A Metaverse: Taxonomy, Components, Applications, and Open Challenges

Unlike previous studies on the Metaverse based on Second Life, the current Metaverse is based on the social value of Generation Z that online and offline selves are not different. With the technological development of deep learning-based high-precision recognition models and natural generation models, Metaverse is being strengthened with various factors, from mobile-based always-on access to connectivity with reality using virtual currency. The integration of enhanced social activities and neural-net methods requires a new definition of Metaverse suitable for the present, different from the previous Metaverse. This paper divides the concepts and essential techniques necessary for realizing the Metaverse into three components (i.e., hardware, software, and contents) and three approaches (i.e., user interaction, implementation, and application) rather than marketing or hardware approach to conduct a comprehensive analysis. Furthermore, we describe essential methods based on three components and techniques to Metaverse’s representative Ready Player One, Roblox, and Facebook research in the domain of films, games, and studies. Finally, we summarize the limitations and directions for implementing the immersive Metaverse as social influences, constraints, and open challenges.

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Autonomous Detection and Deterrence of Pigeons on Buildings by Drones

Pigeons may transmit diseases to humans and cause damages to buildings, monuments, and other infrastructure. Therefore, several control strategies have been developed, but they have been found to be either ineffective or harmful to animals and often depend on human operation. This study proposes a system capable of autonomously detecting and deterring pigeons on building roofs using a drone. The presence and position of pigeons were detected in real time by a neural network using images taken by a video camera located on the roof. Moreover, a drone was utilized to deter the animals. Field experiments were conducted in a real-world urban setting to assess the proposed system by comparing the number of animals and their stay durations for over five days against the 21-day-trial experiment without the drone. During the five days of experiments, the drone was automatically deployed 55 times and was significantly effective in reducing the number of birds and their stay durations without causing any harm to them. In conclusion, this study has proven the effectiveness of this system in deterring birds, and this approach can be seen as a fully autonomous alternative to the already existing methods.

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A Comprehensive Review of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of IoT, Drones, AI, Blockchain, and 5G in Managing its Impact

The unprecedented outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, termed as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has placed numerous governments around the world in a precarious position. The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, earlier witnessed by the citizens of China alone, has now become a matter of grave concern for virtually every country in the world. The scarcity of resources to endure the COVID-19 outbreak combined with the fear of overburdened healthcare systems has forced a majority of these countries into a state of partial or complete lockdown. The number of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases has been increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world, with reportedly more than 3 million confirmed cases as of 30 April 2020. Adding to these woes, numerous false reports, misinformation, and unsolicited fears in regards to coronavirus, are being circulated regularly since the outbreak of the COVID-19. In response to such acts, we draw on various reliable sources to present a detailed review of all the major aspects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the direct health implications associated with the outbreak of COVID-19, this study highlights its impact on the global economy. In drawing things to a close, we explore the use of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and 5G, among others, to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 outbreak.

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Artificial Intelligence and COVID-19: Deep Learning Approaches for Diagnosis and Treatment

COVID-19 outbreak has put the whole world in an unprecedented difficult situation bringing life around the world to a frightening halt and claiming thousands of lives. Due to COVID-19’s spread in 212 countries and territories and increasing numbers of infected cases and death tolls mounting to 5,212,172 and 334,915 (as of May 22 2020), it remains a real threat to the public health system. This paper renders a response to combat the virus through Artificial Intelligence (AI). Some Deep Learning (DL) methods have been illustrated to reach this goal, including Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), Extreme Learning Machine (ELM), and Long/Short Term Memory (LSTM). It delineates an integrated bioinformatics approach in which different aspects of information from a continuum of structured and unstructured data sources are put together to form the user-friendly platforms for physicians and researchers. The main advantage of these AI-based platforms is to accelerate the process of diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19 disease. The most recent related publications and medical reports were investigated with the purpose of choosing inputs and targets of the network that could facilitate reaching a reliable Artificial Neural Network-based tool for challenges associated with COVID-19. Furthermore, there are some specific inputs for each platform, including various forms of the data, such as clinical data and medical imaging which can improve the performance of the introduced approaches toward the best responses in practical applications.

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Intelligent Big Data Analytics for Internet of Things, Services and People

Submission Deadline:  30 June 2021

IEEE Access invites manuscript submissions in the area of Intelligent Big Data Analytics for Internet of Things, Services and People.   

