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Researchers developing ‘smart city’ search engine

Researchers developing ‘smart city’ search engine

A new project to develop a search engine that will draw its results from sensors located in the physical world is being developed at the University of Glasgow.

As the internet continues to expand, public access to net connected sensors such as cameras and microphone arrays is increasing. The European funded project, known as SMART, aims to develop and implement a system to allow internet users to search and analyse data from these sensors.

By matching search queries with information from sensors and cross referencing data from social networks such as Twitter, users will be able to receive detailed responses to questions such as 'What part of the city hosts live music events which my friends have been to recently?' and 'How busy is the city centre?'. Standard search engines such as Google are not currently able to answer search queries.

Dr Iadh Ounis, of the University of Glasgow's School of Computing Science, said: "The SMART project will be built upon an open source search engine technology known as Terrier we have been developing at the University since 2004, and we're pleased to be involved in this innovative research initiative.

"The SMART engine will be able to answer high level queries by automatically identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors that can contribute to the query, then synthesising results stemming from distributed sources in an intelligent way.

The system is expected to be tested in a real city by 2014.

Laura Hopperton

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