Context-awareness and the smart grid: Requirements and challenges

Michael Donohoe, Brendan Jennings, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


New intelligent power grids (smart grids) will be an essential way of improving efficiency in power supply and power consumption, facilitating the use of distributed and renewable resources on the supply side and providing consumers with a range of tailored services on the consumption side. The delivery of efficiencies and advanced services in a smart grid will require both a comprehensive overlay communications network and flexible software platforms that can process data from a variety of sources, especially electronic sensor networks. Parallel developments in autonomic systems, pervasive computing and context-awareness (relating in particular to data fusion, context modelling, and semantic data) could provide key elements in the development of scalable smart grid data management systems and applications that utilise a multi-technology communications network. This paper describes: (1) the communications and data management requirements of the emerging smart grid, (2) state-of-the-art techniques and systems for context-awareness and (3) a future direction towards devising a context-aware middleware platform for the smart grid, as well as associated requirements and challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-282
Number of pages20
JournalComputer Networks
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2015


  • Context-awareness
  • Middleware
  • Sensor networks
  • Smart grid


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