Distributed Adaptive Systems


The Distributed Adaptive Systems Research Unit investigates advanced methodologies and techniques supporting the definition, development, and management of complex socio-technical systems that operate in dynamic environments, where being adaptable is a key intrinsic characteristic of the system. Particular attention is paid to advanced adaptation techniques for complex and collective systems and to solutions that exploit persuasive and gamification techniques to promote user engagement and to foster behavioral change towards more sustainable individual and collective habits. While DAS targets different application areas in the domain of Smart Cities, smart and sustainable mobility is an especially favourable domain for experimenting with the solutions the DAS Unit is developing.

Contribution to the Digital Society impact area

DAS contributes to the realization of a gamification platform which allows to engage the entire community and to promote behaviors in line with the city’s sustainability objectives and policies. DAS provides Procedural Content Generation techniques for the automatic generation of personalized game experiences and mechanics that are tailored to the user profile (e.g., preferences, habits, game status and history) and to the sustainability objectives promoted by the game. These techniques allow to keep end-users engaged and interested on the long-term with a diversified and enhanced game experience and at the same time to incentivize sustainable behaviors that the city administration means to promote.

Moreover, DAS contributes to the realization of models and techniques part of a platform supporting the offering of mobility services that i) are tailored to the traveller needs and preferences and that, at the same time, ii) exploit in a synergistic and collective manner the different available mobility services, being them public, private or shared by other travellers. The goal of DAS is to provide solutions to generate optimal itineraries and contextual mobility information taking into account the single interests of the different involved stakeholders (i.e., city administration, public/private mobility services providers, individual citizens, local associations and grassroots end-users groups) and all the contextual information (e.g., weather conditions, urban environment conditions, available mobility resources, etc..) that make the itineraries proposed more contextualized, reliable and sustainable.

Other research directions

DAS provides models and techniques for the specification, execution and adaptation of service-based systems characterized by their capabilities to be self-adaptive both to the users needs and to the environment in which they are executed. Thanks to AI planning techniques,  value added services can be composed, contextualized and customized at run time for a specific situation and user’s needs. A key application domain is smart/digital cities with particular emphasis on sustainable and smart mobility.

Another aim of the DAS unit is the development of adaptation techniques for Collective Adaptive Systems (CAS), where heterogeneous entities (typically both physical and virtual, distributed both organisationally and geographically) have autonomous goals and behaviours. In order to accomplish their tasks and reach their individual goals in an efficient and effective way, different entities must adapt to cooperate with one another as a collective entity. Achieving this challenge requires to exploit and extend technologies from service orientation, distributed systems, pervasive computing, and adaptation of composite systems.

Head of Unit