Open Positions

The Enterprise Integration Lab has the following positions open:

MASc Research Assistantship: Perform research into the development of City Data Ontology.

Open: 25 June 2020

A city data ontology enables city software applications to share information, plan, coordinate, and execute city tasks, and support decision making within and across city services, by providing a precise, unambiguous representation of information and knowledge commonly shared across city services. This requires a clear understanding of the terms used in defining the data, as well as how they relate to one another. This requirement goes beyond syntactic integration (e.g. common data types and protocols), it requires semantic integration: a consistent, shared understanding of the meaning of information.

To motivate the need for a standard city data model, consider the evolution of cities. Cities deliver physical and social services that traditionally have operated as silos. If during the process of becoming smarter, transportation, social services, utilities, etc. were to develop their own data models, then we would have smarter silos. To create truly smart cities data must be shared across these silos which can only be accomplished through the use of a common data model. For example, “Household” is a category of data that is commonly used by city services. Members of Households are the source of transportation, housing, education, and recreation demand. It represents who occupies a home, age, occupations, where they work, abilities, etc. Though each city service may gather and/or use different aspects of a Household, much of the data needs to be shared with each other.

The city data model is stratified into three levels of abstraction. The Foundation Level covers very general concepts such as Time, Location, and Activity. The City Level covers concepts that are general to cities and span all services such as Households, Services, Residents. The Service Level spans concepts commonly associated with a particular service but still shared with other services, such as Vehicles and Transportation network.

This research focuses on the development of the city level ontology.