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(Some examples of) Inter-disciplinary research in a Cyber-Physical Converging World

1 March 2016
San Francesco - Via della Quarquonia 1 (Classroom 1 )
Cyber-Physical Convergence is a way to define the blurring between the cyber world (enabled by Internet technologies, services and apps) and the physical world. Together with advanced Internet services, this trend is nowadays boosted by the diffusion of personal mobile devices, of miniaturised "things", and the pervasiveness of wireless networks. Jointly, these elements support a constant flow of data between the two worlds, which in turn results in actions taken in either of them, with mutual impact on each other. Examples are, among others, smart cities, where the cyber world constitutes a "nervous control system" of the physical city infrastructures, or Online Social Networks, where social relationships in the physical world impact on the users' behaviour in the cyber world, while communities formed online generate actions and behaviours in the physical word (e.g., people gatherings, protests, parties). In this talk I will motivate why in this perspective inter-disciplinary research is such an exciting and powerful approach for human-centric networking systems. I will go through a number of cases where information about the behaviour of the humans is exploited to design efficient networking and computing systems,primarily supporting data dissemination between users in mobile self-organising networks, going well beyond conventional bio-inspired approaches. At the level of the individual person, I will discuss how models of the cognitive process of the brain can be exploited to design efficient self-organising data dissemination schemes implemented in users'mobile devices. At the level of the social behaviour, I will show how models of people's social structures can be exploited to support data dissemination in Mobile Social Networks. I will also discuss how evolutionary anthropology models of human social organisations can be used to analyse the social structures in Online Social Networks, and the patterns of information diffusion at varying levels of trustworthiness. Finally, I will discuss how the two dimensions (individual and social) can be blended together to design even more efficient data dissemination schemes in mobile networks.
Passarella, Andrea