GAMBAS is a research project supported by the European Commission under the 7th framework programme. The GAMBAS consortium encompasses six academic and commercial entities jointly creating an innovative software layer that will enable novel context-aware applications. These applications integrate and analyze sensor data captured by mobile and embedded devices in the environment to support their users with context-based user interfaces as well as proactive and predictive information gathered and fused from different information sources on the Internet. Focusing on smart mobility and environmental monitoring as the two main use cases for validation, the GAMBAS project is working towards realizing smarter cities with the help of the Internet of Things. However, in contrast to other initiatives in this domain, the concepts developed by GAMBAS address the following key design goals: 

Open and Distributed

Instead of collecting all information at some central repository operated by only one or a few major players in the information and communication technologies sector, the GAMBAS project realizes that information is inherently distributed across different providers. Thus, the GAMBAS middleware platform itself is distributed and it allows third parties of arbitrary size to make their information openly accessible to others. In addition to just publishing their own information, third parties can also combine and link data from other providers in order to generate new or more useful pieces of information to the benefit of all citizens.

Interoperable and Extensible

Given the distributed nature of information providers, the GAMBAS project realizes that there is a strong need to simplify data exchange and integration. To ease these tasks, the GAMBAS middleware platform builds upon semantic web technologies – not just at the backend but also on mobile and embedded devices. Using standardized query languages and powerful semantic data description languages, the linking of different data sources becomes simple and extensibility is a given. At the same time, with the help of an innovative data storage and query processing system, the performance impact on mobile and embedded devices remains low enough to be practical. 

Context-aware and Privacy Preserving

Having more information is only beneficial if it is available when and wherever it is needed. The GAMBAS project realizes that the provisioning of the right information at the right time is becoming increasingly important. However, this requires an understanding of the user’s physical context. Towards this end, the GAMBAS middleware platform provides an effective data acquisition framework that not only captures sensor information but also processes and classifies it. Yet, instead of performing data analysis in the cloud, the GAMBAS middleware puts the citizen in control by performing the analysis on the citizen’s own devices. This enables citizens to control the data collection and sharing without relying on promises in terms of services that may change at the will of a service provider.