently, computation is expeensive in time. Cloud is
used, mostly, to store new patterns or update existing. The possibility of use Cloud as a repository,
allow smart resources to have more detection power and adapt the patterns used locally to different
environments. Cloud allows smart resources to push the power limits of microprocessors computation
and storage.375
5. Conclusions376
The combination of sensors, micro-controllers and communications allows cities to implement
intelligent distributed systems. Because of the large number and variety of sensors existing in smart378
cities, it is convenient to organize them into devices that can interact with each other. In this paper has
been presented how considering services as a communication method in a smart device, it allows to
integrate information from different sensors. The experiments carried out to verify the integration of
the information, increase notably the success in the detection of an object.382
Based on the results, it is possible to apply information integration in smart cities as a method
to improve the services offered by the different elements. Based on the experiments carried out,
it is convenient to test how the smart resources employees detect other objects. The paper shows
the experiments performed with a system with two smart resources detecting two different objects,
adding more objects and smart resources it is possible to study the cost in workload to recognise an
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environment. Distributing the objects characteristics to be recognised, it is possible to balance the
workload to use an optimal amount of system resources, such as a processing time or communications
This research was funded by the Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry grant number
MICINN: CICYT project PRECON-I4: “Predictable and dependable computer systems for Industry 4.0”
Conflicts of Interest:
The authors declare no conflict of interest. The founders had no role in the design of the
study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to
publish the results.396
The following abbreviations are used in this manuscript:398
DDS Data Distribution Service
IoT Internet of Things
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