Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Corey E. Baker


Rapid urbanization burdens city infrastructure and creates the need for local governments to maximize the usage of resources to serve its citizens. Smart city projects aim to alleviate the urbanization problem by deploying a vast amount of Internet-of-things (IoT) devices to monitor and manage environmental conditions and infrastructure. However, smart city projects can be extremely expensive to deploy and manage partly due to the cost of providing Internet connectivity via 5G or WiFi to IoT devices. This thesis proposes the use of delay tolerant networks (DTNs) as a backbone for smart city communication; enabling developing communities to become smart cities at a fraction of the cost. A model is introduced to aid policy makers in designing and evaluating the expected performance of such networks and results are presented based on a public transit network data-set from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Louisville, Kentucky. We also demonstrate that the performance of our network can be optimized using algorithms associated on set-cover and Influence maximization problems. Several optimization algorithms are then developed to facilitate the effective placement of gateways within the network model and these algorithms are shown to outperform traditional centrality-based algorithms in terms of cost-efficiency and network performance. Finally, other innovative ways of improving network performance in a low-cost smart city is discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)