ICT4S2018:Papers with Abstracts

Abstract. Although software does not consume energy by itself, its characteristics determine which hardware resources are made available and how much energy is used. Therefore, energy efficiency of software products has become a popular agenda for both industry and academia in recent years. Designing such software is now a core initiative of software development companies aiming toward social responsibility. Meanwhile, however, devel- oping environmentally sustainable software products is a challenge in that performance, functionality and energy consumption can reflect conflicting goals. In this paper, our ob- jective is to analyze the effects of different features on energy consumption of the IBM DB2, a commonly used database product. The empirical work focuses on three features. We executed a workload in preconfigured software with some features enabled or disabled and with different numbers of users. To compare the different scenarios, three sets of green metrics were utilized. The metric set identified various parts of the software system where energy is consumed. Our findings may suggest that the conflicts among software system performance, functionality, and energy consumption can be mitigated by choosing a combination of features that interact in a way that improves energy efficiency. Index Terms energy consumption, green metrics, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, software feature interaction, database.
Abstract. Equality is one of the key requisites of social sustainability: history shows that deprivation of some groups in favour of others inevitably leads to social tensions, unrest, and uprisings. As nowadays software systems control access to services, information, and even education, we maintain that all software systems ought to address equality requirements. To facilitate this, we present a template for equality requirements derived through study of 6 sample requirements specifications. The utility of the template is evaluated through a study of its application by a group of expert requirements engineers. The results obtained from a group that used the template are contrasted to the results from another group that completed the same task without the template. This study observes a substantial positive feedback from the template use.
Abstract. Microscopic traffic simulators have become efficient tools to conduct different analytic studies on roads, vehicles, behavior of drivers, and critical intersections, which lead to- wards a well-planned traffic solution. Devising a realistic and sustainable traffic solution requires replication of the real traffic scenario in a simulator. For example, to simulate the traffic streams of developing and under developed countries, we need to simulate non-lane based heterogeneous traffic stream, i.e., motorized and non-motorized vehicles, road traffic behaviors such as irregular pedestrian, illegal parking, violation of laws pertaining lanes, etc. However, most of the existing traffic simulators are unable to mimic the unstructured road traffic streams of less developed countries with their diversified behaviors. Therefore, in this work, we propose a new microscopic traffic simulator to handle non-lane based heterogeneous traffic stream and on road traffic behaviors that generally occurred in the road networks of cities in less developed countries. Our simulator receives network topology, traffic routes, and traffic demand flow rates as input, visualizes the traffic flows, and provides traffic statistics. To evaluate sustainability of our proposed simulator in real-life scenarios, we calibrate the simulator using real traffic data. Our evaluation reveals 99% accuracy in terms of travel time.
Abstract. In this paper we present a vision of how ICT can be leveraged to help combat the impact on pollution, congestion and carbon emissions contributed by the parcel delivery sector. This is timely given annual growth in parcel deliveries, especially same-day deliveries, and the need to inform initiatives to clean up our cities such as the sales ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK by 2040. Our insights are informed by research on parcel logistics in Central London, leveraging a data set of parcel manifests spanning 6 months. To understand the impact of growing e-commerce trends on parcel deliveries we provide a mixed methods case study leveraging data-driven analysis and qualitative fieldwork to demonstrate how ICT can uncover the impact of parcel deliveries on delivery drivers and their delivery rounds during seasonal deliveries (or “the silly season”). We finish by discussing key opportunities for intervention and further research in ICT4S and co-created Smart Cities, connecting our findings with existing research and data as a call to the ICT4S community to help tackle the growth in carbon emissions, pollution and congestion linked to parcel deliveries.
Abstract. The digital transformation has direct and indirect effects on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Direct effects are caused by the production, use and disposal of information and communication technology (ICT) hardware. Indirect effects include the changes to patterns of production and consumption in other domains. Studies quantifying both effects often conclude that net effects (indirect minus direct effects) can lead to a significant GHG emission reduction. We revisited a study by Accenture on ICT’s GHG abatement potential in Switzerland by reassessing the main assumptions. Our results confirm that ICT has the potential to reduce GHG emissions in Switzerland, especially in the building, transport and energy domains. However, our results also suggest that the potential is smaller than anticipated and that exploiting this potential requires targeted action. Reasons for differences among these results (and the results of similar other studies) are: degrees of freedom in the assessment methodology, selection of ICT use cases, allocation of impacts to ICT, definition of the baseline, estimation of the environmental impact, prediction of the future adoption of use cases, estimation of rebound effects, interaction among use cases, and extrapolation from use case to society- wide impacts. We suggest addressing these methodological challenges to improve comparability of results.
