Gamified and Self-Adaptive Applications for the Common Good: Research Challenges Ahead

Antonio Bucchiarone, Antonio Cicchetti, Nelly Bencomo, Enrica Loria, Annapaola Marconi

Motivational digital systems offer capabilities to engage and motivate end-users to foster behavioral changes towards a common goal. In general these systems use gamification principles in non-games contexts. Over the years, gamification has gained consensus among researchers and practitioners as a tool to motivate people to perform activities with the ultimate goal of promoting behavioural change, or engaging the users to perform activities that can offer relevant benefits but which can be seen as unrewarding and even tedious. There exists a plethora of heterogeneous application scenarios towards reaching the common good that can benefit from gamification. However, an open problem is how to effectively combine multiple motivational campaigns to maximise the degree of participation without exposing the system to counterproductive behaviours. We conceive motivational digital systems as multi-agent systems: self-adaptation is a feature of the overall system, while individual agents may self-adapt in order to leverage other agents' resources, functionalities and capabilities to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively. Consequently, multiple campaigns can be run and adapted to reach common good. At the same time, agents are grouped into micro-communities in which agents contribute with their own social capital and leverage others' capabilities to balance their weaknesses. In this paper we propose our vision on how the principles at the base of the autonomous and multi-agent systems can be exploited to design multi-challenge motivational systems to engage smart communities towards common goals. We present an initial version of a general framework based on the MAPE-K loop and a set of research challenges that characterise our research roadmap for the implementation of our vision.

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