Evaluating air quality by combining stationary, smart mobile pollution monitoring and data-driven modelling

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2019, 221 pp. 398 - 418
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Air pollution impact assessment is a major objective for various community councils in large cities, which have lately redirected their attention towards using more low-cost sensing units supported by citizen involvement. However, there is a lack of research studies investigating real-time mobile air-quality measurement through smart sensing units and even more of any data-driven modelling techniques that could be deployed to predict air quality accurately from the generated data-sets. This paper addresses these challenges by: a) proposing a comparative and detailed investigation of various air quality monitoring devices (both fixed and mobile), tested through field measurements and citizen sensing in an eco-neighbourhood from Lorraine, France, and by b) proposing a machine learning approach to evaluate the accuracy and potential of such mobile generated data for air quality prediction. The air quality evaluation consists of three experimenting protocols: a) first, we installed fixed passive tubes for monitoring the nitrogen dioxide concentrations placed in strategic locations highly affected by traffic circulation in an eco-neighbourhood, b) second, we monitored the nitrogen dioxide registered by citizens using smart and mobile pollution units carried at breathing level; results revealed that mobile-captured concentrations were 3–5 times higher than the ones registered by passive-static monitoring tubes and c) third, we compared different mobile pollution stations working simultaneously, which revealed noticeable differences in terms of result variability and sensitivity. Finally, we applied a machine learning modelling by using decision trees and neural networks on the mobile-generated data and show that humidity and noise are the most important factors influencing the prediction of nitrogen dioxide concentrations of mobile stations.
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