Abstract. Based on the Sustainable Development Goals introduced by the United Nations and on the circular economy concept, ICT providers are adapting to become more sustainable. Some assess the CO2 emissions in the whole life cycle, while others propose to use renewable energies during manufacturing and assembling. In contrast with the current smartphone business models that rely on ongoing patterns of production and consumption, this paper proposes a more sustainable approach by combining product modularity, Product-Service Systems (PSS), and design for attachment. With a modular design, it becomes easier to repair the product or to replace parts, allowing for an extended lifespan. In combination with PSS, we propose that the modules, when no longer used by one customer, return to the market to be reused by another one. Lastly, we discuss the impact of the users’ behaviour through emotional bond, personalization, and technology appropriation as predictors of attachment to the product and consequently an extended lifespan. Through comparing case studies and using Life Cycle Assessment to calculate the CO2 equivalent emissions, we argue that our approach would directly reduce the environmental impact of the smartphone on the production phase, which accounts for most of the emissions throughout its life cycle.
Abstract. We understand sustainability as a perspective on the performance of various kinds of systems that puts human well-being in the center of focus. Recognizing that information and communication technology (ICT) is shaping our modern society, there is a need to understand the impact of ICT on sustainability. On the one hand this can be achieved, for example, by extending classic software development approaches to cover sustainability issues. This can be coined sustainability in ICT. On the other hand, innovative ICT approaches offer the potential of directly addressing sustainability issues (sustainability by ICT). Within the ICT4S community, both perspectives are addressed. What is missing, is an overarching perspective that helps to identify interlinkages. In this contribution, we present the case of an online-shop selling ICT hardware products as an community exemplar. We exemplify the usefulness as an overarching example, by relating parts of our existing work on ICT sustainability to it: a process model of the sales process, as well as a representation of sustainability risks related to the sold ICT products. Additionally, we show how ICT4S papers from 2016 can be mapped to the exemplar. We conclude with presenting a community website, where we invite fellow researchers and practitioners to contribute to a growing wealth of sustainability insights.
Abstract. This paper explores the use of an Ambient Information Display (AID) to visualize indoor temperature, in order to promote behavior change through reflection and discussion. A prototype system was built using Philips Hue, a personal wireless LED lighting system, to visualize indoor temperature with colors, and an unused smartphone as temperature sensor. A household with a family of five was used as test environment. The design process underwent two major design iterations focusing on the visualization and its impact on the family’s everyday perception of the indoor temperature, and the reflective processes this triggered. After three months of usage, late December to late March, the system was evaluated thoroughly. The awareness of the indoor temperature had been increased with the use of the system, where the AID had served as a trigger for discussions.
Abstract. Digitalization is driving the increasing energy and resource needs of ICT. In Ger- many, ICT accounts for eight percent of electricity consumption. Data centers alone cur- rently consume 2.3% of the electricity in Germany, with an upward
Although the ICT sector is generally considered to be very innovative and new solu- tions are often implemented very quickly, deployment of energy- and resource-efficient innovations is frequently confronted with considerable obstacles and barriers.
Innovation alliances of companies are a promising instrument of governmental sup- port for new environmental technologies in the fast-paced ICT sector. In the past ten years, several initiatives of this kind have been launched, e.g., the consortium GreenIT Amsterdam, the Innovationsallianz Rechenzentren (Innovation Alliance Data Centers) in Hesse, Germany, and the Netzwerk energieeffiziente Rechenzentren (Network Energy- Efficient Data Centers). Some of these initiatives have achieved remarkable successes.
The present paper analyzes such innovation alliances using the example of energy efficiency in data centers as the field of application. Three good-practice examples from Germany are presented. The paper shows what these innovation alliances can achieve and analyzes the factors contributing to their successful implementation. It concludes with concrete recommendations for practical implementation of such initiatives.
Abstract. In this paper, a set of indicators is presented that aim to identify promising service innovations for Accessibility as a Service (AaaS) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS); services that potentially can reduce the demand for transport and optimize use of transport infrastructure and vehicles in urban regions. The proposed indicators characterize service innovations from three different perspectives: 1) Is the service innovation environmentally sustainable? Does it reduce negative impacts on the environment (reduce carbon emissions, use of space), 2) Is it rewardable? Is value created for an organization? Does it make use of new sustainable business models, and 3) How widely is the service spread? How many users are there, what is the geographic distribution and what level of societal transition has occurred? The developed indicators are meant to guide policy makers, decision makers, business developers and academia in the prioritizations that need to be made when allocating land and resources to the most promising and powerful innovations, moving towards more environmentally friendly mobility and accessibility. The next step will be to test the indicators to identify and categorize existing and emerging new services, ideas, pilots and prototypes. The results of this second step will be presented in our next article.
