• Work Packages

WP1 aims to provide the interdisciplinary foundations towards smart societies as complex hybrid environments, where humans and machines synergically complement each other and operate collectively. It will include activities related to the definition of features and requirements of hybrid and diversity-aware collective adaptive systems, based on the foundational notions of diversity and compositionality. Given the major role played by the ‘human component’ in HDA-CASs, WP1 will focus on the integration of ‘responsible research and innovation’ concepts through the development of an ethical governance framework within the CAS domain. Such activities will include both conceptual and empirical investigations that address the societal and ethical implications which may arise when engineering a smart society. Concurrent with these activities we will develop formal data models for HDA-CASs and an axiomatic framework for human machine compositionality that are consistent with our interdisciplinary studies.

WP2 deals with the definition of models for the operations and dynamics of hybrid and diversity- aware collective adaptive systems in terms of both information and computation. Starting from the formal data models developed in WP1, WP2 will enrich them with the notions of provenance, trust and reputation, which play a major role in hybrid CASs. The quest for predictability and long-term stability in HDA-CASs will drive the development of computational models thereof that allow us to predict measures of the system in operation. This will require the capacity to support extensions to simple models that incorporate game theory (in particular in bounded rationality games and evolutionary games). and will support the development of ideas in social computation with novel notions of “computability” and “complexity” for hybrid human-machine computations. WP2 will build on the outcomes of WP1 investigations, and will set the basis for the work to be carried out by WP3-WP6.

WP3 aims at closing the semantic gap between humans and machines. The semantic gap will be tackled in terms of data (and its interpretation) as well as actions. WP3 is based on the recognition that people and machines produce and manipulate their data according to contextual implicit or explicit semantics. Machines have to “compose” and adapt to people – if the latter cannot provide a high level interpretation of the data – by learning from people and helping them achieve their local and global goals. The eventual target outcome is a set of methods for achieving symbiosis between people and machines, i.e., seamless interoperability. This can be reached through either a global consensus in terms of semantics and action or by means of an emerging “good enough social semantics” and a loosely coordinated collective action. From an operational standpoint, WP3 will also include aspects related to interfaces and persuasive technologies (captology).

WP4 deals with the problem of match-making between a given task to be tackled in smart societies and the capabilities offered by humans and machines to achieve it. It will develop methods to semantically describe peers and micro-tasks in terms of profiles together with distributed peer-to- peer search algorithms applied to match them. The semantic description will account for diversity aspects, leveraging on the formal data models developed within WP1. The methods designed and developed in WP3 will account for privacy and personal data protection issues, resulting in a privacy- by-design compliant toolkit.

WP5 deals with the design of decision-making strategies for allowing computers to work effectively with people in heterogeneous groups that interact in carrying out complex activities; and, the design of incentive mechanisms for facilitating people’s behaviour in these groups. Building on techniques from game-theory, bounded rationality, automated negotiation, we will provide methods to predict strategic human and machine behaviour so that incentive mechanisms can be “designed-to-purpose”, and assistive intelligent algorithms that support humans in complex decision-making environments to empower them as participants in HDA-CASs. This work package will involve a heavy element of empirical investigation in “serious games” scenarios, mapping the theoretical frameworks of WP2 to human-centric system models.

WP6 aims at designing flexible and lightweight mechanisms for social orchestration of HDA-CASs by effectively addressing the issue of compositionality between humans and machines as a basic architectural and structural principle. The novel methods designed will be able to express complex distributed multi-layered workflows of adaptive social computation, supplemented by methods for managing their evolution. We will not rely on the a priori design of such mechanisms, but will also devote a large part of activities to the study of evolving social structures in diverse HDA-CASs. In this respect, WP6 will use “big data” methods to identify at run time emergent social structure, and ensure robustness and scalability by feeding these analysis results back into the design of social orchestrations in a self-adaptive way.

WP7 aims at defining a programming framework for hybrid and diversity-aware collective adaptive systems. In WP6 we will consider fundamental elements of programming models, languages and frameworks, and develop novel mechanisms for abstracting the diversity and complexity of computing elements in HDA-CASs (that are humans and machines) to enable easier ways to program and compose large-scale and diverse computing elements for collective adaptive systems. To this end, WP6 will address four layers: virtualization, foundations of programming models, programming languages and language runtime systems, and integrated programming frameworks

WP8 is in charge of defining the overall architecture of the SmartSociety platform, as well as to integrate the software components developed in WP3-WP7 into a coherent system prototype. The platform will expose a set of open APIs to dynamically code, run and evaluate programs, which include a combination of machine and human tasks. The core platform components will be released under an open source license. The SmartSociety platform will be used to develop proof-of-concept applications in WP9.

WP9 will develop proof-of-concept applications (based on the digital city scenario described in Sec. 1.1.3) in order to validate and assess the functioning of the SmartSociety solutions (as developed in WP3-WP7 and integrated in the platform in WP8) in real-world environments. In its activities, WP9 will explore two innovative concepts: real virtuality and alternate reality game. The integration of these concepts with the technologies developed by the project will lead WP9 to realise complex interactive simulated real-world counterparts – enriched by both real data supplied by sensors and elaborated up to the level of information as well as from real-life inputs coming directly from users - conceived as stages where users can actively participate in both serious games as well as real-life.

WP10 is in charge of disseminating the project scientific results and of compiling and maintaining an exploitation plan for maximising the impact of the project activities on science, technology, society and economy. It includes the development of the project Web portal, as well as the organisation of scientific events and workshops with all relevant stakeholders. A task will be devoted to the organization of innovation-oriented showcases, aiming at raising awareness within the ICT industry of the results and potentials of the SmartSociety approach.

WP11 covers consortium coordination and project management activities. The management structure and procedures have been designed by the Consortium with the goal of providing maximum simplicity and clear accountability mechanisms, allowing for a strong but at the same time flexible and effective project management.

  • Work package structure