Io T Ph D 2020

PhD Course on Smart Environments: Technologies, state of the art and research challenges

(A. A. 2019/2020)

Short Description

Recent advances in communication and computation technologies suggest an imminent explosion of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), i.e., a vision of billions of everyday life objects connected to offer new solutions and services to final users. Areas of application of IoT include smart spaces, i.e., private and public spaces realizing the paradigm of so called Ambient Intelligence. Smart spaces include smart houses, public spaces (e.g., airports), offices but also, in the context of the Industry 4.0 revolution, factories and manufacturing processes inside them, also including the involved supply chain. In this PhD course, students will learn fundamentals of IoT and techniques for smart environments.


Internet-of-Things (IoT) represents the vision of billions of computers and everyday life objects connected together to provide high-level customized services. During the course we will analyze how the idea of IoT evolved in the last years from the initial approaches based on wireless sensor networks, to modern approaches where connected devices are not only sensors but real computers that can contribute to the computation in the form of edge and fog computing. As communication between devices is a fundamental component of IoT, prominent protocols and communications technologies will be introduced to the students ranging from low-energy protocols (such as Zigbee, Zwave) to the imminent introduction of 5G. In addition, the student will be introduced to software platforms and framework that simplify the development of IoT applications.

Among the several applications of IoT, this course will then focus on smart spaces. The concept of smart space is the modern evolution of building automation, where intelligence (also known as Ambient Intelligence - AmI) allows to provide customized services to final users. Nowadays smart spaces can highly benefit of IoT as a mean to acquire information about the smart context (e.g., a house, a hospital, an airport) and to perform operations on the environment through the employment of actuators. In this sense the concept of smart space is a fundamental part of the Industry 4.0 movement, which is gathering increasing interest from industry and institutions, these latter ones promoting it through special regulations and funding channels. In the context of Industry 4.0, devices of the Internet-of-things are often called digital twins, as they provide a faithful representation of physical machinery and persons involved in the production processes and in the supply chain. In the second part of the course, instructors will introduce the above concepts and will show techniques employed to realize the paradigm of ambient intelligence and how they relate to the techniques introduced in the first part of the course. Additionally, available software platforms and facilities will be introduced.



  • 3 CFU (20 academic hours)

Announcements & Discussions

A Google Classroom is available using the following code: ruv7o5k

Course Material

Course Plan & Material


Students will need to carry out a series of assignments that realize an IoT system. These assignments are individual and need to be submitted through Google Classroom.

Final Project

Students will need to develop a project on one of the topics presented in the second part of the course.