Computer scientists at the University of Glasgow
are participating in a new project to develop a search engine which will draw
its results from sensors located in the physical world.
As the Internet continues to expand, public access to
net-connected sensors such as cameras and microphone arrays is increasing. The
European-funded project, known as SMART, for ‘Search engine for MultimediA
Environment geneRated content’, aims to develop and implement a system to allow
internet users to search and analyze data from these sensors.
By matching search queries with information from sensors and
cross-referencing data from social networks , such as Twitter, users will be
able to receive detailed responses to questions such as ‘What part of the city
hosts live music events which my friends have been to recently?’ or ‘How busy
is the city center?’ Currently, standard search engines such as Google are not
able to answer search queries of this type.
Iadh Ounis, of the University
of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science,
said: “The SMART project will be built upon an open source search engine
technology known as Terrier we have been developing at the University since
2004, and we’re pleased to be involved in this innovative research initiative.
“The SMART engine will be able to answer high-level queries
by automatically identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors that can
contribute to the query, then synthesizing results stemming from distributed
sources in an intelligent way.
“SMART builds upon the existing concept of ‘smart cities’,
physical spaces which are covered in an array of intelligent sensors which
communicate with each other and can be searched for information. The search
results sourced from these smart cities can be reused across multiple
applications, making the system more effective.
“We expect that SMART will be tested in a real city by 2014.”
The SMART project is a joint research initiative of nine
partners including Atos, Athens Information Technology, IBM’s Haifa Research
Laboratory, Imperial College London, City of Santander, PRISA Digital, Telesto, and
Consorzio S3 Log.
The SMART project is part of the University of Glasgow’s
growing theme of research on sensor systems. The University aims to ensure that
its research portfolio can provide entire sensor solutions, from novel physical
sensors, to intelligent applications and visualizations of sensor inputs. The
University is also part of the Scottish Sensor Systems Centre, which is funded
by the Scottish Funding Council and collaboration between eight of Scotland’s
leading universities and industry to undertake joint industrial/academic
projects into sensor systems.
Source: University of Glasgow