Luiss Data Lab is a research center specializing in new and social media, data science, digital humanities, artificial intelligence and digital narrative of the Free International University of Social Studies Guido Carli.

The center, founded in January 2018, is based at the Luiss School of Government, directed by ProfessorGiovanni Orsina. Under the direction of Gianni Riotta, Luiss Data Lab carries out basic and applied research in the field of Big Data, new technologies and digital transformation, with a multidisciplinary perspective, quantitative and qualitative, comparative and focused on political, economic and social case studies with ad hoc narratives and videographs. Activities The various activities of the research center, based in the historic Luiss campus of Viale Pola 12, in Rome, include participation in national and international research projects, as well as the creation and publication of papers, reports and articles in scientific journals. Research activities are supported by the organization and management of seminars, workshops and academic courses, organized by researchers at the Data Lab. Among the activities conducted by researchers at the Luiss Data Lab, the work on disinformation and fake news deserves special mention. with participation in the European Union's High Level Group.      

Per superare il problema della diffusione delle fake news, bisogna prima ricostruire la fiducia nelle istituzioni – nella scuola e nella scienza, bisogna ripartire anche dall’autocritica di giornalisti ed intellettuali, puntare sulla cultura

Gianni Riotta

Direttore Luiss Data Lab

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Projects and Researches

Codemaster Tag

In June 2018, Luiss Data Lab collaborated on the Project Work of the Master in Codemaster of Talent Garden with the aim of creating an interactive and navigable dashboard that allows to visualize through infographics – histograms, historical analyzes, temporal trends, statistical elaborations – the data coming from the social networks that tell the reality of the Luiss Guido Carli University of Rome. The researchers of the Luiss Data Lab carried out a tutoring and mentorship activity for the whole duration of the project work, accompanying the students from the design and planning phase according to models and techniques of user experience design to the development phase. For the experimentation, students were given: access to “raw” data collected in the form of CSV; access to data processed in the form of exportable graphs; access to public API endpoints that display data related to statistical processing of the collected data.

Permanent Observatory on Decentralized Artificial Intelligence

Established in July 2018, in conjunction with the event held in Rome at the Luiss Loft, the Permanent Observatory on Decentralized Artificial Intelligence aims to extract information and analyze the main strategies adopted by startups, companies and influencers . The Data Intelligence studies conducted on the main social networks were presented to the public at numerous national events in Milan, Rome, Bologna at universities, trade shows and technological events.
The Observatory is a radar on network communications, created with the aim of providing the tools to analyze and disseminate the most relevant and trendy topics related to Decentralized AI, and to narrate the change taking place in the decentralization of artificial intelligence through research , studies and reflections. The Observatory, created by the joint efforts of the Luiss Data Lab, Alkemy Lab and Catchy research center is also supported by the Decentralized AI Community.

Data Intelligence and Reputation Analysis

Luiss Data Lab, thanks to the engines and the collaboration with the startup Catchy and Alkemy Lab, has carried out a search for Social Data Intelligence related to external and internal communication, entering and leaving the Luiss Guido Carli University. Social Data Intelligence means the collection, analysis, algorithmic processing and interpretation of conversation flows that move on Social Networks. The datasets collected refer to the official accounts of the Luiss brand, as well as the main Professors and Representatives. The data were processed using Big Data Analytics algorithms in order to highlight: activity and popularity trends; network analysis and centrality; semantic analysis; sentiment analysis, competitor analysis (relationship between the Luiss communication and that of the main Italian private universities).

