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Since October 2015, I am Professor of Pervasive Computing in the Dept. of Computer Science at University College London. I first joined UCL in May 2000 as a Research Assistant, and then as a Ph.D. student (from September 2000 until September 2003). From October 2003 until March 2005, I have been a Research Fellow in the Software Systems Engineering Group at UCL/CS, working on the TAPAS European project. I then took on a Lectureship within the same department in April 2005. Before coming to England, I was an undergraduate student in the Dipartimento di Informatica at the University of Bologna, Italy.

Curiosity - See my academic genealogy


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE), Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching, University College London, London UK. Awarded: September 2007.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Dept. of Computer Science, University College London, London UK. Thesis title: "Reflective Mobile Middleware for Context-Aware Applications". Supervisor: Prof. Wolfgang Emmerich, University College London, London, UK. Awarded: October 2003
  • Laurea Degree (comparable to a British MSc) in Computer Science (summa cum laude), Dipartimento di Informatica, University of Bologna, Italy. Dissertation title: "The Problem of Dimensionality Curse in Multi-dimensional Databases" (in Italian). Supervisor: Prof. Paolo Ciaccia, Facolta di Ingegneria, University of Bologna, Italy. Awarded: March 2000.

Research Interests

My general research area is ubiquitous computing. My goal is to provide: (1) application developers with useful abstractions, algorithm libraries, and middleware systems to ease ubiquitous computing application development; (2) end users with better experiences when interacting with the technology in their daily life. In practice, I am currently researching into the following topics:

  • Crowd-sourcing and crowd-sensing;
  • Urban computing; 
  • Location-based services;
  • Recommender Systems;
  • Data mining for development.

Invited Talks

  • "Data-driven urban planning and policy-making". Invited talk at LIRIS, INSA de Lyon, France. (January 2018).
  • "Data-driven urban planning and policy-making". Invited talk at AMS Seminar on Urban Data Science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (December 2017).
  • "Discrimination by Algorithm ... or by People?". Keynote talk at 9th International Conference on Social Informatics, Oxford, UK (September 2017).
  • "Data-driven Urban Planning and Policy Making: Opportunities and Challenges". Keynote talk at the 2nd EAI International Conference on IoT in Urban Space, Tokyo Japan. (May 2016).
  • "Government Processes and Machine Decisions". Invited talk at the Nesta workshop on `Algorithm-Supported Decision-Making in Government'. London UK (February 2016).
  • "Urban Computing - Examples for Evidence-based Policy-making". Invited talk at Toshiba Research Europe, Bristol (November 2015).
  • "Quantifying bias in collective intelligence platforms". Invited talk for the "At the roots of collective intelligence" event, Nesta UK (October 2015)
  • "Mind the Map: Modelling Sustainability of Urban Crowd-Sourcing". Invited talk at Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University (May 2013), and School of Computer Science, Nottingham University (Sep 2013).
  • "Fingers on The Pulse: Mining Urban Movement Data to Inform Smart City Planning". Advanced Distinguished Lecture (ADL) at China Computer Federation (CCF). Beijing, China. August 2012.
  • "Middleware for Social Computing: A Roadmap". Invited talk and paper at 12th International Middleware Conference, special event on “The Future of Middleware” (FOME 2011). Lisboa, Portugal
  • "Mining Public Transport Usage For Personalised Intelligent Transport Systems". Invited talk at the 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL Intl. Workshop on Location-Based Social Networks (LBSN 2011). Chicago, Illinois, USA. Nov 2011.
  • "Self-Adaptation of Online Recommender Systems via Feed-Forward Controllers". Invited talk at the Workshop on Self-Awareness in Computing. University of Birmingham, UK. June 2011.
  • “Social Ranking: Philosophy, Realisations and Performance Analysis”. Invited seminar at the Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, UK. May 2009
  • “Social Ranking: Philosophy, Realisations and Performance Analysis”. Invited seminar at the School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck University, London, UK. January 2009
  • “Trust in Pervasive Social Networks”, Keynote Talk at the 7th ACM Workshop on Adaptive and Reflective Middleware (ARM08). Leuven, Belgium. December 2008 [see slides on slideshare]
  • “Selecting Trustworthy Content Using Tags”. Invited paper and talk at SECRYPT, Special Session on Trust in Pervasive Systems and Networks. Porto, Portugal. July 2008
  • “Social Filtering for Robust Recommendations”.  Invited seminar at the Department of Computing, Lancaster University, Lancaster. May 2008
  • “Reflective Mobile Middleware for Context-Aware Applications”. Invited talk at at NTT DoCoMo, Tokyo, Japan. November 2001

Scholarly Service

I have co-organised the following events:

  • International Workshop on Geographic Human-Computer Interaction (GeoHCI 2013). Organisers: Brent Hecht, Johannes Schöning, Muki Haklay, Licia Capra, Afra J. Mashhadi, Loren Terveen,  Mei-Po Kwan. Co-located with CHI 2013. [Website
  • International Workshop on Personalization in Mobile Applications (PeMA 2011). Organisers: N. Lathia, D. Quercia, L. Capra and J. Crowcroft. Co-located with RecSys 2011 [Website]
  • International Workshop on Software Architectures and Mobility (SAM 2008). Organisers: L. Capra, R. Bahsoon, W. Emmerich and M. E. Fayad. Co-located with ICSE. May 2008. [Workshop Summary] [Workshop Proceedings]
  • International Workshop on Trust in Mobile Environments (TIME 2008). Organisers: L. Capra and I. Wakeman. Co-located with IFIPTM 08 - Joint iTrust and PST Conference. June 2008. [Workshop Proceedings]

I have been guest editor for the following journals:

  • ACM Transaction on Intelligent Systems and Technology (ACM TIST) - special issue on Urban Computing.

I have acted as reviewer for the following journals, conferences and workshops:

  • IEEE Distributed Systems Online;
  • IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS);
  • Elsevier Pervasive and Mobile Computing Journal (PMC);
  • ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT);
  • ACM Mobile Computing and Communications Review (MC2R);
  • IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics;
  • IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE);
  • Elsevier Data & Knowledge Engineering (DKE);
  • ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM);
  • The Web Conference (WWW 2018);
  • Software Engineering in Society (ICSE2018-SEIS);
  • ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017, 2018);
  • ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018);
  • International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2016, 2017, 2018);
  • AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018);
  • ICSE Vision of 2025 and Beyond (V2025);
  • IEEE International Conference on Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing (UIC 2015);
  • New Ideas and Emerging Results (NIER) @ FSE (FSE-NIER 2015);
  • International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2015);
  • International Workshop on Crowd Assisted Sensing, Pervasive Systems and Communications (CASPer 2016, 2015);
  • International Conference on IoT in Urban Space (Urb-IoT 2014, 2016);
  • ACM International Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2014, 2017);
  • International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services (Mobiquitous 2014);
  • ACM Conference on Web Science (WebSci 2014);
  • International Workshop on Crowdsensing Methods, Techniques, and Applications (CrowdSensing 2014);
  • International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services (MobiCASE 2013);
  • CityLab Workshop, in conjunction with ICWSM 2016;
  • International Workshop on Citizen Sensor Networks (CitiSen 2013);
  • International Workshop on Middleware for Pervasive Systems (MiPS) @ ICDCN 2013;
  • International Workshop on Context-Aware Recommender Systems (CARS), in conjunction with RecSys 2012;
  • International Workshop on Personalization in Mobile Applications (PeMA), in conjunction with RecSys 2012;
  • International Workshop on Recommendation Utility Evaluation (RUE), in conjunction with RecSys 2012;
  • International Workshop on Urban Computing (UrbComp 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), in conjunction with KDD;
  • International Workshop on When the City Meets the Citizen Workshop (WCMCW), in conjunction with ICWSM 2012;
  • International Workshop on recent advances in behavior prediction and pro-active pervasive computing (AwareCast), in conjunction with PERVASIVE 2012;
  • International Workshop on Social Connections in the Urban Space (SocialUrb-2011);
  • ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Location-Based Social Networks (LBSN 2013, 2012, 2011);
  • International Workshop on Social Service Computing, in conjunction with the International Conference on Service Oriented Computing  (SSC 2011);
  • International Workshop on Novelty and Diversity in Recommender Systems, in conjuction with RecSys (DiveRS 2011);
  • ACM International Symposium on Performance Evaluation of Wireless Ad Hoc, Sensor, and Ubiquitous Networks (PE-WASUN 2011);
  • Workshop on Pervasive Urban Applications (PURBA 2011-2015);
  • European Software Engineering Conference and ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2011);
  • Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2011) - Mobile Web Track;
  • International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST 2010);
  • New Ideas and Emerging Results Track @ ICSE (NIER 2010);
  • International Workshop on Communication, Collaboration and Social Networking in Pervasive Computing Environments @ PerCom (PerCol 2010, 2014);
  • International Conference on Software and Data Technologies (ICSOFT 2009);
  • International Workshop on Software Architectures and Mobility (SAM) at ICSE 2009;
  • International Conference on Trust Management (IFIPTM 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012);
  • International Workshop on Adaptive & Reflective Middleware (ARM 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012);
  • Doctoral Symposium @ Middleware 2008;
  • Software Architectures for Pervasive Systems, Special Session at EUROMICRO 2008;
  • International DisCoTec Workshop on Context-aware Adaptation Mechanisms for Pervasive and Ubiquitous Services (CAMPUS 2010, 2009 and 2008);
  • 1st International Workshop on Ad-hoc Ambient Computing, co-located with AD HOC NOW 2008;
  • IADIS International Conference on Wireless Applications and Computing (WAC 2008, 2007);
  • 4th International Workshop of Web and Mobile Information Services (WAMIS 2008, 2007);
  • Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (ACM SAC 2008, 2007, 2006) UbiComp track;
  • International Conference on Emerging Security Information, Systems and Technologies (SECURWARE 2008, 2007);
  • International Workshop on the Value of Security through Collaboration (SeCoVal 2007, 2006);
  • International Workshop on Reliability in Decentralized Distributed Systems (RDDS 2008, 2007, 2006)
  • IADIS International Conference on Applied Computing (AC 2007, 2006);
  • London Communications Symposium (LCS 2006);
  • International Conference on Software Engineering Advances (ICSEA 2006);
  • Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICCS-40) - Automated Software Testing and Analysis track;
  • 1st IEEE International Workshop on MIDdleware for mobile Ad hoc and Sensor networks (MIDAS06);
  • IEEE International Conference on Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous, and Trustworthy Computing (SUTC2006);
  • 28th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2006) Doctoral Symposium;
  • 27th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2005) Research Demo Track;
  • Software Engineering and Middleware (SEM 2004) - Workshop in conjunction with ASE 2004.


During my Ph.D., I have been working part-time as a software engineer for the Zuhlke Technology Group (www.zuhlke.com), participating in the development of distributed systems for financial settings. In particular, I have consulted for JP Morgan Investment Management Inc, London, UK.