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Adaptive City Program Real-Time Server


This system, written in Java / Vertx is designed to receive 'real-time' sensor data such as detailed in-building energy use or regional vehicle position feeds. The platform supports analysis on these updates in real-time, and provides both web-based information pages and also sends messages to other systems based on user subscriptions.

In the archicture image below, the black lines represent real-time data flows. The red lines are the traditional request-response transfers.

Platform Overview

In terms of system design, the platform is notable mainly in that:

  • An asynchronous message-passing paradigm is at the core of the platform, i.e. vehicle position data is received by the FeedHandler module in real-time, formatted as a a message, and published in the system. Other modules will receive and process those messages, themselved publishing derived messages such as a zone becoming congested.
  • The Vertx library is used to provide a non-blocking framework for the server-side Java code, with the modules themselves designed to operate asynchronously and be non-blocking.
  • Each module in the system (e.g. FeedHandler, FeedPlayer, Zone, Route, Vehicle) is designed to be an independent agent or actor, and the system design supports configurations of arbitrary numbers of feeds, zones, users etc.

System Architecture Overview

The system is composed of Vertx modules (i.e. Verticles) that communicate via a clustered EventBus. Each module is intended to represent an agent in the system. A FeedHandler can accept data via any custom means (currently http) and then broadcast that realtime data via the EventBus, a Zone module can subscribe to these vehicle position events, generate its own status update messages such as congestion alerts, and broadcast its own messages back onto the EventBus for other modules to receive.

Basic ACP Architecture

The Adaptive City Platform is modular and there is no particular limit on the number of modules that can be concurrently supported. A production implementation is expected to have hundreds or thousands of verticles processing data simultaneously.

ACP System Structure

The use of Vertx and the clustered EventBus allows Rita modules to be run in multiple instances on a single server, and also across multiple distributed servers. This also allows the realtime data to be archived simultaneously in multiple locations.

Most current modules in the Rita platform are general purpose, i.e. the function is independent of the actual type of realtime data received. The image below shows this division between (on the left) general-purpose modules that have no interest in the actual type of realtime data received (e.g. the FeedMaker and MsgFiler) and (on the right) those that interpret the data and produce derived analytics.

Summary of system modules

For more detail see the readme in each module directory

FeedMaker (see FeedMaker README)

FeedMaker is an enhanced feedhandler that can receive POST data but also periodically GET data sources that do not themselves provide a real-time POST 'push'-style feed. It will poll a website periodically, immediately store the data in the raw format in which it was received, and parse the data and publish it as a message on the EventBus.

FeedMaker publishes feed data to the EventBus to use MsgFiler to store the json parsed data it generates.

Console (see Console README)

Designed to be used by admin users, the Console presents a user webpage reporting status. Each module in the system reports its 'up' status regularly on the Vertx eventbus, and the console listens for these messages and dynamically adds status reporting areas to the web page. Any module can also transmit general log messages to the console.

It is intended to add a command-line in the console, to provide convenient web-based administration of some aspects of the system.

MsgFiler (see MsgFiler README)

MsgFiler is a general-purpose module that can be configured to subscribe to messages on the EventBus and store them in the filesystem.

MsgRouter (see MsgRouter README)

MsgRouter subscribes to messages on the EventBus and POST's them to URL destinations.

HttpMsg (see HttpMsg README)

HttpMsg is a generalized Vertx module which can receive Json packets as http POST's and then send that data as a message on the EventBus.

FeedCSV (see FeedCSV README)

A FeedCSV module subscribes to a FeedHandler feed, and writes the data as CSV (comma-delimited ascii text) files in the server filesystem.

StaticServer (see StaticServer README)

StaticServer is a simple HTTP server for serving static files. This is useful with the Rita verticles running behind an Nginx reverse proxy, with /static/* requests redirected to this server.


Real-time code repository, for the Adaptive City Platform using Java / Vertx






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