Abstract. Maturity models have become a common tool for organisations to assess their capabilities in a variety of domains. However, for fields that have not yet been researched thoroughly, it can be difficult to create and evolve a maturity model that features all the important aspects in that field. It takes time and many iterative improvements for a maturity model to come of age. This is the case for Green ICT maturity models, whose aim is typically to either provide insight on the important aspects an organisation or a researcher should take into account when trying to improve the social or environmental impact of ICT, or to assist in the auditing of such aspects. In fact, when we were commissioned a comprehensive ICT-sustainability auditing for Utrecht University, we not only faced the need of selecting a Green ICT maturity model, but also to ensure that it covered as many organisational aspects as possible, extending the model if needed. This paper reports on the comparison we carried out of several Green ICT maturity models, how we extended our preferred model with needed constructs, and how we applied the resulting model during the ICT-sustainability auditing.
Abstract. This paper attempts to make a high-level estimate of the material footprints of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Entertainment and Media (E&M) sectors for one year from four different perspectives while including the full life cycle of products and applying a top-down perspective. The four perspectives explored are: i) amount of materials used; ii) carbon footprint of the materials focusing on Raw Materials Acquisition (RMA) and End of Life Treatment (EoLT) stages; iii) material resource depletion; and iv) toxicity of materials.
For the given assumptions, it is estimated that the sectors represent about 0,5% of the global annual usage of the selected materials, and for several materials (indium, gallium and germanium), ICT and E&M usage represents as much as 80-90% of the overall usage. Their use of materials represents about 0.9% of the carbon footprint for the selected materials, and about 0.1% of the total global carbon footprint, while the sectors material resource depletion potential is estimated to be between 13% and 48% of overall global depletion for the selected materials, depending on impact assessment method. Finally, the for toxicity of the selected materials, plus cement production, ICT and E&M are estimated to represent about 3.3%, based on ReCiPe. Toxicity and resource depletion results and the mass result for specific materials all indicate that the ICT and E&M sectors play a larger role than their average share of the total annual materials usage indicates, and gold and copper are identified as the most impacting materials. The applied top-down method provide only coarse estimates and further research is needed based on bottom-up methods.
Abstract. This paper estimates the energy and carbon footprint of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Entertainment & Media (E&M) sectors globally for 2010-2015 as well as a forecast to 2020. It builds on two previous global studies (2007 and 2011) and a Swedish study (2015) by the same authors. The study is based on a extensive dataset which combines primary and secondary data for operational (use stage) energy consumption and life cycle greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) for the included sub- sectors, including energy and carbon footprint data from about 100 of the major global manufacturers, operators and ICT and E&M service providers. The data set also includes sale statistics and forecasts for equipment to estimate product volumes in addition to published LCA studies and primary manufacturing data to estimate the embodied carbon footprint of products. The result shows that the ICT and E&M sectors have turned their previous growing footprints into shrinking ones despite a continuous increase in subscriptions and data traffic. Furthermore the results of this study is also indicating significantly lower levels than previous forecasts.
Abstract. The ubiquity of ICT means the potential of ICT4S covers a broad range of sustainability topics and application domains. However, ICT4S research can be ill positioned with regard to the complexity of transforming society in such a way that people and environmental ecologies can coexist in a sustainable system. The danger is that ICT4S becomes partitioned into a small subset of sustainability and using a limited set of the levers at our disposal. Grounded in the Mann-Bates maturity scale for sustainability this paper performs an analysis of the ICT4S conference corpus to measure how mature the research is in our field with regard to sustainability. Based on this analysis we identify areas in which the ICT4S community can begin to shift the maturity of research in order to promote sustainable futures. By applying the Transformation Mindset our article demonstrates through a series of illustrative how ICT4S can apply this mindset to shift ICT4S research towards more sustainable trajectories. This is an essential first step in taking stock, highlighting shortcomings and identifying opportunities in ICT for sustainability.
Abstract. In recent years, ICT has revolutionized content creation and communications. Today, everybody with Internet access can produce digital content composed of virtual ‘bits’ and make it instantly available across the globe. The same is now happening to manufacturing for all people with access to tools like 3D printers. This inter- changeability of bits and atoms is being called the maker movement, which started as a community-based, socially-driven bottom-up movement but is today also impacting mainstream manufacturing through increased efficiencies, distributed local production and the circular economy. The maker movement thus has significant promise for increasing social, economic, environmental and technical sustainability, but is it currently living up to this potential? The European-funded MAKE-IT project has examined these postulates through in-depth qualitative and quantitative empirical research.
Abstract. Since natural resources are limited, we need to ensure that materials are reused and recycled to the highest degree possible. Information and feedback as well as incentives may encourage people to alter their behavior. In this paper, we explore waste practices within grocery stores and how feedback through visualizations may help stores improve their waste management. We have studied the gap between current waste data and waste data that is both meaningful and can be acted upon as well as barriers between actionable data and organizational change. Nine interviews were conducted with a central facilities manager, store managers, employees and a representative from the waste collection company. Based on the results from these interviews, two mockups of web visualizations were designed and later evaluated in two additional stores. The initial interviews highlighted knowledge about waste, economic and environmental incentives for recycling and current modes of feedback and comparisons between stores. The mockups also reveal structural tensions between economic and environmental goals that wouldn’t be affected solely by better visualization of data. We conclude by discussing obstacles that needs to be overcome to reach organizational change in terms of more sustainable waste management practices in grocery stores.
Abstract. Automated and connected cars could significantly reduce congestion and emissions through a more efficient flow of traffic and a reduction in the number of vehicles. An increase in demand for driving with autonomous vehicles is also conceivable due to higher comfort and improved quality of time using driverless cars. So far, empirical evidence supporting this hypothesis is missing. To analyze the influence of autonomous driving on mobility behavior and to uncover user preferences, which serve as an indicator for future travel mode choices, we conducted an online survey with a paired comparison of current and future travel modes with 302 German participants. The results do not confirm the hypothesis that ownership will become an outdated model in the future. Instead they suggest that private cars, whether traditional or fully automated, will remain the preferred travel mode. At the same time, carsharing will benefit from full automation more than private cars. However, findings indicate that the growth of carsharing will mainly be at the expense of public transport, showing that more effort should be placed in making public transportation more attractive if sustainable mobility is to be developed.
Abstract. Citizen Science initiatives have been around since the 20th century in numerous fields, from astronomy to health monitoring. In recent years, social changes mediated by the development of information and communication technologies have pivoted new types of civic actions, which have enabled an expansion in the breath of citizen science applications. This civic technology has become a genuine interactive and inclusive opportunity for engaging citizens in the continuous collection of data relevant to science, governance, businesses, communal living, as well as individual concerns. This article presents the practices, trends and challenges of 108 ICT enabled citizen science projects. In addition, we present a palette for participation in ICT enabled citizen science that depicts the shapes civic participation is currently taking in different contexts. We discuss the potential uses of this palette for improving the engineering of ICT citizen science platforms to better fit the needs of volunteers and build opportunities for active engagement.
Abstract. In today’s digital age, massive amounts of data are steadily being generated from various sources, such as smart-phones and social media. Smart-Grids are among the fields that are currently experiencing a burst in the data being generated, in part due to the recent investments in Advanced Metering Infrastructure Systems. In this paper, we present a benchmark between MySQL and MongoDB, when used to store and maintain the data that results from Advanced Metering Infrastructure Systems deployments. Our results show that MongoDB clearly outperforms MySQL for reading operations but at a cost of a much larger database size. As such, when deploying such systems, developers should be aware of this important trade-off that may greatly affect the overall experience.
Abstract. Mobile data consumption in Finland is among the highest in the world. Increase in mobile data usage has been rapid and continuous growth is foreseen. While the energy consumed per transmitted gigabyte has substantially decreased, it seems that the absolute annual energy consumption related to mobile operators’ activities has started to increase. Simultaneously, consumer behavior is changing. While new end-user devices are more and more energy-efficient, we use more and more time with mobile devices. Is increasing usage outweighing achieved energy savings? What kinds of options are available for tackling increasing energy demand?
This paper discusses current and future trends related to energy consumption of mobile data transfer and mobile networks in Finland. Using a top-down approach and publicly available data, an illustrative trend (kWh/gigabyte) for the energy consumption of transmitted mobile data was constructed for the years 2010-2016. In addition, energy consumption related to mobile data transfer is discussed from a life cycle perspective, considering both direct and indirect energy use and challenges in conducting such assessments. Contributions of relevant technological and social developments (radio network technology transformations from 4G to 5G and consumer behavior) are analyzed considering possible trade-offs and pointing out aspects that require future studies.
Abstract. Research at the intersection of sustainability and computing often engages with external stakeholders, and those engagements can determine success and impact of the sustainable goals as well as the entire research. In this paper, we reflect on various stakeholder en- gagements to derive lessons for the ICT4S community that seeks to broaden its sustainable impact beyond their own field. We briefly describe our experiences with case studies from each of the individual author’s research, and then synthesize across those experiences to reflect on similarities and differences. The resulting discussion highlights what we feel were our important lessons learned, as well as some of our thoughts on how to approach collab- orations or deployments with external stakeholders in sustainable computing projects.
