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Dr. Bernardo Monechi

Assistant Researcher

creativity

Creativity is still lacking of a shared definition within the scientific community.
Nevertheless, a deep understanding of the mechanisms driving the exploration of the new and the emergence of innovations could have a strong impact in the way in which we think about science, arts and society. In my research, I exploit the typical tools of Complex Systems Physics trying to find for new approaches to the study of human creativity, considering creativity as the process of exploring spaces of possibilities looking for valuable novel elements. I am also interested in the modelization of techno-social systems (Urban Environments, Railway Systems, etc.), trying to involve citizens in the research process by means of engaging gamified social experiments.

Kreyon City is a unique experience whose challenge is that...
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The Citychrone platform (www.citychrone.org), originally developed by Sapienza University of...
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The rise of Information Age is transforming our world and,...
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Creativity is more and more recognized as the main driver...
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A quantitative and operational definition of what is new is...
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2018

Universal scores for accessibility and inequalities in urban areas

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Biazzo Indaco, Bernardo Monechi, Vittorio Loreto,

submitted to Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2018.

2017

Waves of Novelties in the Expansion into the Adjacent Possible

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Bernardo Monechi, Alvaro Ruiz-Serrano,
Tria Francesca
, Vittorio Loreto,

PloS one, edited by:Public Library of Science, 12, 6, 2017. pp.e0179303.

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Abstract

The emergence of novelties and their rise and fall
in popularity is an ubiquitous phenomenon in human
activities. The coexistence of always popular
milestones with novel and sometimes ephemeral trends
pervades technological, scientific and artistic
production. By introducing suitable statistical
measures, we demonstrate that different systems of
human activities, i.e. the creation of hashtags in
Twitter, the interaction with online program code
repositories, the creation of texts and the
listening of songs on an on-line platform, exhibit
surprisingly similar properties. We then introduce
a general framework to explain those
regularities. We propose a simple mathematical model
based on the expansion into the adjacent possible,
that has been proven to be a very general and
powerful mechanism able to explain many of the
statistical patterns emerging in innovation
dynamics, to which we add two crucial elements. On
the one hand we quantify the idea that, while
exploring a conceptual or physical space, inertia
exists towards known already discovered elements. On
the other hand, we highlight the role of the
collective dynamics – where many users interact, in
a direct or indirect way in the emergence and
diffusion of novelties and innovations.

2017

Significance and popularity in music production

Topics:
creativity music
Authors
Bernardo Monechi, Pietro Gravino, Servedio Vito D. P., Tria Francesca, Vittorio Loreto,

Royal Society Open Science, 4, 7, The Royal Society, 2017.

2016

Crossing the horizon: exploring the adjacent possible in a cultural system

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Pietro Gravino, Bernardo Monechi, Servedio Vito DP, Tria Francesca, Vittorio Loreto,

submitted to ICCC 2016 - The Seventh International Conference on Computational Creativity, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Computational Creativity, June 2016, 2016.

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Abstract

It is common opinion that many innovations are
triggered by serendipity whose notion is associated
with fortuitous events leading to unintended
consequences. One might argue that this
interpretation is due to the poor understanding of
the dynamics of innovations. Very little is known,
in fact, about how innovations proceed and samples
the space of potential novelties. This space is
usually referred to as the adjacent possible, a
concept originally introduced in the study of
biological systems to indicate the set of
possibilities that are one step away from what
actually exists. In this paper we focus on the
problem of defining the adjacent possible space, and
analyzing its dynamics, for a particular system,
namely the cultural system of the network of movies.
We synthesized to this end the graph emerging from
the Internet Movies Database (IMDb) and looked at
the static and dynamical properties of this
network. We deal, in particular, with the subtle
mechanism of the adjacent possible by measuring the
expansion and the coverage of this elusive space
during the global evolution of the system. Finally,
we introduce the concept of adjacent possibilities
at the level of single node and try to elucidate its
nature by looking at the correlations with
topological and user annotation metrics.

2016

The Evolution Of Collaborative Stories

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Cuskley Christine, Bernardo Monechi, Pietro
Gravino
, Vittorio Loreto,

The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th
International Conference (EVOLANGX11),
edited by:S.G. Roberts and C. Cuskley and L. McCrohon and L. Barcel'o-Coblijn and O. Feh'er and T. Verhoef, 2016.

