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Internet of Things and big data analytics for smart generation
Balas V., Solanki V., Kumar R., Khari M., Springer International Publishing, New York, NY, 2019. 300 pp.  Type: Book (978-3-030042-02-8)
Date Reviewed: Nov 21 2019

This edited collection of papers is about the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data--areas of growing interest and importance for emerging applications in smart cities, intelligent transportation systems (ITSs), healthcare, and so on. Though the book explores the concepts of big data and IoT to certain levels of theoretical and secondary research, it does not adequately demonstrate their application in real-life case studies, despite claims in the foreword, chapter titles, and at various other places in the book.

Thirteen chapters--written by 43 authors and compiled by four editors--provide inconsistent, rather disparate, and often repetitive content about background concepts, some theoretical frameworks, and application areas for IoT and big data.

Though the book’s title and chapters suggest a cohesive layout, from concepts to methods and applications, disappointment sets in by the preface and a not-so-well-presented “Key Features.” Though all chapters start with an abstract and keywords and end with a list of references, most would benefit from more editorial and technical writing help, for example, for typographical errors, better sequencing, and merging content. Chapter 11 specifically should perhaps be reworked, though it deals with an interesting area of research, that is, opinion mining in social media.

Some key chapters (like 1 and 2) are definitely useful as compilations of secondary research on IoT and big data concepts and characteristics. Chapter 3 talks about the historical evolution of IoT, from the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) in 1969, to radio-frequency identification (RFID) and embedded computers in 1974, to “the present state of IoT communication models, architecture, technologies, and possible applications.” However, the treatment in this chapter is rather elementary from an academic viewpoint. Chapter 4 gives a theoretical perspective of an IoT-based traffic control and prediction mechanism. Similarly, chapter 5 covers an encryption and verification algorithm used to access IoT-based systems; however, this chapter is rather abstract compared to the following two chapters.

Chapter 6 will interest IoT professionals exploring the application of smart automation and social robots in the hospitality and tourism industry, including the “automation of service in restaurants and hotels, amusement parks, airports, car rentals, travel agencies, tourist information booths, and art galleries and museums.” Chapter 7 discusses different applications and implementations of IoT for smart city development, covering “evolution, architectures, applications, technologies, standards, and challenges.” Chapter 8, also about smart cities, is somewhat repetitive in content, and perhaps could have been merged with chapter 7 for cohesive reading. Chapter 9, on the semantic interoperability in IoT, is challenging for readers to contextualize, as it appears out of place next to the preceding three chapters on applications.

Chapter 10 covers the application-oriented theme of ITSs and other applications of smart cities. Though useful, it doesn’t discuss any “major case studies,” which are referred to in the book’s foreword and the chapter abstract. As already mentioned, there is perhaps a need to review chapter 11’s role and positioning, though it deals with the interesting area of opinion mining in social media. Chapter 12 deals with utilizing big data for healthcare automation and its associated challenges, and it would definitely be of interest to those working in the healthcare automation sector. Finally, chapter 13--though somewhat repetitive in content with chapters 2 and 10--does provide useful reading for the “design and implementation of a typical IoT-ITS” for smart cities. However this chapter, too, can’t be branded as a “case study,” as stated in the book’s foreword and the chapter title.

Though a good attempt at covering the contemporary subject of IoT and big data, the editors could have improved its assembly and sequencing. Perhaps an opening chapter--rather than just a short preface--would have ironed out the wrinkles.

The book can be a good reference for academic programs related to IoT and big data analytics. Some chapters may also interest professionals in tourism and hospitality, healthcare automation, and smart cities.

Reviewer:  C.S. Arora Review #: CR146794
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