Athens Information Technology - Research and Education Laboratory in Information Technologies, Greece (AIT)

Athens Information Technology - Research and Education Laboratory in Information Technologies, Greece (AIT)

Athens Information Technology (AIT,, an internationally-renowned education and research center in the fields of information technology, telecommunications, and innovation management, was founded in 2002 by the INTRACOM group of companies. AIT has been collaborating with Aalborg University and the Center for TeleInFrastruktur (CTiF) resulting in a joint PhD program and a BSc program in Computer Engineering. Until recently, a collaboration with the Information Networking Institute (INI) of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) resulted in a joint MSc program. AIT has strong relationships with the global IT and networking industry, as well as with the major IT and telecom industries in Greece. The last three years AIT has signed 34 research contracts, 11 of which are industrial contracts and the rest are contracts with the European Commission (19 currently running projects), the European Defense Agency and the Greek Secretariat for Research and Technology. The relevant budget amounts to 8MEuro. The research work is performed by 40 academics and supported by a properly staffed Project Office.

AIT participates in SMART through its Autonomic and Grid Computing Group. The Autonomic and Grid Computing Group (AGCG) of the AIT aspires to achieve secure, pervasive, human- cantered, high-performance computing through a combination of user, network and systems technologies. The group has more than 15 members (possessing MSc and PhDs) and a rich track record of FP6/FP7 projects including the CHIL FP6 project (FP6-506909), the HERMES (FP7-216709) project on ICT and ageing well, the ASPIRE (FP7-215417) project on RFID Middleware, the SpeechTV project on speech enabled devices, as well as the PRIAMOS project (funded from the Greek General Secretarial of Research and Technology) which emphasizes on programmable middleware for situation identification and sophisticated context-awareness. AGCG has set-up and operates a state of the art laboratory, supporting its research on pervasive computing, perceptual interfaces, multimodal interaction and autonomic systems middleware. The laboratory consists of the following elements: 10 video cameras – one being Pan-Zoom-Tilt, a Microphone Array (64 microphones), 4 T-shaped microphone clusters, projection devices, small computer mounted cameras, a targeted audio device, various RFID tags and interrogators, one RFID gate (dock door portal) and a large number of computers.

During the last couple of years the group has developed the following prototype systems:

  • A fully fledged Open Source RFID middleware system (
  • A face detection, tracking and recognition system
  • 2D and 3D person tracking systems
  • An audio source localization and tracking system
  • AGrid middleware scheduling system based on dynamic resource predictions
  • Autonomic middleware components significantly accelerating the development of human centric applications in smart spaces

Specifically, the group has been main contributor in the development of the CHIL Reference Architecture and related middleware infrastructure for pervasive computing applications. All these prototype systems are available at the laboratories of the group, and have already been demonstrated in the scope of several public events: COMDEX exhibition (Athens, Nov. 2005), CHIL Technology Days (Berlin, Apr. 2006 & Karlsruhe, July 2007), IST Conferences (Helsinki, Nov. 2006 & Lyon, Nov. 2008). ICT Digitally Driven conference (Brussels, Sept. 2010), and for three consequtive years in Athens Digital Week, a popular technology show(Athens, 2008, 2009 and 2010). Some of the systems have received international recognition (e.g., top performance in international competitions such as CLEAR 2006 and CLEAR 2007). Using these technologies the group is developing applications for security, safety, support of meeting activities (e.g., through memory aids), as well as applications for ambient assisted living.

Role in the Project: In the scope of the SMART project, AIT will provide all visual processing components, namely for face tracking, person tracking and visual scene analysis. AIT will lead the efforts associated with the edge nodel layer, where it will pay emphasis in content delivery, semantic modelling and social search functionality. AIT has a good understanding of open source issues and related contributions (as a co-founder of the AspireRFID project) and will therefore have a role in setting up the SMART open source project and building up the related community. AIT will also participate in the specification of the SMART components and the related technical architecture. AIT will undertake to support SDR in sensor selection (notably cameras), as well as in the calibration, design and deployment of the sensor network at the city.

