Integrating IoT-Sensing and Crowdsensing with Privacy: Privacy-Preserving Hybrid Sensing for Smart Cities

Hanwei Zhu, Sid Chi Kin Chau, Gladhi Guarddin, Weifa Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Data sensing and gathering is an essential task for various information-driven services in smart cities. On the one hand, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can be deployed at certain fixed locations to capture data reliably but suffer from limited sensing coverage. On the other hand, data can also be gathered dynamically through crowdsensing contributed by voluntary users but suffer from its unreliability and the lack of incentives for users' contributions. In this article, we explore an integrated paradigm called “hybrid sensing” that harnesses both IoT-sensing and crowdsensing in a complementary manner. In hybrid sensing, users are incentivized to provide sensing data not covered by IoT sensors and provide crowdsourced feedback to assist in calibrating IoT-sensing. Their contributions will be rewarded with credits that can be redeemed to retrieve synthesized information from the hybrid system. In this article, we develop a hybrid sensing system that supports explicit user privacy-IoT sensors are obscured physically to prevent capturing private user data, and users interact with a crowdsensing server via a privacy-preserving protocol to preserve their anonymity. A key application of our system is smart parking, by which users can inquire and find the available parking spaces in outdoor parking lots. We implemented our hybrid sensing system for smart parking and conducted extensive empirical evaluations. Finally, our hybrid sensing system can be potentially applied to other information-driven services in smart cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalACM Transactions on Internet of Things
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2022


  • crowdsensing
  • crowdsourcing
  • hybrid sensing
  • IoT
  • machine learning
  • Privacy
  • smart cities
  • smart parking


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