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Abstract

Studies in literature and narrative have begun to
argue more forcefully for considering human
evolution as central to understanding stories and
storytelling more generally (Sugiyama, 2001;
Hernadi, 2002). However, empirical studies in
language evolution have focused primarily on
language structure or the language faculty, leaving
the evolution of stories largely unexplored
(although see Von Heiseler, 2014). Stories are
unique products of human culture enabled principally
by human language. Given this, the dynamics of
creativity in stories, and the traits which make
successful stories, are of crucial interest to
understanding the evolution of language in the
context of human evolution more broadly. The current
work aims to illuminate how stories emerge, evolve,
and change in the context of a collaborative
cultural effort. We present results from a novel
experimental paradigm centered around a story game
where players write short continuations (between 60
and 120 characters) of existing stories. These
continuations then become open to other players to
continue in turn. Stories are subject to player
selection, allowing for variation and speciation of
the resulting narratives, and evolve as a result of
collaborative effort between players. The game
starts with a seed of over 60 potential stories, and
players choose which stories to continue, providing
a player-driven story selection mechanism. In this
way, stories which are creative, intriguing, and
open ended spawn more stories, and eventually lead
to longer story paths as play continues. The game
also introduces further limitations by constraining
a players’�� view of the story path: players have
access only to a story and its parent, meaning
knowledge of the existing narrative is limited. We
present data from hundreds of players and stories,
creating large story trees which explore the space
of different possible narratives which grow out of a
confined set of starting points. This data allows us
to investigate several aspects of the growing story
trees to illuminate not only what makes a story
successful, but how creative stories trigger new
stories, and what makes individual storytellers
successful. Given the selection mechanism central to
game play, we identify the most successful stories
by their number of offspring. Particularly
successful storytellers emerge measured both by how
many children their stories have spawned, and also
how long their story path extends. We also show that
coherent stories often emerge, despite the fact that
they are authored by several different players, and
any given player only sees a limited snapshot of the
story path. We contextualise the results of the game
and connect it to language evolution in two
ways. First, we look for detectable triggers of
innovation and creativity within the story trees,
and identify these as expanding the adjacent
possible (e.g., new adaptations open the space of
other possible adaptations in the future; Tria,
Loreto, Servedio, & Strogatz, 2014). We argue that
this concept can be extended to stories, using
evidence from the game bolstered by evidence from
more traditional literature (the Gutenberg
Corpus). Second, we frame the results in terms of
recurring themes found in storytelling
cross-culturally (Tehrani, 2013). We suggest that
the most successful triggers of innovation in
stories combine original novelty and a firm
grounding in existing recurring story frameworks in
human culture. This indicates that much like other
cultural and biological systems, stories are subject
to competing pressures for stability and
conservation on the one hand, and innovation and
novelty on the other.

2016

Individual Mobility Patterns in Urban Environment

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Mastroianni Pierpaolo, Bernardo Monechi, Servedio Vito DP, Liberto Carlo, Valenti Gaetano, Vittorio Loreto,

COMPLEXIS 2016, 1st International Conference on
Complex Information Systems, Rome, 22-24 April 2016,
2016.

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Abstract

The understanding and the characterisation of
individual mobility patterns in urban environments
is important in order to improve liveability and
planning of big cities. In relatively recent times,
the availability of data regarding human movements
have fostered the emergence of a new branch of
social studies, with the aim to unveil and study
those patterns thanks to data collected by means of
geolocalisation technologies. In this paper we
analyse a large dataset of GPS tracks of cars
collected in Rome (Italy). Dividing the drivers in
classes according to the number of trips they
perform in a day, we show that the sequence of the
travelled space connecting two consecutive stops
shows a precise behaviour so that the shortest trips
are performed at the middle of the sequence, when
the longest occur at the beginning and at the end
when drivers head back home. We show that this
behaviour is consistent with the idea of an
optimisation process in which the total travel time
is minimised, under the effect of spatial
constraints so that the starting points is on the
border of the space in which the dynamics takes
place.

2015

Local Optimization Strategies in Urban Vehicular Mobility

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Mastroianni Pierpaolo, Bernardo Monechi, Liberto Carlo
, Valenti Gaetano, Vito DP Servedio,
Loreto Vittorio
,

PloS one, 10, 12, Public Library of Science, 2015. pp.e0143799.

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Abstract

The comprehension of vehicular traffic in urban
environments is crucial to achieve a good management
of the complex processes arising from people
collective motion. Even allowing for the great
complexity of human beings, human behavior turns out
to be subject to strong constraints—physical,
environmental, social, economic—that induce the
emergence of common patterns. The observation and
understanding of those patterns is key to setup
effective strategies to optimize the quality of life
in cities while not frustrating the natural need for
mobility. In this paper we focus on vehicular
mobility with the aim to reveal the underlying
patterns and uncover the human strategies
determining them. To this end we analyze a large
dataset of GPS vehicles tracks collected in the Rome
(Italy) district during a month. We demonstrate the
existence of a local optimization of travel times
that vehicle drivers perform while choosing their
journey. This finding is mirrored by two additional
important facts, i.e., the observation that the
average vehicle velocity increases by increasing the
travel length and the emergence of a universal
scaling law for the distribution of travel times at
fixed traveled length. A simple modeling scheme
confirms this scenario opening the way to further
predictions.

2015

Congestion transition in air traffic networks

Topics:
creativity
Authors
Bernardo Monechi, Servedio Vito DP, Vittorio Loreto,

PloS one, 10, 5, Public Library of Science, 2015. pp.e0125546.