Trustworthy cooperation among socially enhanced digital twins

Dr. Michele Nitti

University of Cagliari, Italy

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Time: 17 February, 2023, 4 PM (CET)

Abstract: The Internet of Everything (IoE) has become a reality with billions of devices able to send key information about the physical world and implement simple actions, which leads to the paradigm of anytime and anyplace connectivity for anything. Collaboration among devices is key for the construction of future IoE applications which can be achieved through Social Digital Twins (SDTs) as the digital representation of the services offered through devices attached to physical objects, which are able to acquire, analyze and interpret information about its context, to augment the potentialities of the associated services and with the ability to create social relationships among different DTs, independently from the fact that they belong to the same or different platforms. This talk aims to illustrate how the exploitation of social networking notions into the IoE, as formalized by the Social IoE concept, promises to easier the creation of trustworthy relationships among devices as humans do, which make the exchange of information and services among different devices easier.

Bio: Michele Nitti is an Assistant Professor at the University of Cagliari, Italy since 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Electronic and Computer Engineering in 2014. He has been/is involved in the organization of several conferences and he has been an invited speaker on the topics of IoT and Social IoT. Currently, he is a member of the editorial board for the IEEE Internet of Things Journal, the Elsevier Computer Networks Journal and the MDPI IoT. Moreover, he is co-founder of an academic spin-off (GreenShare s.r.l.) which works in the mobility sector. He has received more than 3600 citations (source Google scholar) and his main research interests are on the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly in the creation of a network infrastructure to allow the objects to organize themselves according to a trustworthy social structure in Smart City scenarios.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Metaverse

Prof. Pan Hui

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou)
International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Member of Academia Europaea, IEEE Fellow, and ACM Distinguished Scientist

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Time: November 29, 2022, 10 AM (HKT)

Abstract: We envision in the future the virtual world will mix and co-exist with the physical world in such an immersive way that we cannot tell what is real and what is virtual. We will live and interact with the virtual objects that are blended into our environments with advanced holographic technology or with high-quality head-mounted displays and lose the virtuality boundary. We call such a new reality Surreality. Our vision of “metaverse” is a multi-world. There are multiple virtual worlds developed by different technology companies and there is also the Surreality where real and virtual merged. While the metaverse may seem futuristic, catalysed by emerging technologies such as Extended Reality, 5G, and Artificial Intelligence, the digital “big bang” of our cyberspace is not far away. This talk aims to offer a comprehensive framework that examines the latest metaverse development under the dimensions of state-of-the-art technologies and metaverse ecosystems, illustrates the possibility of the digital “big bang”, and proposes a concrete research agenda for the development of the metaverse.

Bio: Pan Hui is a Chair Professor of Computational Media and Arts and Director of the Center for Metaverse and Computational Creativity at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), and a Chair Professor of Emerging Interdisciplinary Areas at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also the Nokia Chair in Data Science at the University of Helsinki. He received his PhD from the Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge, and both his Bachelor and MPhil degrees from the University of Hong Kong. He was an adjunct Professor of social computing and networking at Aalto University, Finland, and a Distinguished Scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-labs), Germany. His industrial profile also includes his research at Intel Research Cambridge, UK and Thomson Research Paris, France. Pan Hui is an expert in Augmented Reality and Mobile Computing, with more than 400 research papers, 30 patents, and over 24,000 citations. He is an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of Academia Europaea, an IEEE Fellow, and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

Modelling Bias and Measuring Polarization in Social Networks

Prof. F. Valencia

CNRS LIX, École Polytechnique de Paris & Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Cali

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Time: 28 October, 2022, 4 PM (CET)

Abstract: Consider a group of users (agents) in a social network among whom some process of opinion formation takes place. In general, these users will take into account the opinions of others subject to their own biases. Indeed users in social networks may shape their beliefs by attributing more value to the opinions of influential figures. This common cognitive bias is known as authority bias. Furthermore, social networks often target their users with information that they may already agree with to keep engagement. It is known that users tend to give more value to opinions that confirm their own pre-existing beliefs in another common cognitive bias known as confirmation bias. As a result, users can become radical and isolated in their own ideological circle, causing dangerous splits in society in a phenomenon known as polarization. There is a growing interest in studying opinion formation, consensus and polarization in the context of social networks by adapting measures and models from economics and statistics such as Degroot learning and Esteban and Ray’s polarization. Roughly speaking in these models the agents update their beliefs about the proposition of interest taking into account the beliefs of their neighbours in an underlying weighted influence graph. Agents update their beliefs giving more value to the opinion of agents with higher influence (authority bias) and to the opinion of agents with similar views (confirmation bias). Esteban and Ray’s measure captures the intuition that polarization is accentuated by both intra-group homogeneity and inter-group heterogeneity. In this talk I will motivate and introduce some of these models and measures, present our contributions to this subject and discuss some ongoing and future work. In particular, our more insightful result establishes that, under some natural assumptions, if polarization does not eventually vanish then either there is a disconnected subgroup of agents, or some agent influences others more than she is influenced.

Bio: Frank Valencia is a CNRS permanent researcher at LIX Ecole Polytechnique de Paris at the INRIA team Comete. His main interests are within Formal Methods in Computer Science, in particular Concurrency Theory and Logic. He has published results on the computational expressiveness of well-established process calculi such as CCS (Calculus of Communicating Systems), the \pi-calculus and CCP (Concurrent Constraint Programming). In particular, he has given expressiveness distinctions between dynamic and static scope as well as replication and recursion in CCS and CCP, a Chomsky-like hierarchy of fragments of CCS, separation results for linear and persistent fragments of the \pi-calculus, and the Buchi automata characterization of timed CCP. Frank Valencia has established new connections between the areas of concurrency theory and logic by providing firstorder, temporal and epistemic logic interpretations of concurrent phenomena such as mobile, timed, spatial behaviour. He has used these connections to prove new results in these areas such as the decidability of the observational equivalence for several fragments of the \pi-calculus and the decidability of satisfiability for the existential fragment of first-order temporal logic. He has been one of the originators of constraint-based process calculi for analysing timed, mobile, spatial and epistemic behaviour in concurrent systems. He also published work on search and consistency algorithms for CSP (Constraint Satisfaction Problems), and introduced the notion of Infinite (or unbounded) CSP. More recently he has been working within foundations and applications of Concurrency Theory to modelling knowledge, belief evolution in computational systems exhibiting social phenomena. He has developed computational models and algorithms for reasoning about con- current systems whose agents (users) interact with each other like in social networks; i.e., by exchanging, updating and learning epistemic information such as facts, beliefs, and intentional lies. He is particularly interested in group phenomena such as Distributed Knowledge and Polarization. The former is, roughly speaking, the knowledge a group or community would have if they combine their individual knowledge. The latter refers to the tendency for a group to learn or acquire beliefs or to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclinations of its members.

Towards the Network of the Future… With a Little Help from My Friends

Prof. Giacomo Morabito

University of Catania

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Recording link:

Time: 29 April 2022, 4 PM (CET)

Abstract: According to several market analyses MQTT is the most utilized messaging protocol in Internet of Things (IoT) applications. MQTT is a protocol which addresses a networking issue at the application layer. This is just one of many evidences that the network is failing in delivering a key service which should be under its responsibility, i.e., appropriate data delivery. Other relevant examples include packet filtering against denial of service attacks as well as service discovery and selection. In this talk we will discuss the role that the social network of everything can play in such a context. More specifically, we will discuss how new network primitives can be introduced and how they can be exploited. Furthermore, we will illustrate how to implement them taking advantage of Software Defined Networking (SDN). Finally, we will present a new network architecture that exploits the social Internet of everything to address novel requirements for the network of the future.

Bio: Giacomo Morabito received the laurea degree in Electronic Engineering and the PhD in Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering from the Istituto di Informatica e Telecomunicazioni, University of Catania, Catania (Italy), in 1996 and 2000, respectively. From November 1999 to April 2001, he was with the Broadband and Wireless Networking Laboratory of the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Research Engineer. Since April 2001 he is with the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica Elettronica e Informatica of the University of Catania where he is currently full professor of Telecommunications. Giacomo Morabito has chaired several conferences and workshops including IFIP Networking 2022 and ACM Nanocom 2016. He has chaired the first edition of the ACM ICN workshop in 2011 and is one of the founders of the ACM ICN Conference for which he has been Steering Committee member from 2014 to 2016. Finally, he has lead several research projects including the H2020 RIA project COG-LO. His research interests include the (Social) Internet of Things, molecular communications, and wireless communications.

Adding Social Capability to Digital Twins in 5G IoT Ecosystems

Prof. Antonio Iera

University of Calabria

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Time: 25 February 2022, 4 PM (CET)

Abstract: The Digital Twin (DT) concept has gained momentum as a concrete means to implement the vision of bridging the physical world with the digital one. All physical objects can be coupled with a digital counterpart which can augment their capabilities and can act on their behalf when interacting with third parties. To increase the ability to interact between objects, even belonging to different platforms managed by different Tenants, one can think of providing these DTs with “social like” capabilities by drawing on concepts derived from the Social IoT paradigm. The purpose of this talk is to illustrate how the use of what we can call “social digital twins”, coupled with modern network virtualization techniques used in 5G networks, can make communications, even group communications, more efficient and contribute to overcoming some interoperability constraints.

Bio: Antonio Iera graduated in Computer Engineering at the University of Calabria, Italy, and received a Master Diploma in Information Technology from CEFRIEL/Polytechnic of Milan, Italy, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Calabria. From 1994 to 1995 he has been with Siemens AG in Munich, Germany, and from 1997 to 2019 with the University of Reggio Calabria. He is currently a professor of Telecommunications at the University of Calabria, Italy. His latest research interests include Internet of Things, Social IoT, Future Internet, Multicasting in 4G and 5G Networks. He has published more than 300 papers in high-quality journals and conferences and has given several tutorials and invited speeches during international events on the topics of IoT, Social-IoT, and 5G networks. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Computer Network Journal, Elsevier.