Industrial PhD brings knowledge to smart cities

PhD project contributes to the development of techniques for handling large live data streams

On the 1st of April, industrial PhD Peiman Mamani Barnaghi started his research project. The purpose of the project is to contribute to the development of techniques for handling large live data streams. While enrolled under the industrial PhD scheme, Peiman Barnaghi is to work on real-life data in collaboration with the Data Intensive Systems group at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University and the Alexandra Institute’s Smart City Lab.

– My main focus will be to contribute to the development of techniques that enable us to handle large live data streams so that they can be used in for example a smart city context, Peiman Barnaghi explains.   

On the 1st of April, Peiman Barnaghi was employed by the Alexandra Institute’s Smart City Lab  under the industrial PhD scheme. He is also affiliated to the Data Intensive Systems group at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University.

Building up new competencies

Mirko Presser, Head of Research and Innovation at the Alexandra Institute’s Smart City Lab, sees a clear advantage in the industrial PhD collaboration between the Alexandra Institute and the Department of Computer Science:

– To us it is an advantage that we can work together to build up competence. And in this case I mean Big Data analyses – in particular live streaming data. This is a new field for us, and no one has really addressed the subject before. Of course, our Computer Graphics Lab and Software Infrastructure Lab have touched upon it but not at the scale and magnitude of this PhD project. So we are on new ground, and new knowledge will be brought to the Alexandra Institute, says Mirko Presser.

– As a member of the Advanced Technology Group (GTS), our focus is on pervasive computing. However, this area, that we have not yet explored, is one of major importance and will bring cutting-edge knowledge to small and medium-sized enterprises in the future, he says.

Genuine data and a better feedback loop

Ira Assent, associate professor and PhD at the Department of Computer Science, agrees. She is to be Peiman Barnaghi’s dissertation supervisor. She is looking forward to obtaining what she calls “a better feedback loop.”

– The most interesting thing is that we get to work on genuine data. Here we can get feedback from those who work with the data. For example from the Alexandra Institute but also from users – the data owners, she explains. In this way, the domain experts themselves will be giving us feedback on what we do. 

We have already conducted research on data mining and query processing on data streams. But in this case we focus on what the users actually need. As a case in point, we may have focused our attention on speed optimisation but perhaps the users want something else, Ira Assent explains.

And now it gets really interesting, Mirko Presser adds: We move into reality.

During my PhD studies I will experience what it’s like to work in a research environment and a company at the same time. I am really happy to get this opportunity, and I look forward to working with the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University and with the Alexandra Institute’s Smart City Lab, says an excited Peiman Barnaghi.

See video with professor Christian S. Jensen, head of the Data Intensive Systems group at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University.

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