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Mapping the World

From open data to crowdsourcing and bottom-up society:
models, algorithms, and applications

July 12-18, 2015, Lipari Island

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Aims and Scope

This summer school will provide opportunities to collect experience with modern data analysis, in particular Big Data analytics. This includes subjects such as how to mine data in the Internet and data of Social Media. Moreover, participants will be able to work with us on the Planetary Nervous System. The Planetary Nervous System is a large-scale distributed research platform that will provide real-time social mining services as a public good. Existing Big Data systems threaten social cohesion as they are designed to be closed, proprietary, privacy-intrusive and discriminatory. In contrast, the Planetary Nervous System is an open, privacy-preserving and participatory platform designed to be collectively built by citizens and for citizens. The Planetary Nervous System is enabled by Internet of Things technologies and aims at seamlessly interconnecting a large number of different pervasive devices, e.g. mobile phones, smart sensors, etc. For this purpose, several universal state-of-the-art protocols and communication means are introduced. A novel social mining paradigm shift is enabled: Users are provided with freedom and incentives to share, collect and, at the same time, protect data of their digital environment in real-time. In this way, social mining turns into a knowledge extraction service for public good. The social mining services of the Planetary Nervous System can be publicly used to build novel innovative applications. Whether you would like to detect an earthquake, perform a secure evacuation or discover the hot spots of a highly frequented city, the Planetary Nervous system makes this possible by collectively mining social activities of participatory citizens. See http://www.nervousnet.ethz.ch http://futurict.blogspot.ch/2014/09/creating-making-planetary-nervous.html for more information.


  • Michael Bernstein
    Crowdsourcing a Meeting of Minds [abstract]
    Stanford, USA

  • Fosca Giannotti
    Big Data Analytics and Social Mining [abstract]
    CNR, Italy

  • Andreas Krause
    Machine Learning in Community Sensing and Human Computation [abstract]
    ETH Zurich, Switzerland

  • Vittorio Loreto
    Participation, gaming and learning[abstract]
    Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Guest Speakers

  • Dirk Helbing
    Creating the Internet of Things as a Citizen Web [abstract]
    ETH Zurich, Switzerland

  • Rosario Mantegna
    Proximity based networks and statistically validated networks in social and economic systems [abstract]
    Central European University, Budapest, HU and University of Palermo, Palermo, IT

Satellite Meeting


Participants will be arranged in a comfortable hotel at very special rates. The conference room (in the same hotel) 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.

Short Communication Session
Accepted participants may submit an abstract to present their research activity. The abstract should be submitted before 31 May 2015. One page abstract in pdf format to send by email to Ferro Alfredo and cc Alfredo Pulvirenti/Rosalba Giugno.

Deadline for application is June 30, 2015 (admission notification will start on March 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.
The official language is English.

School Directors

  • Prof. Alfredo Ferro (University of Catania)
  • Prof. Dirk Helbing (ETH Zurich)
  • Prof. Andrea Rapisarda (University of Catania)
  • Dr. Rosalba Giugno (co-director, University of Catania)
  • Dr. Alessandro Pluchino (co-director, University of Catania)
  • Dr. Alfredo Pulvirenti (co-director, University of Catania)

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 Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale
c/o 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
E-mail: liparischool@dmi.unict.it