Environmental Analysis and Eco-design of services based on sensors networks
The increasing share of economic value created by information and communication technology (ICT) and by services is generally seen as a sign of dematerialization of the economy - a step towards sustainability. This thesis is a contribution to the ongoing debate about this hypothesis. It examines the impacts of ICT and services, particularly those of information services - activities which consist of generating information required in decision-making processes. It focuses specifically on optimization services that use wireless sensor networks (WSN): services aiming at optimizing a process (thus diminishing its environmental impact) and based on information generated by a WSN. We present an integrated method that helps to analyze the impacts and ecodesigning optimization services that use WSN. This method allows for determining the environmental relevance of a service, i.e. whether it generates a smaller impact than it is helps to avoid, and for designing the service with this relevance in mind. Our scientific contribution is to formalize an environmental impact model for information services and a life cycle model for WSN, so as to develop an assessment tool based on network simulation. An integral part of this method is the development of an environmental impact model for information services as well as a life cycle model for WSN, which constitute our main scientific contribution. We implemented these by means of an assessment tool based on network simulation. The application of the proposed method to a case of an optimization service for waste collection allowed us to conclude that there is significant room for ecodesign. However, the environmental relevance of those services should not been taken for granted, nor should the dematerialization potential of ICT and services.
PhD Student: Jérémy BONVOISIN Grenoble University, 2009 Director: Daniel BRISSAUD