Migrants’ Map

The Map of Migrants is a Data & Geo Storytelling project developed by Luiss Data Lab in collaboration with Catchy, Alkemy Lab and Kode srl, with the aim of telling data, stories and faces of migrants involved in tragedies in visual and spatial form Mediterranean Sea in recent years. To carry out the project, the open data of the Missing Migrants portal on deaths at sea starting from December 2013 were collected, analyzed and processed. The data were distributed geographically on a Geo Intelligence map that considers the main migratory routes of the central Mediterranean , Western Mediterranean and eastern Mediterranean. The data collected and processed for each route were accompanied by individual stories with a strong journalistic impact, accompanied by emotional photos offered by Oxfam Italia and Medici Senza Frontiere. The map allows you to filter datasets and narration for the specific migration route, for a specific time period and to distinguish the deaths of adults from those of children. The map of migrants can be reached at the following link: http://migranti.catchy.buzz/. From a technological point of view, data processing uses the open dataset of Missing Migrants and the services of Geo Visualization Open Street Map and Mapbox. The project exploits the modern technologies of Geo Visualization and Geo Intelligence to describe and visualize data in a timely and effective manner. The map of migrants as well as fits perfectly into the Luiss Data Lab research lines, covers one of the themes that characterize the current Italian and international socio-political debate, representing an information and e-literacy tool.

SOMA Project Horizon 2020

The Horizon 2020 SOMA Project “Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis” ICT 28d-2018 – Future Hyper-connected Sociality has the general objective of supporting the European community in the fight against disinformation. In particular, SOMA deals with: promoting the use of a collaborative verification platform for European fact-checkers, mapping the main players of European social media using an open mapping service; work to establish a network of European centers for experts and researchers on disinformation in social media; develop a source transparency index.

Within SOMA, the Data Lab is responsible for the development of algorithms and software for the analysis of disinformation flows on social media. In practice, this means identifying messages, news, comments and, in general, contents that are false, tendentious or propagandistic, understand the dynamics of dissemination of this content on social media, identifying users who have a particularly active role in this process and possibly reconstructing the sources.

Among the tools that the Data Lab will develop for SOMA: a scraper for data collection from Twitter; a filter for the selection, within a set of documents, of texts that report or treat or comment on a news item of interest; a tool for extracting a graph – oriented to users or hashtags – from Twitter data; a toolbox for graph analysis, equipped with community detection tools, centrality and identification of hubs and influencers, classification of users based on their role in intra- and inter-community connections; a software to perform topic modeling on a corpus of documents; a classifier for understanding the polarization of a given message or user against a topic of interest.

In addition to the Luiss Data Lab, the SOMA partners are: ATC (Athens Technology Center), Project leader, expert in technologies for combating misinformation. ATC is responsible for the development and management of content verification platforms Truly Media and TruthNest, on which the SOMA platform is based. Political Report, a fact-checking agency that aims to monitor the statements of the main political exponents, in order to assess their truthfulness through numbers and facts. Aarhus University, university part of the High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Disinformation, able to provide tools for the collection and analysis (semi-) automated of big data and social data. T6 Ecosystems srl, a consulting and research company with extensive experience in national and international projects, responsible for developing tools to assess and measure the impact of misinformation.

Specialization Courses

Luiss Data Lab in collaboration with the School of Government, organizes the Specialization Course – Entrepreneurial Data Driven Journalism. Among the objectives is to enable people to acquire skills in the management of multidimensional data analysis and to develop new communication and digital storytelling techniques, as well as strategies applied to investigative security issues. The course also provides the theoretical and practical tools to use Big Data and Analytics in order to obtain new business opportunities.

In view of the changes taking place in the media sector and thanks to the introduction of new technologies capable of integrating the work of journalists and experts, the role of data in the world of information is now crucial. Journalists, experts in business communication in the public and private sector, press officers and industry specialists use the data daily in their work. A renewed attention to data and collection, processing and use capabilities are the elements of differentiation for an effective and innovative storytelling for traditional and online publications, but also for brands and companies that need content providers, data analysts, viewers, storytellers . A conscious and appropriate use of the data also allows to understand and counteract disinformation phenomena contrary to freedom of expression.

Luiss Data Lab in collaboration with the School of Government, organizes the Specialization Course – Big Data for the Public Administration. The aim of the course is to train Government Data Scientists with technical / statistical skills, as well as data visualization and presentation skills. The course provides quantitative and qualitative know-how thanks to which the Data Analyst is able to study, monitor and understand specific phenomena both automatically, through machine-learning and semi-automatic, with the use of near real methodologies time or nowcasting.