Big Data Analytics and Context-Aware Computing: Characteristics, Commonalities, Differences, Applications, and Challenges

  • Simon Elias BibriEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Data sensing and information processing are being fast embedded into the very fabric of the contemporary city in terms of its environments, systems, and processes, while wireless networks are proliferating in ways that are hard to imagine. This has been fueled by the new digital transition in ICT—enabled by an integration of various forms of pervasive computing—and justified by its potential to enhance the city operations, functions, services, and designs. Driving this transition predominantly are big data analytics and context-aware computing and their increasing amalgamation within a number of urban domains, especially when their functionality involves the same core enabling technologies, namely sensing devices, computing infrastructures, data processing platforms, and wireless communication networks. However, topical studies tend to deal largely with this new wave of urban ICT in connection with economic growth and the quality of life in the realm of smart cities, and thus ignore its potential in improving sustainability in the realm of smart sustainable cities. This endeavor is a first attempt to address the combination of big data analytics and context-aware computing in the realm of smart sustainable cities with respect to their contribution to the goals of sustainable development. This is an unexplored research area that has brought new and significant challenges for the development of smart sustainable cities. This chapter explores and reviews the real potential of big data analytics and context-aware computing for improving sustainability in the context of smart sustainable cities. In doing so, it enumerates, describes, and discusses the state-of-the-art data-centric and context-aware applications pertaining to diverse urban systems and domains, as well as identifies the key challenges involved and sheds light on the open issues stemming from these challenges. We argue that combining big data analytics and context-aware computing could be leveraged in the advancement of urban sustainability, as their effects reinforce one another as to their efforts for transforming the processes operating and organizing urban life in this direction by employing and merging data-centric and context-aware applications to enhance, harness, and integrate urban systems as well as to facilitate collaboration and coupling among diverse urban domains. This study can serve as a benchmark for urban researchers, planners, and policymakers for the development of smart sustainable cities of the future in the context of big data analytics and context-aware computing.


Smart sustainable cities Urban domains Big data analytics Context-aware computing ICT of the new wave of computing Urban sustainability Big data and context-aware applications 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information Science, Department of Urban Design and PlanningNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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