Decision Support System for Museum Management through Distributed Wireless Sensing

Federico Viani, Italy

Published paper: Decision Support System for Museum Management through Distributed Wireless Sensing

In the last years, many integrated smart systems based on the wireless sensor network (WSN) technology have been developed at the ELEDIA Research Center of the University of Trento. Among application fields under study [1-8], the monitoring and the surveillance of museum areas has been carefully investigated because of its heterogeneous needs and challenging requirements besides the great public interest. On the other hand, it is worthwhile pointing out that the key-features of the WSN technology, like small size, non-invasiveness, low cost, low power consumption, scalability, multi-sensor, and ease of installation, turn out to be very suitable for the scenario at hand. For these reasons, ELEDIA has developed an open platform called E-MUSEUM for the development of advanced services that exploit the distributed information collected in a museum space through a WSN infrastructure. Each WSN node collects and transmits in a wireless way the information on the monitored area to be processed in real-time by a remote control unit for providing an evaluation of the museum status as well as to forecast the museum usage according to the measured data trends. As a matter of fact, thanks to the real-time and continuous acquisition of ‘museum status’ (e.g., the environmental parameters), the managers and the curators can be profitably supported in the organization/management of the museum area. Moreover, such a smart platform can also enable more advanced and customized museum services. For example,
• Artworks Surveillance: a subset of WSN nodes that integrate movement sensors and installed on the artworks, thanks to their reduced dimension, enables the security and the prevention of undesired event like vandalism and theft;
• Non-authorized Access Detection – Visitors Counting: the availability of easily deployable WSN nodes installed in proximity of doors and gates and equipped with presence-sensors enables the detection of the presence of people and the count of visitors;
• Tourist Flow Supervision/Control: enabled thanks to the integration of advanced algorithms for the detection, the filtering, and the classification of events starting from the indirect and simple environmental information (e.g., temperature/humidity changing profiles) collected by the WSN nodes [9].
In order to assess the efficiency and reliability of the E-MUSEUM system, a preliminary implementation has been deployed on October 2012 in the “Salone dei Cinquecento”, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, thanks to the kind authorization of the Florence municipality. A set of 23 WSN nodes controlled from remote (according to the inputs/needs of the managers/curators) and equipped with environmental sensors has been installed within the museum area at different heights to give in real-time a complete three-dimensional map of the ‘status’ of the monitored area in terms of occupancy, visitors presence, etc… The details of the installation and the preliminary outcomes of the experimental activities carried out in the “Salone dei Cinquecento” museum site will be discussed at the conference to give some insight to the conference attendees about the potentialities of the E-MUSEUM platform as a reliable and effective tool for connecting cultural heritage with the communities of the ‘smartcities’ of the future.

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