[ISEA2017] Paper: Marinos Koutsomichalis & Evangelos Pournaras — The Sound of Decentralization: Sonifying Computational Intelligence in Sharing Economies


Keywords: Data, Data Aesthetics, Sonification, Decentralization, Optimization, Smart Grid, Smart City, Sharing Economy.

Pervasive technologies in socio-technical domains such as smart cities and smart grids question the values required for designing sustainable and participatory digital societies. Privacy-preservation, scalability, fairness, autonomy, and social-welfare are vital for democratic sharing economies and usually require computing systems designed to operate in a decentralized fashion. This paper examines sonification as the means for the general public to conceive decentralized systems that are too complex or non-intuitive for the mainstream thinking and general perception in society. We sonify two complex datasets that are generated by a prototyped decentralized system of computational intelligence operating with real-world data. The applied sonification methodologies are largely ad-hoc and address a series of concerns that are of both artistic and scientific merit. We create informative, effective and aesthetically meaningful soundworks as the means to probe and speculate complex, even unknown or unidentified, content. In this particular case, the sonification represents the constitutional narrative of two complex application scenarios of decentralized systems towards their equilibria.

  • Marinos Koutsomichalis, Trondheim, Norway is a Post-Doc Researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.  marinoskoutsomichalis.com
  • Dr. Evangelos Pournaras is a postdoctoral researcher in the Computational Social Science group, at ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. He was earlier at Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands where he completed his PhD studies. He holds a MSc with distinction in Internet Computing from University of Surrey, UK and a BSc on Technology Education and Digital Systems from University of Piraeus, Greece. Evangelos has also been a visiting researcher at EPFL in Switzerland and has industry experience at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in the USA. He serves the editorial board and the program committees of several international conferences and journals. He has several publications in high-impact journals and conferences in the area of distributed systems, including a best journal paper award. Smart Grids and social sensing/mining are some application domains of his expertise. Evangelos is currently working on the Nervousnet project focusing on fully decentralized and privacy-preserving services for social sensing and mining.

Full text (PDF) p.  161-170