IPSCA is the nickname for the research project "Including people in smart city applications", funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities under contract PID2021-125527NB-I00. The project starts on Sept. 1, 2022 and ends in Sept. 1, 2026. The project PIs are Antonio Vallecillo and Carlos Canal.

Project Summary

Currently, there is a growing interest in the social aspects of smart cities, which are cities that use technology to provide useful services to their citizens and to solve urban problems. A smart city aims to improve transportation and accessibility, enhance social services, promote sustainability, or reduce energy consumption, by using digital technologies.

Despite its a priori relevance, the role of individual citizens has often been neglected: smart city applications typically focus on collecting and analyzing data coming from all kinds of sensors, including some related to human activities, but without really integrating individual users into the loop, just considering them collectively, i.e., as a crowd. Moreover, citizens have to hand over their personal information to the service providers, losing control of their data, which becomes the property of third parties. Once under their control, these companies can employ it for any purpose, sometimes different from those it was generated for by the users.

In this project we propose to integrate people into the picture, not only from the perspective of synthetic or purely statistical data but by exploiting the information available about the people living in these cities, their behavioral habits and personal preferences. For this we will use their virtual profiles (or Digital Avatars, DA), defined in our previous project COSCA. DAs collect information about the daily activities of their owners, and combine this information with data from institutions and organizations that provide the city services. The distinguishing feature of DAs is that information is owned and managed by individual users, which enables the empowerment of users, allowing them to take control of the information and contents they generate, and how all that information is accessed and exploited in a secure manner by third parties.

We will make use of use Urban Digital Twin techniques to model specific aspects of the cities (transportation, heat maps on density of people in different points, air quality, etc.) combined with the models of the citizens themselves, and of their behaviors and personal preferences, represented by their DAs, to obtain a model that integrates both, and allows feedback between the model and the physical entities represented in it. The digital twin helps cities realize real-time remote monitoring, and allows more effective decision-making, including urban governance, smart healthcare and smart transportation.

To achieve all this, we will devise and develop an architectural framework for the development of socio-technical applications that consider individual habits, routines and preferences of users in the context of smart cities. This framework will provide a common architecture for these kinds of applications, as well as the required infrastructure and appropriate services for their implementation, deployment, analysis and execution.

Three major application scenarios, which are representative systems of the kinds application our framework will support, will serve to illustrate the scope and implications of this project, to validate our proposal, and to prototype our ideas.

More detailed information can be found in the original research project proposal.

Project Resources

All resources developed during the project, including models, datasets, tools and applications, are available on the project's git repository: IPSCA repository

Project Publications


  • Ruben Salado, Antonio Vallecillo, Kamran Munir, José R. Romero. "SWEL: A Domain-Specific Language for Modelling Data-Intensive Workflows". Business & Information Systems Engineering (BISE), to appear, 2023.
  • Jean-Marc Jézéquel, Antonio Vallecillo. "Uncertainty-aware Simulation of Adaptive Systems". ACM Trans. Model. Comput. Simul., pp. 8:1--8:19, 2023.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1145/3589517. (Open access)
  • Javier Cámara, Javier Troya, Lola Burgueño, Antonio Vallecillo. "On the assessment of generative AI in modeling tasks: an experience report with ChatGPT and UML". Softw. Syst. Model, pp. 1-13, 2023.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1007/s10270-023-01105-5. (Open access)
  • Jordi Cabot, Antonio Vallecillo. "Modeling should be an independent scientific discipline". Softw. Syst. Model., pp. 2101--2107, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1007/s10270-022-01035-8. (Open access)
  • Alejandro Perez-Vereda, Ramon Hervas, Carlos Canal. "Digital Avatars: A programming framework for personalized human interactions through virtual profiles". Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 101718, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1016/j.pmcj.2022.101718. (Open access)
  • Javier Cámara, Rebekka Wohlrab, David Garlan, Bradley Schmerl. "ExTrA: Explaining architectural design tradeoff spaces via dimensionality reduction". Journal of Systems and Software, 111578, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.111578.
  • Javier Cámara, Javier Troya, Antonio Vallecillo, Nelly Bencomo, Radu Calinescu, Betty H. C. Cheng, David Garlan, Bradley R. Schmerl. "The uncertainty interaction problem in self-adaptive systems." Softw. Syst. Model 21(4):1277-1294, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1007/s10270-022-01037-6. (Open access)

International Conferences

  • Meriem Ben Chaaben, Lola Burgueño, Houari A. Sahraoui: "Towards using Few-Shot Prompt Learning for Automating Model Completion". In Proc. of ICSE (NIER track), 2023
  • Robbert Jongeling, Antonio Vallecillo: "Uncertainty-aware consistency checking in industrial settings." In Proc. of MODELS'23. Västerås, Sweden, Oct 1-6, 2023.

International workshops

  • Paula Muñoz. "Measuring the fidelity of digital twin systems." In Proc. of the Doctoral Symposium at MoDELS'22, pp. 182-188, ACM, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1145/3550356.3558516.
  • Paula Muñoz. "How alike are my physical and digital twins?" In Proc. of the ACM Student Research Competition at MoDELS'22, pp. 201-204, ACM, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1145/3550356.3552393.
  • Paula Muñoz, Manuel Wimmer, Javier Troya, Antonio Vallecillo. "Using trace alignments for measuring the similarity between a physical and its digital twin." In Proc. of the 2nd International Workshop on Model-Driven Engineering of Digital Twins (ModDIT@MODELS'22) pp. 503-510, ACM, 2022.
    [BibTeX] DOI: 10.1145/3550356.3563135.

National conferences

  • Francisco Navarrete, Manuel Atencia, Antonio Vallecillo. "Clasificación de Delitos con Incertidumbre" In Proc. of JISBD'23, Ciudad-Real, Spain, 2023.

Books and book chapters

Technical reports