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The neighbourhood game

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The rapid advances of information and communication technologies (or ICTs) and the mass online participation have increased the expectations for the long awaited visions of e-participation and e-democracy. However, there are still many challenges that need to be addressed related to privacy, data ownership and control, and various types of digital divides. Perhaps the most fundamental requirement is the need for information exchange between parties that do not necessarily share common interests, education, and cultural backgrounds. To achieve this, ICT could significantly help if designers understand in depth the way technology affects behaviour in the evolving hybrid (virtual and physical) space of modern cities, and communities are empowered to choose the tools that are most suitable for their environment and configure them according to their own values and objectives; if they claim their “right to the hybrid city”. In this presentation I will introduce a research framework connecting two relatively remote until today disciplines, namely behavioural economics and urban planning, through the mediation of computer science. More specifically, I will describe a long-term social learning process evolved around a configurable ICT framework, the NetHood Toolkit, which will support a wide variety of hybrid interactions between people in physical proximity. The definition of a specific set of formal information sharing games subject to various configuration options based on the specific environment, can then form the basis for real life experimentation with potential benefits both for understanding human behaviour and for reaching important social objectives.

Bio: Panayotis Antoniadis is a lecturer and senior researcher at ETH Zurich. His main research contributions to date are in the economic modelling and incentive mechanisms for peer-to-peer systems, including file sharing, community wireless networks, and shared virtualized infrastructures, and in distributed scheduling algorithms for high-speed switches. He is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary research agenda on the role of social software and wireless networks for the design of sustainable hybrid neighborhood communities (project nethood). Panayotis received his Ph.D. degree from the Athens University of Economics and Business in 2006, and until 2012 he was a post-doc researcher at UPMC Sorbonne Universites in Paris.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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