Pervasive Real-World Computing for Sustainability (SuPerWorld)

The “Pervasive Real-World Computing for Sustainability” (SuPerWorld) Multidisciplinary Research Group (MRG) of the CYENS Center of Excellence involves technology in pervasive computing, which touches upon research that focuses on the real world towards (contributing in) making it more sustainable. As “real world”, we refer to humans, animals and plants, as well as to the physical and urban environment. As “pervasive computing”, we refer to sensing infrastructures and equipment that measure the real world, including the sensing capabilities of modern mobile phones. An important goal would be to enable pervasive eco-systems by means of “Internet of Things” (IoT) and “Web of Things” (WoT) protocols and principles, towards common understanding and semantics of real-world services and data, and high interoperability among systems and infrastructures.

The main research question of the SuPerWorld MRG can be summarized as: “how can pervasive computing affect the real world, in order to promote sustainability, enhance quality of living for humans and animals, ensure food safety and security, as well as provide convenience to humans in their everyday life"? The general domains of the SuPerWorld MRG are “smart cities” and “sustainable environments”. More specific application areas involve food safety, smart agriculture, disaster monitoring, environmental and wildlife monitoring, legal migration, tourism and promotion of digital heritage, urban landscapes and infrastructures, robotics, as well as the future smart grid and energy communities.

Some emphasis is given to the environment of Cyprus, and the particular challenges it faces (e.g. endangered animal and plant species, deforestation, water quality of the coastal areas). Due to the particular sociopolitical situation of Cyprus, some priority is given also to vulnerable target groups (e.g. immigrants and refugees). The SuPerWorld MRG performs basic and (mostly) applied research in the scientific areas of machine learning and deep learning, geospatial analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), IoT and WoT, data visualization, semantic web technologies, remote sensing (aerial photography based on drones and satellite-based imagery), mobile phone computing, robotics, as well as persuasive technology, ICT for sustainability and eco-feedback techniques for human behavioural engineering. Finally, the SuPerWorld MRG supports, encourages and promotes a lively ecosystem of interdisciplinary collaboration, which constitutes one of the strong aspects of CYENS.

Application domains:

Agriculture (1, 2), Biodiversity (1, 2, 3), Food supply systems (1), Climate change (1, 2, 3), Food supply systems (1), Smart cities and urban environments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Robotics (1, 2, 3), Forestry (1), Ecology and natural environments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), Renewable energy and smart electricity grid (1), Disaster management and response (1, 2, 3), Environmental policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Migration (1), Real estate (1).


Satellite imagery (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), LIDAR (1, 2), Drones and aerial photography (1, 2, 3, 4), Computer vision and Deep learning (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), Machine learning (1, 2, 3), Geospatial analysis and GIS (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), Blockchain (1), Mobile apps (1, 2, 3), Internet of Things (1, 2, 3), Big Data (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Data Visualizations (1, 2, 3), Environmental modelling and simulations (1, 2, 3, 4)

Example projects: (complete list here)

Identifying invasive species in Janapese mixed forests

Nov. 2019 Forestry

The goal is to use aerial photos coming from drones, combined with ground truth data to teach deep learning models to correctly classify tree species in Japanese forests based on their canopy.

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Identifying illegal dumping from satellite imagery

Jan. 2020 <Ecology

The goal of this project is to identify where dumping occurs from satellite imagery and then check whether this dumping is illegal.

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Animal manure as fertilizer for crop fields

Apr. 2019 Agriculture

The goal of this project is to transfer animal manure to nearby crop farms, to be used as a fertilizer for the crops, transforming manure from a waste to a resource.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 739578.

This project has received funding from the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.