This project investigates the socioeconomic incentives of the community sensing environment where multiple users and communities interact, in order to induce growth and sustainability. In our approach the users owning sensing devices are viewed as economic agents: they incur cost when they collect and transmit information, and benefit by using (in their applications) the information provided collectively by other community members.
Our goal is to develop a novel system that promotes incentive compatibility in sensor information exchange between users and applications. Applications should be incentive-aware and provide users with the appropriate rewards (e.g. enhanced performance) when their data collection behaviour is useful to others, thus increasing the economic efficiency by optimizing the total information available in the system. Users owning sensors should be encouraged to provide the information that is most useful to the applications and the social groups that are active, while avoiding the generation of information that is costly and less useful. This dynamic aspect of information value is crucial and can only be addressed within an economic framework such as that proposed.
Our proposal will build a novel set of components acting as middleware between producers and consumers of information, including a specialized marketplace, the necessary publish-subscribe functions, open communication APIs, and algorithms to deal with computational complexity and pricing mechanisms to be developed in our theoretical studies, where game theoretical aspects will also be taken into account. The system will be designed to provide large growth in scale and in diversity in user requirements, real-time response, reliability, and easy interfacing with other sensor data collecting platforms, which lack the powerful incentive mechanisms of our system. Our incentives-based community sensing environment will also be demonstrated and evaluated against the aforementioned goals.