This article investigates how and to what extent the power of collective although imprecise intelligence can be employed in smart cities. The main visionary goal is to automate the organization of spontaneous and impromptu collaborations of large groups of people participating in collective actions (i.e., participAct), such as in the notable case of urban crowdsensing. In a crowdsensing environment, people or their mobile devices act as both sensors that collect urban data and actuators that take actions in the city, possibly upon request. Managing the crowdsensing process is a challenging task spanning several socio-technical issues: from the characterization of the regions under control to the quantification of the sensing density needed to obtain a certain accuracy; from the evaluation of a good balance between sensing accuracy and resource usage (number of people involved, network bandwidth, battery usage, etc.) to the selection of good incentives for people to participAct (monetary, social, etc.). To tackle these problems, this article proposes a crowdsensing platform with three main original technical aspects: an innovative geo-social model to profile users along different variables, such as time, location, social interaction, service usage, and human activities; a matching algorithm to autonomously choose people to involve in participActions and to quantify the performance of their sensing; and a new Android-based platform to collect sensing data from smart phones, automatically or with user help, and to deliver sensing/actuation tasks to users.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering