Even Smarter 'Smart Cities'

(19-08-2022) In his PhD, Tom Goethals investigates how software in Smart Cities can be made more efficient and how artificial intelligence can be integrated.

‘Smart Cities’ aims to enable and exploit smart, transparent applications in modern cities. Such applications are usually divided into the domains of Smart Homes, Industry 4.0, Smart Health Care, Internet of Vehicles (or traffic management in general) and generic Smart Cities applications.

"The software that drives these innovations usually operates in the fog (‘fog networks’) or the network edge (or simply ‘edge’); the latter is the network that typically contains all end-user sensors and devices, while the former is an intermediate network between cloud data centers and the network edge," explains Tom.

"In addition to the various Smart City application domains, the emergence of the fog and the network edge has resulted in additional areas of research related to the orchestration of software and data," Tom continues.

Orchestration is the automated deployment of processes or workflows that consist of many steps so that human input is no longer required.

"My research is primarily aimed at improving software orchestration and integrating Artificial Intelligence so that 'Smart Cities' can become increasingly 'smarter,'" Tom concludes.

Read a more detailed summary or the entire PhD

PhD Title: Scalable and Flexible Low-Resource Service Orchestration for Enabling Smart Cities

Tom Goethals

"I've always been interested in research but In my job as a software engineer, it came up pretty little. My career switch to 'Smart Cities' at IDlab was therefore ideal. Different technologies and research domains came together here. This allowed me to make both theoretical and practical contributions in research areas of my own choice. Moreover, through collaborative projects with companies, those ideas and contributions were quickly turned into practice."

Tom Goethals obtained a master's degree in industrial sciences (computer science) from Hogeschool Ghent in 2013. After several years working as a software engineer, more specifically in middleware development, he joined IDLab in 2018 to obtain a PhD at Ghent University. His research included new virtualization techniques and service orchestration for the fog and network edge.

During his PhD, he published 4 journal articles and presented 6 conference papers as first author, while receiving two Best Paper Awards at conferences. His current research is on decentralized orchestration and enabling artificial intelligence in the network edge.

Contact: Tom GoethalsFilip De Turck, Bruno Volckaert


Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke