Urban Computing and Smart Cities: Opportunities and Challenges in Modelling Large-Scale Aggregated Human Behavior
City-wide urban infrastructures are increasingly reliant on networked technology to improve and expand their services. As a side effect of this digitalization, large amounts of data –digital footprints– can be sensed and analyzed to uncover patterns of human urban behavior and to augment the city experience of its citizens. In my talk, I will introduce the main concepts, opportunities and challenges in the emerging area of urban computing/smart cities, which focuses on improving the quality of life of an urban environment by understanding the city dynamics through the data provided by ubiquitous technologies. This is a human-centric, data-rich area that spans multiple disciplines, including sociology, computer science and urban planning. From a computer science perspective, there are challenges in a variety of domains, including data visualization, storage, security, privacy, machine learning, data mining and pattern recognition. Some of the applications of smart cities include traffic forecasting, modeling of the spread of biological viruses, urban and transportation design and location-based services.