Modeling Spatio-Temporal Reasoning in Complex Social Systems

July 20 - July 26, 2014, Lipari Island, Italy

"Smart city" projects are a strategic opportunity for reorganizing local governance. A smart city is a complex adaptive system (CAS) from a computational social science perspective. Smart cities promise a considerable rate of innovation that will benefit urban populations, making them more accessible in spatio-temporal terms, and increase efficiency and rationalization in the management of environmental and energy resources. Furthermore, they will promote new ICT competences. For this reason, technological innovation should be calibrated to these potential scenarios and properly planned so that it enables greater social equity and access.

Many "smart city" projects aim to demonstrate the valuable contribution of ICTs. However, significant diversity among urban systems make it clear that the interaction among urban attributes and processes that define a city as “smart” (smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people, smart living, smart governance) cannot overlook new government decisions and policies.

In fact, technologies that support each of the smart parameters must solve key challenges related to their effective usability, sustainability, and impact. There is therefore a need for including technological development and experimentation within governance cycles that are internal to each parametric domain (economy, mobility, environment) as well as externally connected to the overall government of the socio-territorial, economic, and technological dynamics that are active in every area.

The Lipari 2014 School on Computational Social Science will examine the intersection between parameters that define a city as smart and the enabling technology that guarantees proper planning and implementation. World-renowned speakers will provide presentations on smart cities focusing on both salient social issues and the emerging technologies.

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List of speakers

  • Nicolas Malleson
    Agent-Based Modelling for Smart Cities [abstract]
    School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK

  • Prabhakar Raghavan
    Social Networks and Proximity [abstract]
    Vice President of Strategic Technologies, Google, USA

  • Carlo Ratti
    Senseable Cities [abstract]
    Director, MIT Senseable City Lab, and Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati, USA, Italy

Special Guest Speakers

  • Claudio Cioffi-Revilla
    George Mason University, USA


  • Stefano Leonardi
    Algorithms for forming teams of experts with online coordination [abstract]
    University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy

  • Davide Bennato
    Community detection from a computational social science perspective [abstract]
    University of Catania, Italy

  • Vladimiro Patatu
    Achieving Open Government Transparency, Participation and Collaboration through Business Process Management[abstract]
    Etna Hitech S.c.p.a., Italy



Participants will be arranged in a comfortable hotel at very special rates. The conference room is air-conditioned and equipped with all conference materials. Special areas are reserved to students for the afternoon coursework and study. The island of Lipari can be easily reached from Milazzo, Palermo, Naples, Messina and Reggio Calabria by ferry or hydrofoil (50 minutes from Milazzo).

Two kinds of participants are welcome. Students: Participants who are expected to do afternoon courseworks and take a final exam (The grades will be given following the ECTS grading scale). The course will involve a total of 24 hours of teaching. According to our university rules passing the final exam gives right to an equivalent of 6 ECTS credits in any Ph.D. program. Auditors: participants who are not interested in taking the final exam.
Registration fee is 470 Euros. The fee covers the course material, bus+hydrofoil Catania airport-Lipari-Catania airport, social event. Late registration is 570 Euros.

Deadline for application is May 28, 2014 (admission notification will start on April 1st according to registration time). Applicants must include a short curriculum vitae and specify two professors whom letters of recommendation will be asked to, if deemed necessary. Applicants will be notified about admission by May 29, 2014.

The following new textbook is highly recommended for this course:
C. Cioffi-Revilla, Introduction to Computational Social Science: Principles and Applications (Springer, 2014), available through various websites (Springer, Amazon, etc.)

The official language is English.

School director

  • Prof. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, George Mason University, USA

Scientific Committee

  • Prof. Alfredo Ferro, University of Catania, Italy
  • Prof.Paolo Ferragina, University of Pisa, Italy
  • Prof. Giovanni Giuffrida,University of Catania, Italy
  • Prof. Carlo Pennisi, University of Catania, Italy
  • Prof. Alberto Trobia, University of Palermo, Italy
  • Prof. Rosalba Giugno, University of Catania, Italy
  • Prof. Alfredo Pulvirenti, University of Catania, Italy

People interested in receiving further information about the school can contact:

Lipari School Organization
Prof. Alfredo Ferro -- Lipari School secretary
Universita' degli Studi di Catania - Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica
Citta' Universitaria - Viale A.Doria, 6 - 95125 Catania - ITALY
Tel: +39 095 7383071
Fax: +39 095 7337032 / +39 095 330094