Prof. John Soldatos, PhD, (born in Athens, Greece in 1973) is with Athens Information Technology (AIT) since March 2003, where he is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Soldatos has had an active role (wp-leader, technical manager, project manager) in more than 20 EC co-funded research projects in the scope of the ACTS, ESPRIT, FP5-IST, FP6-ICT and FP7-ICT frameworks. Dr. Soldatos has also considerable experience (senior developer, IT systems architect, team leader, technical project manager) in several enterprise IT projects, where he worked for leading Greek enterprises (INTRACOM S.A, IBM Hellas S.A, PEGASUS S.A, OTE S.A, TEMAGON S.A). Dr. Soldatos was (in 2000) the technical manager for the software development of the portal He is also the co-founder, technical manager and contributor of the AspireRFID Open Source project ( Furthermore, he has been involved in several large scale industry projects (both public and private sector) as a principal IT consultant. Dr. Soldatos has also conducted more than 20 corporate training seminars (main topics being JavaEE, Oracle, RUP/XP, technical management for IT/IS). As a result of his research activities he has co-authored more than 120 papers published in international journals (>30) and conference proceedings, while he has also co-edited two books and two journal special issues. His current research interests are in Pervasive, Grid and Autonomic Computing, as well as broadband networking. Dr. Soldatos serves as a reviewer in major journals (e.g., IEEE), as an evaluator for EU projects/proposals and business plans, while he has also served as organizing chair, tutorial chair, and TPC member in numerous conferences. Prof. Soldatos has served as TPC co-chair of the “flagship” IEEE PIMRC conference (1200 participants).

Prof. Aristodemos Pnevmatikakis, PhD is an associate professor at Athens Information Technology. His prime research interest is tracking and identification systems for human-machine and human-to-human interaction modeling in intelligent spaces. He focuses on detection and tracking, multimedia processing, pattern recognition, data conversion, signal processing for the physical layer and RF system level design. He is co-author of the books Audio-Visual Person Tracking: A Practical Approach (World Scientific Publication Co., Imperial College Press, London, UK, Dec. 2011) and Delta-Sigma Modulators, Modeling, Design and Applications (Imperial College Press, London, UK, 2003). His research has resulted to a series of scientific publications and has been featured on regional and international media and events, while the resulting systems have been successfully evaluated at international evaluation campaigns. He has been involved in numerous EU and national research and industrial projects. He received his BSc in Physics from University of Patras, Greece in 1993 and his MSc and PhD from Imperial College, University of London in 1995 and 1999 respectively. Since July 2003, he is with Athens Information Technology. He has been with the Development Programs Dept. of Intracom (2001-2003) and with the Analogue and RF Design Group of Integrated Systems Development (1998-2001).

Mr. Andreas Stergiou, MSc. is a research scientist with the Autonomic & Grid Computing group of Athens Information Technology since December 2004. His research interests include digital signal processing, both in the video (person tracking, face detection and recognition) and the audio (voice activity detection, speaker recognition and verification) domains. He has been involved in a number of EU-funded research projects (CHIL, HERMES, My-e-Director-2012), as well as in an industrial project commissioned by Intralot S.A. He is the author of 6 journal and 7 conference publications, and has also served as a reviewer for the INTERSPEECH conferences over the past five years. He is a graduate of the Electrical Engineering department of the National Technical University of Athens (2003) and also holds the Master of Science in Information Networking degree from Carnegie Mellon University (2004).

Mr. Nikolaos Katsarakis, MSc. is a research scientist at the Autonomic & Grid Computing group of Athens Information Technology since February 2007. His research interests include image and video processing, specializing in person tracking and he has worked on various EU-funded research projects, such as CHIL, HERMES, My-e-Director-2012. Since 2009 he is PhD student at the University of Aalborg, Denmark in collaboration with Athens Information Technology. He graduated the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens in November 2002 and was awarded a Master of Science in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University - Athens Information Technology on December 2005. In the past he has worked as a telecommunications engineer for the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE S.A.) and as a trainee at the DG Information Society of the European Commission, focusing on radio spectrum management.

The Research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)