By: Lindelweyizizwe Manqele
Smart Cities are cities of the future, where assets and services such as buildings, mining, water infrastructure and waste removal are managed with information, communication systems and smart devices. I am currently conducting research based on developing a mathematical model or an algorithm that would operate effectively in environments with data challenges related to streaming, faulty sensors or network constraints. The specific domains that my research addresses using this algorithm include the current ineffective methods of waste collection and the challenges of water scarcity, which can be addressed by developing an effective water distribution model.
According to the Joburg 2030 report that is aligned to the National Development Plan 2030, cities experience an overflow of waste because there are no effective method in place for the collection of waste bins on time and optimal routes are not used to save costs and time. My research uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-learning technologies to develop an algorithm that may assist to inform authorities when there is a load that is enough for collection, instead of using routines. South Africa experiences a lot of water scarcity, therefore for water distribution and given the amount of water we have, this algorithm uses some techniques to distribute water to the recipients equally, based on their water usage.
These domains speak to resource allocation and advancing the future of smart cities, especially in developing countries. The youth needs to seize this opportunity to address and advance these potential research areas. The decision-making algorithm I use can be re-used for many other domains, such as monitoring social distancing using IoT wearable devices that can monitor distance and give notifications to authorities should there be any anomaly detected. It can also be used for virtual election campaigns by using analytics technologies to check the effectiveness of communication and understanding audiences based on feedback or behaviour analysis.
Lindelweyizizwe Manqele is an Advanced IoT candidate researcher at the CSIR. She holds a BSc Computer Science from the University of Zululand (Unizulu), BSc (Hons) Computer Science from Unizulu and an MSc (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is currently completing her PhD, which aims to develop an IoT-based mathematical decision-making system for better smart cities service delivery, with UCT.