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Future Internet, Volume 9, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The Internet of Things (IoT) is a recent trend that extends the boundaries of the Internet to [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Towards a New Digital Era: Observing Local E-Government Services Adoption in a Chinese Municipality
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030053
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
As electronic government services (e-government) evolve, traditional applications such as online portals are encountering challenges in a new digital era in which people thirst for more convenient, diverse channels of communication with their government. Despite the efforts devoted to the promotion of Social
[...] Read more.
As electronic government services (e-government) evolve, traditional applications such as online portals are encountering challenges in a new digital era in which people thirst for more convenient, diverse channels of communication with their government. Despite the efforts devoted to the promotion of Social Networking Service (SNS) use in e-government for the past few years, empirical studies regarding this ongoing trend are still insufficient. In the local administration of China, a special collaboration between local governments and private Internet enterprises is happening: government services are imported into commercial SNS platforms known as WeChat and Weibo. This research conducts a case study of a Chinese municipality premised upon survey data (N = 605) collected in Chongqing. It examines the determinants of e-services adoption in four major local applications: two traditional government-led services “Government website portal” and “Government official app” (traditional government-led services), and two built-in government services on social networking applications “Weibo Government official account” “WeChat Public Services”. The paper aims to provide a closer understanding of current trends in local government e-services, or in this case, an innovative trial of Chinese e-government practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue u- and e- Service, Science and Technology)
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Open AccessArticle Design for Children’s Playful Learning with Robots
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030052
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
This article presents an investigation of the implications of designing for children’s playful learning with robots. This study was carried out by adopting a Research through Design approach that resulted in the development of a novel low-anthropomorphic robot called Shybo. The article reports
[...] Read more.
This article presents an investigation of the implications of designing for children’s playful learning with robots. This study was carried out by adopting a Research through Design approach that resulted in the development of a novel low-anthropomorphic robot called Shybo. The article reports the main phases of the project: the preliminary and exploratory research that was carried out to define a list of design requirements; the design of the robot and its supplementary materials for carrying out playful learning experiences; and the evaluation of the project that involved both parents and children. The robot, in fact, was finally tested as part of a two-hour experience that engaged children in activities related to the associations between sounds and colours. The article presents and discusses the results of this evaluation to point out positive aspects of the experience, emerging issues and hints for future works. These are documented to share lessons learned that might be supportive of the general development of children’s playful learning and cognitive experiences with robots. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Local Path Planning of Driverless Car Navigation Based on Jump Point Search Method Under Urban Environment
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030051
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
The Jump Point Search (JPS) algorithm is adopted for local path planning of the driverless car under urban environment, and it is a fast search method applied in path planning. Firstly, a vector Geographic Information System (GIS) map, including Global Positioning System (GPS)
[...] Read more.
The Jump Point Search (JPS) algorithm is adopted for local path planning of the driverless car under urban environment, and it is a fast search method applied in path planning. Firstly, a vector Geographic Information System (GIS) map, including Global Positioning System (GPS) position, direction, and lane information, is built for global path planning. Secondly, the GIS map database is utilized in global path planning for the driverless car. Then, the JPS algorithm is adopted to avoid the front obstacle, and to find an optimal local path for the driverless car in the urban environment. Finally, 125 different simulation experiments in the urban environment demonstrate that JPS can search out the optimal and safety path successfully, and meanwhile, it has a lower time complexity compared with the Vector Field Histogram (VFH), the Rapidly Exploring Random Tree (RRT), A*, and the Probabilistic Roadmaps (PRM) algorithms. Furthermore, JPS is validated usefully in the structured urban environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle ARAAC: A Rational Allocation Approach in Cloud Data Center Networks
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030050
Received: 23 July 2017 / Revised: 11 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The expansion of telecommunication technologies touches almost all aspects life that we are living nowadays. Indeed, such technologies have emerged as a fourth essential utility alongside the traditional utilities of electricity, water, and gas. In this context, Cloud Data Center Networks (cloud-DCNs) have
[...] Read more.
The expansion of telecommunication technologies touches almost all aspects life that we are living nowadays. Indeed, such technologies have emerged as a fourth essential utility alongside the traditional utilities of electricity, water, and gas. In this context, Cloud Data Center Networks (cloud-DCNs) have been proposed as a promising way to cope with such a high-tech era and with any expected trends in future computing networks. Resources of cloud-DCNs are leased to the interested users in the form of services, such services come in different models that vary between software, platform, and infrastructure. The leasing process of any service model starts with the users (i.e., service tenants). A tenant asks for the service resources, and the cloud-provider allocates the resources with a charge that follows a predefined cost policy. Cloud resources are limited, and those cloud providers have profit objectives to be satisfied. Thus, to comply with the aforementioned promise, the limited resources need to be carefully allocated. Existing allocation proposals in the literature dealt with this problem in varying ways. However, none proposes a win-win allocation model that satisfies both the providers and tenants. This work proposes A Rational Allocation Approach in Cloud Data Center Networks (ARAAC) that efficiently allocates the available cloud resources, in a way that allows for a win-win environment to satisfy both parties: the providers and tenants. To do so, ARAAC deploys the Second Best-Price (SBP) mechanism along with a behavioral-based reputation model. The reputation is built according to the tenants’ utilization history throughout their previous service allocations. The reputation records along with the adoption of the SBP mechanism allows for a locally free-equilibrium approach that allocates the available cloud-DCN resources in an efficient and fair manner. In ARAAC, through an auction scenario, tenants with positive reputation records are awarded by having the required resources allocated at prices that are lower than what they have offered. Compared to other benchmark models, simulation results show that ARAAC can efficiently adapt the behavior of those rational service-tenants to provide for better use of the cloud resources, with an increase in the providers’ profits. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Future Intelligent Systems and Networks
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030049
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this Special Issue is to collect current developments and future directions of Future Intelligent Systems and Networks.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Intelligent Systems and Networks)
Open AccessArticle Flow Shop Scheduling Problem and Solution in Cooperative Robotics—Case-Study: One Cobot in Cooperation with One Worker
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030048
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
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Abstract
This research combines between two different manufacturing concepts. On the one hand, flow shop scheduling is a well-known problem in production systems. The problem appears when a group of jobs shares the same processing sequence on two or more machines sequentially. Flow shop
[...] Read more.
This research combines between two different manufacturing concepts. On the one hand, flow shop scheduling is a well-known problem in production systems. The problem appears when a group of jobs shares the same processing sequence on two or more machines sequentially. Flow shop scheduling tries to find the appropriate solution to optimize the sequence order of this group of jobs over the existing machines. The goal of flow shop scheduling is to obtain the continuity of the flow of the jobs over the machines. This can be obtained by minimizing the delays between two consequent jobs, therefore the overall makespan can be minimized. On the other hand, collaborative robotics is a relatively recent approach in production where a collaborative robot (cobot) is capable of a close proximity cooperation with the human worker to increase the manufacturing agility and flexibility. The simplest case-study of a collaborative workcell is one cobot in cooperation with one worker. This collaborative workcell can be seen as a special case of the shop flow scheduling problem, where the required time from the worker to perform a specific job is unknown and variable. Therefore, during this research, we implement an intelligent control solution which can optimize the flow shop scheduling problem over the previously mentioned case-study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cost-Aware IoT Extension of DISSECT-CF
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030047
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
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Abstract
In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more sensors, actuators and smart devices get connected to the network. Application providers often combine this connectivity with novel scenarios involving cloud computing. Before implementing changes in these large-scale systems, an in-depth
[...] Read more.
In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more sensors, actuators and smart devices get connected to the network. Application providers often combine this connectivity with novel scenarios involving cloud computing. Before implementing changes in these large-scale systems, an in-depth analysis is often required to identify governance models, bottleneck situations, costs and unexpected behaviours. Distributed systems simulators help in such analysis, but they are often problematic to apply in this newly emerging domain. For example, most simulators are either too detailed (e.g., need extensive knowledge on networking), or not extensible enough to support the new scenarios. To overcome these issues, we discuss our IoT cost analysis oriented extension of DIScrete event baSed Energy Consumption simulaTor for Clouds and Federations (DISSECT-CF). Thus, we present an in-depth analysis of IoT and cloud related pricing models of the most widely used commercial providers. Then, we show how the fundamental properties (e.g., data production frequency) of IoT entities could be linked to the identified pricing models. To allow the adoption of unforeseen scenarios and pricing schemes, we present a declarative modelling language to describe these links. Finally, we validate our extensions by analysing the effects of various identified pricing models through five scenarios coming from the field of weather forecasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Internet of Thing)
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Open AccessArticle Digital Pre-Distortion of Carrier Frequency Offset for Reliable Wi-Fi Enabled IoTs
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030046
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
The Internet of Things (IoTs) will change the requirements for wireless connectivity significantly, mainly with regard to service coverage, data rate, and energy efficiency. Therefore, to improve robustness and reliability, WiFi-enabled IoT devices have been developed to use narrowband communication. However, narrowband transmission
[...] Read more.
