The Integration of Digital and Social Systems

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information and Communications Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 8538

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
Interests: social media analysis; distributed social networking
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Engineering, University of Parma
Interests: social media analysis; artificial intelligence
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The pervasiveness of digital media and systems is having a large impact on human society. Sensors provide detailed data on human activities, and additional information on patterns of behavior can be extracted from the analysis of videos and images. Mobile devices bring many of these data directly into the hands of people during their daily activities. This trend paves the way for the realization of smart environments at different scales, including offices, homes, and shops, but also hospitals, airports, and streets. This way, people can both find information quickly and use services more comfortably, from anywhere, and in a collaborative way. However, these kinds of sociotechnical systems also pose multiple challenges, as technology complexity intertwines with the organizational and procedural complexity of the application domain, requiring to take into account both the technological and human/organizational aspects from the earliest stages of development.

On the other hand, many kinds of activities, regarding both the recreational and working spheres, are performed directly through various kinds of online social networks and platforms for online collaboration. In fact, this phenomenon has been exacerbated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which led many governments to impose severe lockdown restrictions on entire states. The diffusion and pervasiveness of social media in the life of everyone who has access to the digital world has created new opportunities and new scenarios in the self-presentation processes, and now, digital identity and social reputation have reached the same levels of importance as their traditional counterparts.

At the collective level, on the other hand, an example may be the difficulties encountered in attesting to the “credibility” of the information available on the Internet. One may think that the ease of finding information from social media could help to develop more democratic forms of power in different sectors from politics to the economy. However, after an initial enthusiasm toward social media, we are witnessing today a progression of negative or skeptical feelings, and we wonder about fake news sites and the use of these tools by trolls or users who can influence and radicalize political positions and/or marketing in a new war between powers based on information and on its manipulation. Recently, social media have played a crucial role in spreading information and disinformation on news related to the COVID-19 health emergency—a set of information that, just like the coronavirus pandemic, has spread on a global scale creating a real infodemic. This situation is bound to further change the relationship between society and social media and the way we work, study, and move.

Potential topics for this Special Issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ambient intelligence;
  • Smart environments;
  • Smart mobility;
  • Sociotechnical systems;
  • Digital citizenship and participation;
  • Online social networks;
  • Social data analysis;
  • Computer-supported collaborative work;
  • Internet trolls;
  • Fake news.

Prof. Dr. Michele Tomaiuolo
Prof. Dr. Monica Mordonini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sociotechnical systems
  • Digital citizenship and participation
  • Online social networks

Published Papers (3 papers)

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23 pages, 324 KiB  
Article
Adoption of Social Media in Socio-Technical Systems: A Survey
by Gianfranco Lombardo, Monica Mordonini and Michele Tomaiuolo
Information 2021, 12(3), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030132 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4055
Abstract
This article describes the current landscape in the fields of social media and socio-technical systems. In particular, it analyzes the different ways in which social media are adopted in organizations, workplaces, educational and smart environments. One interesting aspect of this integration, is the [...] Read more.
This article describes the current landscape in the fields of social media and socio-technical systems. In particular, it analyzes the different ways in which social media are adopted in organizations, workplaces, educational and smart environments. One interesting aspect of this integration, is the use of social media for members’ participation and access to the processes and services of their organization. Those services cover many different types of daily routines and life activities, such as health, education, transports. In this survey, we compare and classify current research works according to multiple features, including: the use of Social Network Analysis and Social Capital models, users’ motivations for participation and organizational costs, adoption of the social media platform from below. Our results show that many of these current systems are developed without taking into proper consideration the social structures and processes, with some notable and positive exceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Integration of Digital and Social Systems)
26 pages, 6679 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Community Structure in Online Social Groups
by Barbara Guidi and Andrea Michienzi
Information 2021, 12(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030113 - 5 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1957
Abstract
One of the main ideas about the Internet is to rethink its services in a user-centric fashion. This fact translates to having human-scale services with devices that will become smarter and make decisions in place of their respective owners. Online Social Networks and, [...] Read more.
One of the main ideas about the Internet is to rethink its services in a user-centric fashion. This fact translates to having human-scale services with devices that will become smarter and make decisions in place of their respective owners. Online Social Networks and, in particular, Online Social Groups, such as Facebook Groups, will be at the epicentre of this revolution because of their great relevance in the current society. Despite the vast number of studies on human behaviour in Online Social Media, the characteristics of Online Social Groups are still unknown. In this paper, we propose a dynamic community detection driven study of the structure of users inside Facebook Groups. The communities are extracted considering the interactions among the members of a group and it aims at searching dense communication groups of users, and the evolution of the communication groups over time, in order to discover social properties of Online Social Groups. The analysis is carried out considering the activity of 17 Facebook Groups, using 8 community detection algorithms and considering 2 possible interaction lifespans. Results show that interaction communities in OSGs are very fragmented but community detection tools are capable of uncovering relevant structures. The study of the community quality gives important insights about the community structure and increasing the interaction lifespan does not necessarily result in more clusterized or bigger communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Integration of Digital and Social Systems)
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16 pages, 928 KiB  
Article
Identification of Social Aspects by Means of Inertial Sensor Data
by Luca Bedogni and Giacomo Cabri
Information 2020, 11(11), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11110534 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1852
Abstract
Today’s applications and providers are very interested in knowing the social aspects of users in order to customize the services they provide and to be more effective. Among the others, the most frequented places and the paths to reach them are information that [...] Read more.
Today’s applications and providers are very interested in knowing the social aspects of users in order to customize the services they provide and to be more effective. Among the others, the most frequented places and the paths to reach them are information that turns out to be very useful to define users’ habits. The most exploited means to acquire positions and paths is the GPS sensor, however it has been shown how leveraging inertial data from installed sensors can lead to path identification. In this work, we present a Computationally Efficient algorithm to Reconstruct Vehicular Traces (CERT), a novel algorithm which computes the path traveled by a vehicle using accelerometer and magnetometer data. We show that by analyzing data obtained through the accelerometer and the magnetometer in vehicular scenarios, CERT achieves almost perfect identification for medium and small sized cities. Moreover, we show that the longer the path, the easier it is to recognize it. We also present results characterizing the privacy risks depending on the area of the world, since, as we show, urban dynamics play a key role in the path detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Integration of Digital and Social Systems)
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