About

hide-this-block

hide-this-block

SOCIAM: The Theory and Practice of Social Machines is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£6m) together with additional contributions from key international research, public sector and industry collaborators. The spirit of interpretation in which we use the term 'social machine' is captured by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in his book Weaving the Web:

Real life is and must be full of all kinds of social constraint – the very processes from which society arises. Computers can help if we use them to create abstract social machines on the Web: processes in which people do the creative work and the machine does the administration.

Berners-Lee & Fischetti, Weaving the Web (1999), p. 172

Our aim has been to map the space of social machines, to understand their development, and to produce an inventory of the skills required to analyse and engineer them and make them sustainable and effective. This is a multidisciplinary imperative, and the SOCIAM project draws upon social science, law and regulation, network science, data science and computer science, and more.

The SOCIAM project is a collaborative project between four partner institutions: Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, the Oxford e-Research Centre (which integrated with the Department of Engineering Science in August 2017), Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, and the Department of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.

spacer

spacer

Principal Investigator

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt is Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. He is Chairman of the Open Data Institute which he co-founded with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He is also a Visiting Professor in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He has made significant contributions to the fields of Psychology, Cognitive Science, Computational Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Semantic Web and Web Science. The common thread running through this work is understanding how intelligent behaviour is embodied and emerges in humans, machines and on the Web.

Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Co-Investigator
Prof. David De Roure
Co-Investigator

Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He directs the W3 Consortium, an open forum of companies and organisations with the mission to realise the full potential of the Web. He is a professor at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, and at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford.

Prof. David De Roure

David De Roure is Professor of e-Research at the University of Oxford. David contributes to multiple disciplines through work on computational musicology, experimental humanities, Internet of Things, and large-scale distributed systems and social computing. He is a Strategic Advisor to the Economic and Social Research Council on Social Media Data.

Prof. Dame Wendy Hall
Co-Investigator
Prof. Luc Moreau
Co-Investigator

Prof. Dame Wendy Hall

Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng is Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and is the Executive Director of the Web Science Institute. With Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt she co-founded the Web Science Research Initiative in 2006 and is the Managing Director of the Web Science Trust, which has a global mission to support the development of research, education and thought leadership in Web Science. Read more

Prof. Luc Moreau

A member of the WAIS Group at Southampton, Luc Moreau is renowned for his work on large-scale open distributed systems. He initiated the field of provenance in distributed heterogeneous computer systems and co-chaired the W3C Working Group on provenance. He recently moved to King's College, London, where he is Professor of Computer Science and Head of the department of Informatics.

Prof. Peter Buneman
Co-Investigator
Prof. Dave Robertson
Co-Investigator

Prof. Peter Buneman

One of the UK's foremost computer scientists, Peter Buneman FRS MBE works primarily on database systems and programming languages. He pioneered research on managing semi-structured data, as well as on data provenance, annotations, and digital curation. His work has had widespread application, including in bioinformatics and computational biology.

Prof. Dave Robertson

Head of the College of Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Dave Robertson is internationally known for his research on formal methods for coordination in distributed, open systems using web and mobile infrastructures. He coordinated the EU OpenKnowledge project and was principal investigator on the EPSRC Advanced Knowledge Technologies research consortium.

placeholder

hide_this_text

Advisory Board

Chair

Prof. Lynda Hardman
CWI and University of Utrecht

Board members

Prof. Juliana Freire
New York University
Prof. Chris Welty
Google Research, New York and VU Amsterdam
Prof. Fausto Giunchiglia
University of Trento
Dr. Ellie Gilvin
EPSRC
Prof. Avi Bernstein
University of Zürich
Prof. Jon Crowcroft
University of Cambridge

Partners