Societal Networks are networks that are vital for a society's functioning. They include transportation networks, waste management systems, energy networks and health-care systems. Our work in this area aims to use the power and universal reach of computer networks (Internet, wireless) for addressing pressing problems that arise in Societal Networks. At a deeper level, we are applying the principles, architectures and algorithms developed in the Internet context to fundamentally redesign Societal Networks, making them "smarter", more scalable and efficient.
Currently, transportation networks are a major focus. Our goal is to reduce congestion-related costs (fuel, pollution, time) and, ultimately, congestion itself. We have conducted a pilot project, called INSTANT project, in collaboration with Infosys Technologies, Bangalore, where we have incentivized commuters to travel at off-peak hours. We plan to implement this approach of incentivizing "good" commuter behavior in combination with charging "congestors" in other locations, notably as a part of the "Reduce Peak Hour Trips" campaign at Stanford University. Other projects include incentivizing energy savings, improving recycling and reducing health-care costs.
Stanford Center for
Societal Networks Website
INSTANT Project Website
- D. Merugu, B. Prabhakar,
N. Rama."An Incentive Mechanism for
Decongesting the Roads: A Pilot Program in
Bangalore", NetEcon, ACM Workshop on the Economics of
Networked Systems, July 2009.
- N. Gomes, D. Merugu, G. O'Brien, C. Mandyam, T. Yue, B. Atikoglu,
A. Albert, N. Fukumoto, H. Liu, B. Prabhakar, D. Wischik,
"Steptacular: an Incentive Mechanism
for Promoting Wellness," NetHealth, Comsnets Workshop on
Networked Healthcare Technology, January 2012.
- "It pays to be early bird at Infy", The Times of India, Bangalore, November 22, 2008.
- "Infosys makes efforts to check traffic congestion", Deccan Herald, Bangalore, November 23, 2008.
- "Infosys' cash prizes to beat Bangalore traffic", Daily News & Analysis, Bangalore, November 25, 2008.