About this Research Topic
In this era of the Internet of things (IoT), data has remarkably increased the connectivity among networks, opening new opportunities in terms of modeling, analysis, and control of critical infrastructures. We look specifically into the use of data from next-generation IoT systems to improve predictive models that ultimately inform decision making concerned with the sustainability aspect of the Food, Energy and Water (FEW) networks, their nexus, and the involved infrastructures. A particular interest is devoted to “disruptive” scenarios (e.g., weather hazards, pandemics) and how sustainability of FEW networks can, both in isolation and conjunction, be improved or maintained under stress. Important evidence has become available of the interconnect of data-driven methods and improved sustainability in “ordinary” operating conditions of FEW networks. As an example, energy and water networks, which have seen unprecedented growth in smart sensing and artificial intelligence (AI), have also remarkably improved energy and water use efficiency, especially within the agriculture sector. The increased sensing and intelligence of transportation networks have influenced the food system by impacting the ability to monitor the several phases of the food supply chain, from production to consumption, giving new opportunities of evaluating, and potentially improving such sustainability.
More studies are essential to improve the use of data to better understand how the planning and operation of individual subsystems within the FEW nexus impact the other subsystems and the whole nexus under disruptions. In fact, FEW infrastructures are not only individually exposed to great stresses, but also their dependence on one another is itself a cause of more disruptions due to cascading effects. Ultimately, a better understanding of how shocks (e.g., extreme weather conditions, pandemics) affect FEW networks need to be understood to produce improved predictions that can then better inform policymaking. Some of the scientific and technological challenges that may arise are at the data storage, processing, model development, validation, and data analysis levels.
In this Reserach Topic, we seek contributions from experts in several aspects of big data, analytics, and modeling in the context of FEW networks. Prospective authors are invited to submit original manuscripts on the topics including, but not limited to, the following:
- Big Data Infrastructures for FEW. This includes submissions focusing on data systems supporting understanding and evaluation of sustainability of networked FEW infrastructures under disruption. We invite contributions related to challenges and approaches to collect and process large amounts of data with specific application to the FEW networks area. Relevant contributions will need to consider challenges that are associated with data (e.g., availability and size of data) within FEW.
- Data Driven Modeling and Control of FEW systems. This includes modeling and visualization approaches for prediction, planning, and control of FEW systems. Specifically, submissions that highlight the modeling and visualization challenges arising from the coupled nature of FEW systems as well as the scale of the associated infrastructures are encouraged. In-depth reviews will also be considered.
- Data-driven FEW nexus decision making. Contributions, which delve into the implications of decision making onto the footprint associated with FEW networks, will be considered. In fact, it has become increasingly apparent that decisions made by logistics businesses, energy and water managers impact the food system (e.g., concentration of goods production in a specific area, supply chain disruptions, consumption patterns) and have an important impact on the sustainability of the FEW systems. Models that can help evaluate and predict the effect of policies and environmental disruptions on FEW systems are needed.
- FEW Case Studies. Contributions focusing on specific case studies at different scales (state, country and global) focusing on food, energy, water nexus are welcome.
Keywords: FEW Nexus, sustainability, resilience, urban infrastructure, data analytics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.