Crowdsensing-driven Route Optimisation Algorithms for Smart Urban Mobility

Abstract: Urban mobility is often considered as one of the main facilitators for greener and more sustainable urban development. However, nowadays it requires a significant shift towards cleaner and more efficient urban transport which would support for increased social and economic concentration of resources in cities. A high priority for cities around the world is to support residents’ mobility within the urban environments while at the same time reducing congestions, accidents, and pollution. However, developing a more efficient and greener (or in one word, smarter) urban mobility is one of the most difficult topics to face in large metropolitan areas. In this thesis, we approach this problem from the perspective of rapidly evolving ICT landscape which allow us to build mobility solutions without the need for large investments or sophisticated sensor technologies.In particular, we propose to leverage Mobile Crowdsensing (MCS) paradigm in which citizens use their mobile communication and/or sensing devices to collect, locally process and analyse, as well as voluntary distribute geo-referenced information. The mobility data crowdsensed from volunteer residents (e.g., events, traffic intensity, noise and air pollution, etc.) can provide valuable information about the current mobility conditions in the city, which can, with the adequate data processing algorithms, be used to route and manage people flows in urban environments.Therefore, in this thesis we combine two very promising Smart Mobility enablers – MCS and journey/route planning, and thus bring together to some extent distinct research challenges. We separate our research objectives into two parts, i.e., research stages: (1) architectural challenges in designing MCS systems and (2) algorithmic challenges in MCS-driven route planning applications. We aim to demonstrate a logical research progression over time, starting from fundamentals of human-in-the-loop sensing systems such as MCS, to route optimisation algorithms tailored for specific MCS applications. While we mainly focus on algorithms and heuristics to solve NP-hard routing problems, we use real-world application examples to showcase the advantages of the proposed algorithms and infrastructures.