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Information Cities


The Information Cities project models the aggregation and segregation patterns in a virtual world of infohabitants (humans, virtual firms, on-line communities and software agents acting on their behalf). The objective is to capture aggregate patterns of virtual organisation, emerging from the interaction over the emerging information infrastructure, a virtual place where millions (or billions) meet of infohabitants meet, co-operate and trade: a stable and scalable micro-environment that supports the efficient provision of many e-commerce and personal services, and allows for the continuous creation of new activities and relationships. To investigate conditions of emergence and evolution of Information Cities, we will develop an open multiagent environment, flexible and adaptive to the dynamic nature of the Information Society.

To explore and validate models for the creation and formation of Information Cities over the emerging Information Infrastructure by using analogies and patterns of aggregation/segregation of inhabitants in current Physical Cities, Business Districts and Urban Communities. Towards this objective we will:
i) create new formal models (e.g. behavioural models for infohabitants) to study the formation of Information Cities,
ii) investigate dynamics processes which underlie the stability and evolution of Information Cities, and
iii) develop an open simulation and emulation environment to study emerging behaviours and structures, and their evolution in time and space.

WP1 Describes self-organisation and coalition formation theories and provides the theory and formal models able to capture aggregation/segregation patterns in a virtual world.
WP2 designs behaviours for infohabitants based on rules such as "bounded rationality", learning and adaptation and provides a set of algorithms capturing these behaviours; it will also describe formal structures (communication channels) which may be used to implement interactions among infohabitants.
WP3 will provide a multi-agent system that can serve to realise the algorithms and models defined in WP1 and WP2, for the purposes of experimenting with these models and observing patterns of aggregation/segregation.
WP4 will emulate the models defined in WP1 and WP2, using the multi-agent system built in WP3.Work in this final stage of the project consists of: i) experimenting with alternative evolution scenarios (with and without intermediaries) to capture patterns of aggregation/segregation, yielding large and complex, virtual, spatial structures, such as Information Cities and virtual business districts, and ii) analysing via simulations further transformation and competition between Information Cities.
Finally, WP5 will carry the management activities of the project (administrative and technical). Throughout the duration of the project, reports, publications, as well as two Workshops will communicate the results of the work to the scientific community as well as to wider audiences.

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CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


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Partecipanti (5)