Valerie Issarny

Senior Research Scientist, INRIA, France

Oct 30th, 2015, 11am-12pm, DBH 6011


Monitoring Urban Pollution using Mobile Crowd Sensing: The SoundCity Use Case


Noise pollution, which lowers quality of life and harms health, is a serious environmental challenge in almost every major city. The noise levels found in most cities today can interfere with memory and learning, disturb sleep, and contribute to heart disease. In Paris, the urban ecology agency and the Bruitparif association currently rely on monitoring stations and computer simulations to understand noise exposure of citizens. While these provide valuable data toward understanding urban noise pollution, we believe that mobile crowdsensing may significantly contribute to dealing with pollution awareness, both individually and collectively. In that direction, we have been developing the SoundCity app and the supporting UrbanCivics middleware solution. SoundCity captures noise levels from the microphones built into today's smartphones, with the dual objective of assessing the degree of exposure of the individual user and building an overall map of noise pollution in the city. Thus, individually, users see their exposure visualized over time and are able to compare the exposure with the levels recommended to protect health. Collectively, crowdsensed data are aggregated with other relevant data sources to produce noise pollution maps. In this talk, I will introduce the first design of SoundCity and related UrbanCivics middleware that in particular addresses the challenges of urban-scale mobile crowdsensing and data assimilation. I will further discuss lessons learnt following the public launch of SoundCity with the city of Paris in July 2015. This will then lead me to discuss the challenges remaining ahead of us and related to effectively leveraging mobile crowd-sensing toward better urban pollution monitoring.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Valerie Issarny holds a Directrice de recherche position at Inria, the French institute for research in Information and Communication Science and Technologies, where she led the ARLES research team until 2013, investigating distributed software systems leveraging wirelessly networked devices, with a special emphasis on service-oriented computing. Since summer 2013, she is the scientific coordinator of the Inria@SiliconValley program promoting and fostering collaboration between Inria and Californian universities. She is also coordinating the Inria CityLab program dedicated to smart cities and promoting citizen engagement; the program is developed in collaboration with CITRIS at University of California Berkeley and targets urban-scale experiment in Paris and Californian cities. Ongoing projects include UrbanCivics on urban pollution monitoring through participatory sensing and crowd sourcing, and AppCivist on a middleware platform for democratic assembly and collective action.