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Travellers already benefit from applications harnessing data from sensor networks and smartphone users. They calculate alternative routes, help plan carpooling routes, or support the optimisation of public transport. With her ERC grant, Prof. Vana Kalogeraki works on a comprehensive software framework that will simplify the development of such mobile human-centred systems and make them more predictable and reliable.

We are increasingly connected through our mobile devices. Social media, data sensing, the widespread use of smartphones are changing the way we interact with each other and the world around us. Prof. Kalogeraki’s team aims to take advantage of these new technologies to develop the next generation of large-scale mobile human-centred systems, robust enough to provide services that are timely and adapt to unpredictable changes.

The researchers investigate the use of mathematical models to address the impact of various factors, including disruption of the network, user mobility, different demands in case of unpredictable or emergency situations, changes in population growth and urban dynamics. They have developed a library of techniques that are now integrated into state-of-the-art systems and tested them with real-time detection of traffic issues in Dublin.

The team also designed the CrowdAlert app that enables users to receive traffic information in real-time from open sources such as streamed data coming from public buses, road sensors, social networks and private smartphones. Its truly human-centred design, taking privacy into consideration throughout the entire process, includes a constant feedback loop to evaluate the effectiveness of the app, its accuracy and performance. CrowdAlert could also support traffic management centres, allowing them to respond quicker in case of incidents. The app was promoted by the Dublin City Council in charge of traffic management.
Vana Kalogeraki leads the Distributed and Real-Time Systems research at AUEB. She has been working in the field of distributed and real-time systems, participatory sensing systems, crowdsourcing and mobility for over 20 years. Her research has been funded by the EU and the US National Science Foundation (NSF). She has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant, a Marie Curie Fellowship and various best paper and fellowship awards.