Available thesis

Pedestrian and crowd modeling and simulation - Master degree level

Crowds of pedestrians are complex systems: the movement of individuals depends on a number of factors, including spatial and geometrical considerations, their destination, but also the position of other pedestrians and their movement decisions. Pedestrians compete for the shared space but sometimes cooperate due to social norms. 

In the past few years I've collaborated to the development of models and tools for the simulation of crowds of pedestrians. These tools can be used to study specific scenarios but also extended to improve their expressive power or performance (like we recently did to include and consider groups as a fundamental element influencing overall system dynamics).

Currently open topics for master thesis are:

  • implications of elders and pedestrians with impaired movement on the overall system dynamics;
  • definition of schemes and mechanisms for the implementation of leader/follower relationships within groups and their evaluation;
  • definition of a hybrid architecture for pedestrian agents, able to incorporate and exploit a qualitative spatial representation of the environment;
  • interactions between pedestrians and vehicles: this line of work includes additional types of agents but it also presents a significant overlap with previous points. 

An additional topic for a thesis in this area regards the realization of a model and tool to properly generate according to proxemic considerations the shape of a crowd of pedestrians structured in groups of a given size.

Models and tools for the analysis and study of human behavior in the real world (e.g. urban environment) and even in social networks - Master degree level

While the above topics deal with the movement of pedestrians at a microscopic level, other types of decisions and movement behaviors can be studied for instance at urban scale. Decisions, at this level of granularity, are more deliberate and they consider notions like goals, schedules, tasks, knowledge about the environment. Models to analyze and simulate this kind of behavior can be significantly different from the ones adopted for the previous kind of study. I currently do not have precise topics in this area, but I'm interested in supporting works aimed at realizing models and simulators of human movements and relevant decisions at urban scale. 

A totally different kind of study is instead focused on the attempt of understanding and modeling human behavior in another type of virtual environment that is represented by social networks. This kind of studies are aimed, for instance:

  • at understanding the conditions for the spreading of a post, information or news;
  • at understanding the trend of 'sentiment' on a given topic;
  • at defining useful classification schemes for users of a given social media and actually classifying users according to their behavior.

Although I'm not an expert in this area, I'm starting to study these subjects and I'm interested in supporting works in line with these goals.

Advanced web applications - Bachelor and Master degree level

I'm interested in supporting works evaluating emerging and recent technological developments in the area of web technologies, in particular those aimed at supporting the rapid rapid prototyping or development of dynamic web-sites, potentially scaling to the mobile context. I'm also interested in supervising works aimed at designing and developing components, for instance, aimed at supporting the integration of services (not necessarily providing a proper API, e.g. Google scholar) in dynamic web applications.

Agent based development tools - Bachelor and Master degree level

I'm interested in supporting works evaluating emerging and recent technological developments in the area of agent technologies: according to some, in fact, agent related concepts and mechanisms represent a natural next step in the attempt to achieve more abstract and expressive programming languages and tools. Frameworks like Jade have shown the potential of this approach in the development of distributed systems, but there are still recent developments to be evaluated and investigated in this line of work.

© Giuseppe Vizzari 2017