technology approach

URBANAGE will set up the necessary processes, infrastructures, and tools based on existing best practices (e.g. BDVA7) adopted by its partners, with a view to optimizing the platform development, deployment, integration, testing, and maintenance. The figure below presents a high-level ICT architecture of URBANAGE.

Urbanage-architecture.JPG

The URBANAGE Platform encapsulates components for big data analytics, visualizations, predictive algorithms and simulation profiting from artificial intelligence. As depicted in the figure the URBANAGE high-level architecture follows the layered architectural pattern where each layer corresponds to a particular level of abstraction. By following the layered pattern, the separation of concerns is implicitly applied, thus no logic related to one layer’s concern is placed in another layer, as well as the isolation concept, thus changes made in one layer does not impact components in another layer. Specifically:

  • The Infrastructure layer corresponds to a cloud-based infrastructure with support for the High-Performance Computing (HPC) workloads of the platform. The platform will be designed to be agnostic of the backend cloud provider.

  • The Data Layer refers to the repositories/databases of the platform where each database is deployed in multiple nodes in the cloud cluster for enhanced scalability, availability and performance. These repositories are comprised of city data, such as IoT data, city legacy data or context data, open data, 3D city model data and data that will be generated by the various components of the project, such as application data or modelling and interaction data.

  • The Data Management layer includes components that serve 4 main purposes: a) to access and aggregate data from the various external data sources like city databases, open data and sensors; b) to apply conditioning, integration rules and analytics to the aggregated data; c) to make available this data to the other architectural layers and d) to expose a unified data API for all open linked data in the repository for usage from the other layers or external systems. The main components envisaged in this layer are the data connectors, data broker for contextual data and historical data, data models for city information and common ontologies and data access components based on interoperable API and standard web services.

  • The Business layer corresponds to the processing components that implement the business requirements of the platform. All components in that layer will expose a REST API to be consumed by the visualization/UI components of the presentation layer. The components of the business layer can be divided into three groups depending on the main processing purpose: modelling components related to data modelling, semantic enrichment, data process and geospatial analysis; algorithms based on prediction analysis such as demographic,

    nuisance, accessibility or mobility; artificial intelligence frameworks based on the analysis of natural language, sentiment or time series. The implementation of such algorithms will be tailored to bigdata distributed computation models, thus exploiting the underlying technical architecture, in terms of higher volume data management capabilities and processing performance (e.g. lower execution times). The solutions accelerator broker will allow the combination of data coming from the data management layer with one or more components of the business layer and the results will be exposed through an interoperable API.

  • The Presentation layer, relying thus on a service-oriented architecture. This layer provides the interfaces between the systems and the user and is comprised of different visualizations and dashboards depending on the user roles. The solutions to be adopted in URBANAGE will deploy components for the visualization and interaction through web-based tools natively supported by the most common web browsers. The most relevant visualization will include 3D models with the support of temporal representation for scenario and simulation visualizations. 3D visualization could be complemented with 2D geospatial or statistical visualizations and data analytics of big data. Components for user interaction and citizen participation and engagement will also be part of this layer.

  • The Security layer is applied to the whole architecture as a crosscutting concept and it affects different aspects of the architecture (web, database, network etc).

More info about the technology approach used in the URBANAGE project can be found in the Digital Twins page.

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