The Internet of Things (IoTs) will change the requirements for wireless connectivity significantly, mainly with regard to service coverage, data rate, and energy efficiency. Therefore, to improve robustness and reliability, WiFi-enabled IoT devices have been developed to use narrowband communication. However, narrowband transmission in WiFi such as IEEE 802.11ah causes relatively higher frequency error due to the reduced subcarrier space, which is larger than legacy wireless local area networks (WLANs) in 2.4/5 GHz frequencies. In a direct conversion receiver, this error degrades the signal quality due to the presence of direct current (DC) offset cancellation circuits. In this paper, a digital carrier frequency offset (CFO) predistortion scheme is proposed for a reliable communication link in dense networks. Evaluation results demonstrate that the proposed scheme can improve received signal quality in terms of packet error rate and error vector magnitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Internet of Thing)
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Open AccessArticle A Robust Image Watermarking Scheme Based on SVD in the Spatial Domain
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030045
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
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Abstract
With the development of image processing technology, the copyright protection of digital images has become an urgent problem to be solved. As an effective method, the robust digital watermarking technique emerges at a historic moment. Currently, most robust watermarking schemes are performed in
[...] Read more.
With the development of image processing technology, the copyright protection of digital images has become an urgent problem to be solved. As an effective method, the robust digital watermarking technique emerges at a historic moment. Currently, most robust watermarking schemes are performed in the transform domains, such as the discrete cosine transform (DCT) and singular value decomposition (SVD). Compared with spatial domain watermarking schemes, these methods have achieved good performance, such as better robustness and higher security. However, the computational complexity increases with the use of forward and reverse transforms. In this paper, we analyze the SVD-based watermarking scheme and its impact on the spatial domain. Based on this analysis and the mathematical characteristics of SVD, we present a robust image watermarking scheme where a binary watermark is embedded into the largest singular value of each image block in the spatial domain. Several experiments are conducted to verify the performance of the proposed watermarking scheme. The experimental results show that compared with the existing SVD domain watermarking schemes, our proposed method has maintained good robustness against various attacks. Moreover, it avoids the false positive problem existing in traditional SVD-based watermarking schemes and has lower computational complexity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multicell Interference Management in Device to Device Underlay Cellular Networks
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030044
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 7 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, the problem of interference mitigation in a multicell Device to Device (D2D) underlay cellular network is addressed. In this type of network architectures, cellular users and D2D users share common Resource Blocks (RBs). Though such paradigms allow potential increase in
[...] Read more.
In this paper, the problem of interference mitigation in a multicell Device to Device (D2D) underlay cellular network is addressed. In this type of network architectures, cellular users and D2D users share common Resource Blocks (RBs). Though such paradigms allow potential increase in the number of supported users, the latter comes at the cost of interference increase that in turn calls for the design of efficient interference mitigation methodologies. To treat this problem efficiently, we propose a two step approach, where the first step concerns the efficient RB allocation to the users and the second one the transmission power allocation. Specifically, the RB allocation problem is formulated as a bilateral symmetric interaction game. This assures the existence of a Nash Equilibrium (NE) point of the game, while a distributed algorithm, which converges to it, is devised. The power allocation problem is formulated as a linear programming problem per RB, and the equivalency between this problem and the total power minimization problem is shown. Finally, the operational effectiveness of the proposed approach is evaluated via numerical simulations, while its superiority against state of the art approaches existing in the recent literature is shown in terms of increased number of supported users, interference reduction and power minimization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Survey of Denial-of-Service and Distributed Denial of Service Attacks and Defenses in Cloud Computing
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030043
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
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Abstract
Cloud Computing is a computing model that allows ubiquitous, convenient and on-demand access to a shared pool of highly configurable resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services). Denial-of-Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are serious threats to the Cloud services’ availability
[...] Read more.
Cloud Computing is a computing model that allows ubiquitous, convenient and on-demand access to a shared pool of highly configurable resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services). Denial-of-Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are serious threats to the Cloud services’ availability due to numerous new vulnerabilities introduced by the nature of the Cloud, such as multi-tenancy and resource sharing. In this paper, new types of DoS and DDoS attacks in Cloud Computing are explored, especially the XML-DoS and HTTP-DoS attacks, and some possible detection and mitigation techniques are examined. This survey also provides an overview of the existing defense solutions and investigates the experiments and metrics that are usually designed and used to evaluate their performance, which is helpful for the future research in the domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Information Systems Security)
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Open AccessArticle A Multimodal Perception Framework for Users Emotional State Assessment in Social Robotics
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030042
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
In this work, we present an unobtrusive and non-invasive perception framework based on the synergy between two main acquisition systems: the Touch-Me Pad, consisting of two electronic patches for physiological signal extraction and processing; and the Scene Analyzer, a visual-auditory perception system specifically
[...] Read more.
In this work, we present an unobtrusive and non-invasive perception framework based on the synergy between two main acquisition systems: the Touch-Me Pad, consisting of two electronic patches for physiological signal extraction and processing; and the Scene Analyzer, a visual-auditory perception system specifically designed for the detection of social and emotional cues. It will be explained how the information extracted by this specific kind of framework is particularly suitable for social robotics applications and how the system has been conceived in order to be used in human-robot interaction scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on a Quality Evaluation Method for College English Classroom Teaching
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030041
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 23 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 30 July 2017
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Abstract
A quality evaluation method is an important means and the main basis on which to evaluate the college English classroom teaching quality of teachers. To overcome the one-sided subjectivity and resulting imprecision of the traditional classroom teaching quality evaluation method, a scientific and
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A quality evaluation method is an important means and the main basis on which to evaluate the college English classroom teaching quality of teachers. To overcome the one-sided subjectivity and resulting imprecision of the traditional classroom teaching quality evaluation method, a scientific and reasonable quality evaluation index system for college English classroom teaching is constructed. The fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method and the analytic hierarchy process method are combined to propose an improved multi-level fuzzy comprehensive evaluation model for obtaining a new college English classroom teaching quality evaluation method. In the proposed method, according to the fuzzy characteristics of a college English classroom teaching quality evaluation, the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method is used to transform the qualitative evaluation indexes into limited quantitative evaluation indexes, then a judgment matrix is constructed to determine the weights among different levels by using the analytic hierarchy process method. Additionally, the college English classroom teaching quality is evaluated in detail. Finally, an actual case of college English classroom teaching is used to verify the effectiveness of the college English classroom teaching quality evaluation method. The results show that the proposed college English classroom teaching method can overcome the subjectivity and randomness shortcomings of the traditional classroom teaching quality evaluation methods, and improve the reliability, accuracy, and objectivity of fuzzy comprehensive evaluation. It is an effective method to evaluate college English classroom teaching quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue u- and e- Service, Science and Technology)
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Open AccessArticle Visual Interface Evaluation for Wearables Datasets: Predicting the Subjective Augmented Vision Image QoE and QoS
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030040
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract
As Augmented Reality (AR) applications become commonplace, the determination of a device operator’s subjective Quality of Experience (QoE) in addition to objective Quality of Service (QoS) metrics gains importance. Human subject experimentation is common for QoE relationship determinations due to the subjective nature
[...] Read more.
As Augmented Reality (AR) applications become commonplace, the determination of a device operator’s subjective Quality of Experience (QoE) in addition to objective Quality of Service (QoS) metrics gains importance. Human subject experimentation is common for QoE relationship determinations due to the subjective nature of the QoE. In AR scenarios, the overlay of displayed content with the real world adds to the complexity. We employ Electroencephalography (EEG) measurements as the solution to the inherent subjectivity and situationality of AR content display overlaid with the real world. Specifically, we evaluate prediction performance for traditional image display (AR) and spherical/immersive image display (SAR) for the QoE and underlying QoS levels. Our approach utilizing a four-position EEG wearable achieves high levels of accuracy. Our detailed evaluation of the available data indicates that less sensors would perform almost as well and could be integrated into future wearable devices. Additionally, we make our Visual Interface Evaluation for Wearables (VIEW) datasets from human subject experimentation publicly available and describe their utilization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Azure-Based Smart Monitoring System for Anemia-Like Pallor
Future Internet 2017, 9(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi9030039
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 23 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
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Abstract
Increasing costs of diagnostic healthcare have necessitated the development of hardware independent non-invasive Point of Care (POC) systems. Although anemia prevalence rates in global populations vary between 10% and 60% in various demographic groups, smart monitoring systems have not yet been developed for
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Increasing costs of diagnostic healthcare have necessitated the development of hardware independent non-invasive Point of Care (POC) systems. Although anemia prevalence rates in global populations vary between 10% and 60% in various demographic groups, smart monitoring systems have not yet been developed for screening and tracking anemia-like pallor. In this work, we present two cloud platform-hosted POC applications that are directed towards smart monitoring of anemia-like pallor through eye and tongue pallor site images. The applications consist of a front-end graphical user interface (GUI) module and two different back-end image processing and machine learning modules. Both applications are hosted on a browser accessible tomcat server ported to an Azure Virtual Machine (VM). We observe that the first application spatially segments regions of interest from pallor site images with higher pallor classification accuracy and relatively longer processing times when compared to the lesser accurate yet faster second application. Also, both applications achieve 65%–98% accuracy in separating normal images from images with pallor or abnormalities. The optimized front-end module is significantly light-weight with a run-through time ratio of 10−5 with respect to the back-end modules. Thus, the proposed applications are portable and hardware independent, allowing for their use in pallor monitoring and screening tasks. Full article
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