Abstract. Sustainability necessitates reform of resource production and consumption to reduce environmental harms. The main way that ICT can address these resource impacts is through digital optimization. Spreng found that optimization of an industrial process either increases resource efficiency by reducing energy inputs (“save impacts”) or reduces production and consumption times to increase resource outputs (“push impacts”). It was assumed that a difficult choice then exists between save impacts that progress sustainability and push impacts that meet market demand. Based on a new typology of enabling impacts, this paper argues that there are two important cases in which push impacts can be just as valuable for sustainability as save impacts: 1) when the process drives the production and adoption of an environmentally beneficial product i.e. “cleantech” e.g. a solar panel or 2) when the process is specific to the Circular Economy, such as recycling, maintenance/refurbishment, and sharing/reuse e.g. car- sharing, ride-sharing and tool-sharing in the Sharing Economy. The opportunities for ICT4S optimization are thus threefold: "saving" resources with efficiency, “pushing” the adoption of cleantech, and “pushing” the circulation of resources.
Abstract. Life cycle assessment is a well-established methodology for assessing the environmental impacts of products and services. Unfortunately, an essential part of this life cycle assessment method, col- lecting inventory data, is extremely time consuming. The quality of manually conducted LCA studies is often limited by uncertainty in the inventory data or narrow scope. Past attempts to overcome these challenges through automation of data collection utilizing the Internet of Things have relied on fully centralized architectures. The drawback of a central repository is the complex coordination between all involved actors in supply chains of products and services. This paper proposes an alternative hybrid approach combining a primary distributed system supplemented with a central repository reducing the need for coordination. This hybrid approach is named "the Footprint of Things". We present a system design that embeds the automatic reporting of life cycle inventory data, such as energy and material flows, into all product components involved in a service delivery. The major strength of our novel system design, among others, is its capacity for real-time and more precise impact calculation of ICT services.
Abstract. Software energy efficiency has gained increasing attention of the research community. How to improve it, however, still lacks evidence. Specifically, the impact of code smell refactoring on energy efficiency has been scarcely investigated. In the pilot study here reported, we investigate the impact on performance and energy consumption of refactoring well-known code smells on Java software applications. In order to understand if software metrics can be used as indicators of the energy impact of refactoring, we also measured the variation caused by refactoring on a set of well-established software metrics. We conducted a controlled experiment using state-of-the-art power measurement equipment. Statistical hypothesis testing and effect size estimation were performed on the experimental results. Results show that in one out of three applications, refactoring each smell significantly impacted power- and energy consumption. Specifically, refactoring Feature Envy and Long Method smells led to a 49% energy efficiency improvement. No software metrics significantly correlated with execution time, power or energy consumption. In conclusion, refactoring code smells can significantly improve software energy efficiency. The magnitude of the impact may depend on application properties, e.g. size or age. Further research is needed to understand the relationship between software metrics and energy efficiency.
Abstract. Internet connectivity is seamlessly integrated into many of our everyday habits and activities. Despite this, previous research has highlighted that our rather excessive Internet use is not sustainable or even always socially beneficial. In this paper, we carried out an exploratory study on how Internet disconnection affects our everyday lives and whether such disconnection is even possible in today’s society. Through daily surveys, we captured what Internet use means for ten participants and how this varies when they are asked to disconnect by default, and re-connect only when their Internet use is deemed as necessary. From our study, we found that our participants could disconnect from the Internet for certain activities (particularly leisure focused), yet they developed adaptations in their lives to address the necessity of their Internet use. We elicit these adaptations into five themes that encompass how the participants did, or did not, use the Internet based on their necessities. Drawing on these five themes, we conclude with ways in which our study can inspire future research surrounding: Internet infrastructure limits; the promotion of slow values; Internet non-use; and the undesign of Internet services.
Abstract. There is a growing number of farmers embracing information and communication technologies (ICT) as a way of enabling direct sales to consumers and creating added value through involving the consumers and making food production more transparent. This article presents the case of Nybrukarna, a community supported agriculture (CSA) cooperative in the south of Sweden, and explores how social media is used in their operation. The social media posts during a growing season were analyzed and used to identify different cases. Three main themes were identified: (1) practical communication and feedback from customers; (2) increasing transparency of crop production and values; (3) marketing and direct sales. These results were combined with information from a survey with feedback of the CSA customers, and a survey with growers in similar context, for identifying and discussing challenges, drivers, and opportunities for future development and research.