We focus on developing the following methods and tools, with a particular interest in the behavioural and human side of information technologies:
- Participatory modelling – Models often do not get used properly if at all. PM is seen as a purposeful learning process for action that engages the implicit and explicit knowledge of stakeholders to create formalised and shared representation(s) of reality. In this process, the participants co-formulate the problem and use modelling practices to aid in the description, solution, and decision-making actions of the group.
- Conceptual modelling – Conceptual modelling aims to model systems and their behaviour as a set of interrelated concepts. The concepts themselves are abstractions of aspects of the system. The extent of the abstraction of the concepts will depend on the prescribed intent of the modelling.
- Agent-based modelling – A particular type of models that is best suited to account for various behaviour choices, values, preferences and rules chosen by different agents or actors.
- Social computing and peer-to-peer platforms – Social computing technologies refer to the information technology-enabled social applications and services such as online communities, peer-to-peer services, and social media platforms that facilitate collaborations within a network of actors through the exchange of experiences and specialised competencies and evolution of aggregated knowledge. These technologies are the main facilitators of social interactions, hence increasingly play a vital role in shaping social innovation as well as manipulating and educating people’s behaviours.
- Data visualisation and visual storytelling – Data are not sufficient to influence and change human behaviour. Data need to be presented as stories, in highly interactive visual ways. Visual storytelling can produce various patterns of “visualisation through data” that could be used to educate, influence, motivate or involve wide groups of stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, citizens, politicians, researchers, educators). By creating open environments for data exploration, we empower stakeholders to examine data in their own way guided by their own decision needs.
- Serious Games and Gamification – Serious games traditionally combine a typical game structure (objective, procedures, rules, challenge, rewards, etc.) with a serious, problem driven, educational dimension. They are a powerful tool for engagement and education due to their inherent fun factor. In blending game mechanics with existing dynamic models, we are able to present players with hypothetical situations and scenarios allowing them to make decisions motivated by their own values and preferences. By tracking these decisions, we can learn about their preferences, motivations and behaviour.
- NetworX Analytics - We are surrounded and are part of various networks including genetics, genealogy, social, economic, and environmental networks. Add to these the so-called critical infrastructure networks (e.g., telecommunications, water, gas, electricity, and transportation). The key challenge in dealing with networks is to understand how they adapt, evolve, and behave. We can study them by describing and modelling them, using network theories and borrowing knowledge from various disciplines and applications.