Piuma Excellence

The project Personalized Interactive Urban Maps for Autism (acronym PIUMA) aims to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) move and live within cities by means of a new digital service that provides interactive personalized maps. ASD is marked by a tendency of withdrawal from social relationships, is characterized by a reduced capacity for extracting a Gestalt from a collection of details, and implies the need of finding reassurance in repetitious routines, making hard to manage unexpected events. These characteristics entail peculiar spatial representation modalities and the need of tailored supports for orientation and movements in the urban environment.

The project aims to provide such support especially to adult individuals with medium or high functioning autism, or with Asperger’s Syndrome (now categorized as a form of ASD), since an orientation support for such people could highly impact on their autonomy, making the transition from a state of (partial) dependency to a state of autonomy.

Our goals

The project has 3 goals.

Understand

The first goal is to understand how people with ASD represent and orient themselves in urban spaces, what kinds of “spatial needs” they have, and what kind of support would be useful for them.
This goal will be achieved through qualitative interviews and psychological tests in the first part of the project. Since there currently is no substantial scientific literature available concerning this issue, this would also mark the practical opening of a novel area of research. Findings from this study will have a scientific validity that could also go beyond the specific project, being useful to other researchers to support spatial abilities of people with ASD.

Design & Develop

The second goal is to design and develop interactive urban maps to practically support people with ASD in their daily movements within urban environment:
a) Agenda-maps will support everyday movements of ASD people (homeschool, home-relatives, etc.) by allowing for the planning of routes and providing tailored helps for facing breakdowns from routines (e.g. the bus line they usually take is canceled for the day). Maps will be personalized on the basis of the users’ habits and on their cognitive abilities;
b) Crowdsensed interactive maps will be populated with comments, reviews, trails by people with ASD, caregivers, and anyone interested in contributing to the service. They will suggest places, routes, and activities (e.g. less crowded routes, quiet places, ways to socially behave in different places) which could make the ASD people’s daily lives more comfortable.

Evaluate

The third goal is to iteratively evaluate the technological intervention in a real context of use where people with ASD could use the interactive maps in their everyday urban movements. The effectiveness of the solution will be assessed through both qualitative and quantitative measures.

To not be an anthropologist on Mars

OLIVER SACKS

Meet the team

Federica Cena

Federica Cena

Principal Investigator

Assistant professor at the Computer Science Department at University of Torino since 2011. Her research interests include human-computer interaction and adaptive systems, key aspects in the proposal. The PI has extensive international collaborations, and actively participated in many EU and national projects, coordinating 4. She organizes workshops on adaptive systems and on HCI at major international conferences (ACM HT 2009, UMAP 2010-11-12, Ubicomp 2015-16) and highly attended tutorials. She is member of program committee and chair for the most important conferences in the field (ACM HT, ACM UMAP, IUI).

Maurizio Tirassa

Maurizio Tirassa

Team Mate

Full professor at the Department of Psychology of the University of Torino. He has a degree in Medicine (Milano, 1989) and a Ph.D. in Psychology (Pavia, 1996). His scientific interest includes theoretical psychology, social cognition, organizational psychology, and ergonomics. The most relevant to the project is social knowledge and cognition, including “mindreading” or "theory of mind" (i.e, the faculty of understanding and reasoning upon mental states), who’s malfunctioning is one of the most characterizing features of ASD.

Roberto Keller

Roberto Keller

Team Mate

Head of the center for developmental disorders in adulthood of ASLTO2.

Claudio Mattutino

Claudio Mattutino

Team Mate

degree in Computer Science and is an ICT Staff Member at Università degli Studi di Torino, Department of Computer Science, since 2005. His expertise regards webapplication programming, computer security, networking, system management. He will be involved in the technical implementation of the solution.

Alessia Calafiore

Alessia Calafiore

Team Mate

She received her Master's degree (cum laude) in development, environment and cooperation from the Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Turin, with a final dissertation in Urban Geography. She is trained in the use of Geographic Information Systems and she has knowledge of the most known libraries for web cartography (i.e. leaflet). Currently, she is doing a PhD at the Department of Computer Science, University of Turin. Her PhD research project is on designing conceptual models and geographic ontologies to describe the social reality.

Amon Rapp

Amon Rapp

Team Mate

Ph.D. in Science of Language and Communication at Computer Science Department, University of Torino, Italy, in 2015. Currently a research fellow at Computer Science Department of the University of Torino. Previously, he has been working for 5 years in Telecom Italia as a Human-Computer Interaction Researcher. He has been responsible for the understanding and evaluation activities in the Research & Trends department of Telecom Italia, planning, coordinating and conducting the gathering and the analysis of user needs and desires, the evaluations of the products/services developed, the definition of the requirements for the following design phases and the presentation of the results to the stakeholders.

Stefania Brighenti

Stefania Brighenti

Team Mate

Psychologist; 2nd Level Master degree in Neuropsychology. Her clinical experience is focused on neuropsychological evaluation and rehabilitation for a range of different neurological conditions and neurodevelopmental disorders

Guido Boella

Guido Boella

Team Mate

Full Professor at Computer Science Deparatment, University of Turin, Italy.

Romina Castaldo
Giorgia Genovese
Luca Leone
Federico Limioli
Annarita Littaru
Alessandra Merlo
Marta Morante
Giuseppe Ruggiero
Martina Elena Uzzi
Michele Vaiano

Collaborators

Latest works

Some numbers about us

30 Months
90 Thousands of Euros
16 Team members
60 Involved Subjects
unito
compagnia di san paolo