In the envisaged future internet, which consists of billions of digital devices, people, services and other physical objects, people will utilize these digital devices and physical objects to exchange data about themselves and their perceived surrounding environments over a web-based service infrastructure, in what we refer to as the Internet of Things. Because of its openness, multi-source heterogeneity, and ubiquity, interconnecting things, services and people via the internet improves data analysis, boosts productivity, enhances reliability, saves energy and costs, and generates new revenue opportunities through innovative business models. However, the increasing number of IoT users and services leads to fast-growing IoT data, while the quality of service of IoT should also be maintained regardless of the number of IoT users and services. Therefore, the data transmission and processing in IoT should be performed in a more intelligent manner. A large number of computational intelligent technologies such as artificial neural networks, machine learning and data mining can be applied in IoT to improve the IoT data transmission and processing. The adoption of intelligence technologies and big data in handling IoT could offer a number of advantages as big data technology could handle various data effectively, while artificial intelligence technology could further facilitate capturing and structuring the big data.

This Special Section in IEEE Access will focus on intelligent big data analytics for advancing IoT. Novel applications by the integration of big data and artificial intelligence for IoT are particularly welcome.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Big-data analytics in IoT
  • Machine learning algorithms in IoT
  • Scalable/parallel/distributed algorithms in IoT
  • Privacy preserving and security approaches for large scale analytics in IoT
  • Big data technology for intelligent system
  • Artificial intelligence technology for data integration in IoT
  • Artificial intelligence technology for data mining in IoT
  • Artificial intelligence technology for data prediction in IoT
  • Artificial intelligence technology for data storage in IoT
  • Artificial intelligence technology for multimedia data processing
  • Intelligent optimization algorithms in IoT
  • Advances in artificial learning and their applications for information security
  • Intelligent big data analytics for prediction and applications in IoT
  • Novel applications of intelligent big data analytics for IoT
  • Big data technology for intelligent monitoring in IoT

We also highly recommend the submission of multimedia with each article as it significantly increases the visibility and downloads of articles.


  Associate Editor: Zhaoqing Pan, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China

  Guest Editors:

    1. Yang Xiao, University of Alabama, USA
    2. Muhammad Khurram Khan, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
    3. Markku Oivo, University of Oulu, Finland
    4. Vidyasagar Potdar, Curtin University, Australia
    5. Yuan Tian, Nanjing Institute of Technology, China


Relevant IEEE Access Special Sections:

    1. Scalable Deep Learning for Big Data
    2. Intelligent Systems for the Internet of Things
    3. Human-Centered Smart Systems and Technologies


IEEE Access Editor-in-Chief:  Prof. Derek Abbott, University of Adelaide

Article submission: Contact Associate Editor and submit manuscript to:

 For inquiries regarding this Special Section, please contact: zhaoqingpan@nuist.edu.cn.

Harnessing Artificial Intelligence Capabilities to Improve Cybersecurity


Cybersecurity is a fast-evolving discipline that is always in the news over the last decade, as the number of threats rises and cybercriminals constantly endeavor to stay a step ahead of law enforcement. Over the years, although the original motives for carrying out cyberattacks largely remain unchanged, cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated with their techniques. Traditional cybersecurity solutions are becoming inadequate at detecting and mitigating emerging cyberattacks. Advances in cryptographic and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques (in particular, machine learning and deep learning) show promise in enabling cybersecurity experts to counter the ever-evolving threat posed by adversaries. Here, we explore AI’s potential in improving cybersecurity solutions, by identifying both its strengths and weaknesses. We also discuss future research opportunities associated with the development of AI techniques in the cybersecurity field across a range of application domains.

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Reinforcement Learning Based MAC Protocol (UW-ALOHA-Q) for Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks


The demand for regular monitoring of the marine environment and ocean exploration is rapidly increasing, yet the limited bandwidth and slow propagation speed of acoustic signals leads to low data throughput for underwater networks used for such purposes. This study describes a novel approach to medium access control that engenders efficient use of an acoustic channel. ALOHA-Q is a medium access protocol designed for terrestrial radio sensor networks and reinforcement learning is incorporated into the protocol to provide efficient channel access. In principle, it potentially offers opportunities for underwater network design, due to its adaptive capability and its responsiveness to environmental changes. However, preliminary work has shown that the achievable channel utilisation is much lower in underwater environments compared with the terrestrial environment. Three improvements are proposed in this paper to address key limitations and establish a new protocol (UW-ALOHA-Q). The new protocol includes asynchronous operation to eliminate the challenges associated with time synchronisation under water, offer an increase in channel utilisation through a reduction in the number of slots per frame, and achieve collision free scheduling by incorporating a new random back-off scheme. Simulations demonstrate that UW-ALOHA-Q provides considerable benefits in terms of achievable channel utilisation, particularly when used in large scale distributed networks.

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