ASP projects

TSC4 MiTo: The Social Computer for Milano and Torino

How long does it take to locate 10 red weather balloons in 10 secret locations in the continental United States? 8 hours and 52 minutes, harnessing the Internet and social networks! This is the incredible result of the DARPA Network Challenge that was launched on December 2009. The MIT team that won the challenge designed and launched an internet-based recursive incentive recruiting method that reached almost 5400 individuals in approximately 36 hours. Finding red weather balloons may
sound as a dumb problem. However, what if we could use this timely communication, team-building and mobilization techniques to solve wide-ranging, time-critical problems? People know what works well and what does not. This knowledge is not in the formal shape that can enable a computation, but it can be harnessed by means of the right combination of computational infrastructure and social incentives.
Social and Human Computation are currently being proposed by scientists in ICT and socio-economic sciences with the objective of shaping basic research in these disciplines for the next decade. They aim at extending the ICT concept of computer programming to incorporate human tasks.
Preliminary experience of Social and Human Computation includes the protein folding project (Foldit) published in Nature and Wired in 2010, while the Amazon Mechanical Turk is a preliminary setting allowing Internet users to produce tasks that are then consumed by volunteer or paid work for small-scale experiments.
Urban-scale problems are the most challenging for Social and Human Computation, due to the intrinsic presence of heterogeneous stakeholders and of complex interplays and controversies among them. The ASP project described here aimed at finding an urban scale problem of interest to Milan and Turin that could be formulated as a social and human computation and at proposing a feasible socio-technical solution that seamlessly includes social and human tasks within an ICT solution.

Principal Academic Tutor
Emanuele Della Valle
Electronics and Information, Politecnico di Milano

External Tutors
Irene Celino
Giampiero Masera
Camera di Commercio di Torino
Carlo Ratti
MIT – SENSEable City Lab

Academic Tutors
Tommaso Buganza
Management Economics and Industrial Engineering Politecnico di Milano
Fulvio Corno
Control and Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Marta Corubolo
Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion, Politecnico di Milano
Matteo Matteucci
Electronics and Information, Politecnico di Milano

External institution
SenseAble City Lab(MIT)
CamCom Milano

Team members
Pasquale Ambrosio, Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Mattia Fazzini, Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Marco Maria Pedrazzo [Team Controller and Project Communication Coordinator], Architecture for Sustainability, Politecnico di Torino
Alfonso Raimo, Aeronautical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano

Download the poster of the Project