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Social Networking for Pervasive Adaptation (SOCIALNETS)
Start date: 01 Feb 2008, End date: 30 Apr 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The emerging information society is widely expected to experience massive embedding of both fixed and portable devices into our local physical spaces, with more and more devices having the capacity to initiate, store and communicate information and content in all aspects of life. This results in significant challenges for communication and information provision, based on required scalability, heterogeneity, re-configurability and dynamicity. The "Social Networking for Pervasive Adaptation" project (SOCIALNETS) proposes a radical re-think for this ICT challenge by significantly departing from the traditional engineering notion of communication network. Instead, SOCIALNETS seeks to embed in devices the key characteristics that enable humans to adapt and exhibit agility beyond any other species. A human-centric approach to communication is developed by establishing social network of relations between fixed and mobile devices, as defined by the human user and their particular actions and behaviour with respect to each other and technology in the environment. Social networks are intimately connected with the human and are the basis for the SOCIALNETS paradigm. The project seeks to understand, model and exploit these structures using an interdisciplinary approach involving social anthropology, complex systems, network engineering and computer science. Relations between devices can be inherently flexible, based on casual interactions, using social models of trust and security, and without the need for "always-on" connectivity. Furthermore, such relations build into social networks with desirable and inclusive properties that can be exploited for communication and knowledge acquisition for large numbers of devices.
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