Case Studies

Two living labs

Our approach can only be applied if we have suitable user communities and application domains. Also, in order to produce results which are generic (applicable over a wide space of application domains) we need to test them in more than one application domain. We selected two application areas which, we believe, have high potential technological and social impact. We will create two “Living Labs” (techno-social communities) which will support quality in Media and Science. We call these two living labs QMedia and QScience.

Since our project is highly dependant on the collection of empirical data from our two living labs it is vital we ensure we have a enough real users of our systems to produce a viable quantity and quality of data. In order to obtain a sufficient number of users early in project we will draw-on two existing user communities. For QMedia we will draw on the existing Tribler P2P community — approximately 8,000 active users and 150,000 client software downloads. For QScience we will draw on the EconoPhysics Forum — approximately 3,000 active website users. Partners of the QLectives consortium currently administer these communities: Tribler is a research project of the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science faculty of the Delft University of Technology (TUD), Netherlands. The Econophysics Forum is a website gathering online publications for interdisciplinary and complex social sciences, developed at the University of Fribourg (UNI Fribourg), Switzerland.

We summarise our main criteria for selecting these particular living lab applications below:

  • two different application domains in order to test generic approaches
  • existing, large and active user communities
  • communities seeking quality content
  • peer production based communities in which users submit content
  • trust and cooperation required to collectively achieve user goals
  • high technological and social impact

QScience will support scientific innovation by proactively creating social links between members of new scientific communities, facilitating robust reputation, cooperation and rating systems for quality assessment of both content items and other peers. QMedia will support media distribution via dynamic self-organising peer collectives with shared tastes by proactively delivering quality rated media contents to the right groups and hence replace the “one size fits all” centralised channel / broadcast model of mainstream TV, where content often has to compromise quality in order to meet the majority taste.