Think Tank: GrandChallenges

Current Contributions: (0)

From Title Clicks Comments Date
BruceEdmonds Show AbstractCapturing and Freeing the Academic Meta-Literature 535 0 08-02-2010 21:05:11
The distribution costs for academic papers has become insignificant. However, the search cost - the difficulty in finding the papers one should read - has become acute. The present, journal-centred, system is not coping well with the explosion of the academic literature and the increasingly varied reading needs of researchers. The challenge is to create a distributed, scalable and maintainable system that enables each user to find the academic papers they need to further their research.
GuidoFioretti Show AbstractAgent-based models of financial crises 517 0 08-02-2010 13:37:07
Financial crises constitute an ideal setting for agent-based models. However, these models work well if sufficient information on microscopic behavior is available. This is generally not the case whenever money is involved. Episodes suggest that financial cultural "families" exist, that facilitate money lending within their community, e.g., UK/USA during World War II, Islamic Banking, "Catholic" and "Lay" finance in Italy. Proposal: 1) Identifying financial families; 2) Building an ABM.
NikolasGeroliminis Show AbstractHierarchical monitoring and control of urban traffic systems 453 0 27-01-2010 20:05:47
The introduction of Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies and new sensing hardware promise significant progress in reducing the congestion level in cities. One of the primary objectives of this effort is to address issues associated with arterial congestion monitoring in order to create a wealth of reliable data crucial to (i) developing the models and the control logic (ii) and testing the control efficiency through system performance measures.
EnricoScalas Show AbstractAgent-based simulations and macroeconomic forecasting 534 0 20-01-2010 17:03:03
In 2006, I tried to coordinate a STREP (MANAGE) whose main objective was to make agent-based models of social and economic systems a viable alternative to econometric models for policy makers. Translating this into plain language, the meaning was: "are agent-based simulations really better for macroeconomic forecasting?" This is also related to the section on Crisis Forecasting. At the time, the proposal was not financed, being perhaps too ambitious/innovative.
EnricoScalas Show AbstractComments to "Roadmap for Research Topics" 515 0 20-01-2010 17:01:47
I am sending my contribution to a previous consultation on FP7 Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities, Indicative Strategic Research Roadmap 2011-2013. The document is at the following URL:
AndreasFlache Show AbstractModeling, detecting and avoiding intergroup conflict 427 0 18-01-2010 11:11:44
Political and social interaction moves increasingly online (e.g. blogs, online fora, websites of political organizations and movements). This offers an unprecedented opportunity to design, construct and employ ICT based systems that allow modeling, detecting and avoiding intergroup conflict in multi-ethnic societies. A range of challenges for existing theories and methods of the analysis of online communication needs to be addressed to realize this ambitious goal.
BazzaniArmando Show AbstractICT for understanding social systems complexity 461 0 16-01-2010 12:02:58
The global communication networks allow a strong coupling between the microscopic level and the macroscopic states that causes the emergence of self-organized dynamical states whose evolution may depend critically on local fluctuations. The rising of instabilities may trigger critical states that are dangerous for safety, from a economical and political standpoint. The ICT offers a great opportunity to study such complex systems, and eventually model and predict their dynamics and evolution.
FredAmblard Show AbstractEnabling the emergence of ethical ICT 413 0 16-01-2010 00:13:38
ICT products often lead to unexpected behaviors from the users. Among those technics those related to normative monitoring and control are particularly sensitive both from an ethical point of view and from unexpected use. There is a need to propose and develop a methodology combining social simulation and field-experimentation in a "society in the loop" process in order to counter those side-effects.
BruceEdmonds Show AbstractMulti-level metamodelling infrastructure and methodology 387 0 15-01-2010 14:34:54
Social simulation is faced between choosing to use simple models that we can understand and analyze (rigor) or complex models whose relationship to the evidence is transparent (relevance). Ultimately, however, we need both rigor AND relevance if social simulation is to be useful. The way out is to develop a "chain" or "cluster" of closely related models that go from the complex and descriptive up to the simple and abstract. However the ICT infrastructure for doing this is lacking.
BruceEdmonds Show AbstractUltra-dimensional Case Studies 420 0 15-01-2010 14:11:47
Social phenomena seems to require models of a reasonable complexity, but such models have a lot of details not "pinned down" by evidence. In order for understanding of social phenomena to progress, its needs some exemplary case-studies. Instances of restricted social phenomena where the same events have been studies, measured and captured simultaneously in MANY different ways and for several instances of the same sort of situation. This would aid the development of sound social simulations.
AnnaCarbone Show AbstractImplementing Human Cognitive Processes in Social Sciences 423 0 14-01-2010 22:01:44
The challenge is the technological transfer and exploitation of cognitive processes (similar to the ones performed by humans) for understanding complex organisation of modern society. Decision processes of humans occur by activating a chain of functions than can be summaryzed in sensing (e.g. observing). interpreting the information, acting. The interpretation of the information occurs through the recognition of correlated patterns found in languages or images
JanuszHolyst Show AbstractPreventing Information Pollution 432 0 14-01-2010 21:39:58
The central challenge of this project is information cleaning and preventing its pollution. The project will prevent society misleading as well as e-bureaucracy growth and it will increase public trust in information quality. The outcome will be useful for development of novel ICT services that would provide reliable information to ordinary citizens.
TeamDijkumDeTombe Show AbstractCompram: an integrating methodolology to handle complex societal problems 527 0 14-01-2010 21:16:21
Our globalizing society is more and more confronted with urgent complex societal problems. To analyze and handle those problems a new methodology is necessary that integrate tools from natural sciences and technology to simulate and analyze those complex problems. Compram is a methodology that can fullfil this task. This fundamental methodological approach combines insights from the social sciences, natural sciences and ICT tools in using quantitative and qualitative methods of research.
MarioPaolucci Show AbstractSocial Complexity of Informal Value Exchange 582 0 14-01-2010 16:19:16
Informal value transfer and credit networks involve people or institutions providing credit or value transfer services based on social trust rather than laws and contracts. Such networks have been relatively unstudied yet have a significant impact on people's lives. Still, ICT advances allow for significant improvements in reach and quality of these networks, that tap on a nearly unlimited quantity of resources.
AlexanderMikhailov Show AbstractFrom swarms to societies: Origins of social organization 405 0 12-01-2010 10:08:34
As my contribution to VISIONEER, I provide a preprint of the paper "From swarms to societies: Origins of social organization" which shall appear in 2010 in the series THE FRONTIERS COLELCTION at Springer in the book "Science of Evolution", edited by Hildegard Meyer-Ortmanns.
SatoAkihiro Show AbstractHolistic Detection of Collective Synchrony in Socio-Economic Systems Based on Massive Data Analysis 439 0 11-01-2010 23:04:51
This project aims to establish a methodology to detect collective synchrony in the socio-economic systems and to empirically investigate relationship between synchronous activities of agents and social phenomena. This project will be conducted in the parts of: -Development of methods to characterize collective synchrony (Socio-Econo physicist) -Construction of data collecting/analyzing systems (Computer Scientist) -Understanding of synchronicity (Sociologist and Economist)
ImreKondor Show AbstractThe Irreducibility of Complex Systems 508 15 10-01-2010 14:50:36
The application of the reductionist approach outside the hard sciences is fundamentally flawed, because complex systems are irreducible. The description of such systems in terms of a parsimonious model depending on a small number of variables is futile and will sooner or later be seriously misleading.
CarlosGershenson Show AbstractAdaptive Governments and Organizations 573 0 08-01-2010 19:07:15
Most of our current organizations have a centralized, top-down structure. This limits the complexity of problems that organizations can cope with, and also limits their adaptability. Self-organization can provide adaptivity in social systems and enable them to cope with more complex situations.
AlexArenas Show AbstractReverse socio-engineering 450 0 07-01-2010 10:43:04
Reverse engineering is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object or system through analysis of its structure, function and operation. By analogy, the extrapolation of this concept to social sciences would be that of discovering the socio-economic principles of a social system from its structure, function and performance. The idea in this contribution is to generate a scientific framework to generate mathematical de-parameterized models of social systems.
MarcHutt Show AbstractProduction and Distribution Systems inspired by Biology 370 0 07-01-2010 10:00:58
Transportation networks bring people and goods to their destinations in a highly organized fashion. The network of metabolic reactions in a cell is responsible for providing a wide range of substances at the right time in the right proportions. The logistic challenges are similar, as are the fundamental questions: How do these systems ensure robustness with respect to perturbation? How can the systems react rapidly to important changes in their environment?
StefanBechtold Show AbstractSelf Organization, Governance by Law and ICT 406 0 05-01-2010 21:51:32
ICT increasingly enables communities to organize themselves. This raises the question of how self-governance mechanisms relate to the legal system. What role do legal ordering systems play in such communities? How can the law, either directly or indirectly, influence behavior within such communities? What is the relationship between the law, social norms and emerging patterns of self organization?
MoezDraief Show AbstractTipping Points in Dynamic Multilevel Social Systems 429 0 30-12-2009 20:29:07
We are faced with a number of challenges that are related to the difficulty to change peoples habits and perceptions. A prominent example corresponds to climate change and the need to change our daily habits to fight it, other examples are health-threaten behaviours. One could imagine a way of combining a social scientists approach to surveys and questionnaires together with analysing the impact of various perception altering experiments, with ICT tools to yield tipping points.
StefanoPicascia Show AbstractThe future of authority 490 0 02-12-2009 10:18:36
Simulate, study and forecast societal change triggered by the radical revision that authority and authoritative roles are undergoing at various levels in western societies.
AndrzejNowak Show AbstractWorking out a "Plan B" to Save our Society 564 13 27-11-2009 14:35:33
If the current way of organizing the society, i.e. top down coordination of administration and businesses fails, do we have an alternative plan? Internet and mobile communication technologies provide for revolutionary new ways by which large groups of individuals can coordinate in the achievement of common goals. Plan "B" uses science to unleash the potential of new technologies to increase the safety and well being of societies by enhancing their capacity for constructive self-organization.
AndrasLorincz Show AbstractHuman-machine social networks 469 0 27-11-2009 10:08:04
General Artificial Intelligence is developing quickly. Advances in avatars, body sensors, ambient intelligence, novel interfaces are fast. Extremes include Tamagochi toys and QA systems meeting human intelligence. Computer agents participate in games, robotic companions are on the market. This transition effects all dimensions of the society. The challenge is to simulate, study and forecast societal changes related, e.g., to spatial and age-related (in)equalities and culture based differences.

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Challenge / Area

What are the characteristics of the challenge/emerging area? What is the contribution to transforming ICT and ICT research? Is it an area that has been/will be opened up due to new insights from multidisciplinary perspectives?


What are the foundational transformative research challenges? List research topics that would be relevant and together bring ICT forward.

Expected Impact

What would be the expected impact of a breakthrough in this area? Where would the impact be (science, technology, economy, society)?

Target Outcome

What would be the specific outcome of research supported in this area?

Suitability for ICT and FET

What makes this suitable for ICT-FET as opposed to mainstream ICT? Is it vision-driven and high-risk, embryonic or foundational? Is there already a (pre-)established research road map for this topic(s)?


Is this topic addressing an existing or new community? What areas of expertise are to be involved? Is it a multidisciplinary area, and if so is this a new or an existing mix of disciplines?