ICT4S2018:Editor's Preface

Preface to the 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology

          (ICT4S 2018)

Birgit Penzenstadler1 and Steve Easterbrook2

1 California State University Long Beach, USA
2 University of Toronto, Canada birgit.penzenstadler@csulb.edu, sme@cs.toronto.edu




This is the preface of the 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology, held at the University of Toronto, Canada.


1 Introduction

The ICT4S conferences bring together leading researchers in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Sustainabilitywith government and industry representatives, including decision-makers with an interest in using ICT for sustainability, researchers focusing on ICT effects on sustainability and developers of sustainable ICT systems or applications. The conferences feature an innovative format for presenting new research, focussing on participation and conversation rather than passive listening. After four successful annual conferences in Europe, the series comes to North America for the first time, in Toronto in May 2018.

The goals of the conference are to foster critical and constructive discussion of new research results, and to bring diverse stakeholders together to identify and respond to grand challenges in the interplay between sustainability and digital technologies. The conference will feature roundtable discussions of new research, demos of new technologies, and poster presentations of late-breaking research results, along with inspiring keynote speakers and moderated challenge sessions for participants to explore and respond to big challenge questions about the role of technology in creating thriving, sustainable communities.

The theme of the 2018 conference is “Thriving Communities”. The transformational power of ICT is essential to put our society on the path to sustainability. This potential could embrace all levels, from individuals to communities, from public sector to all industry sectors, from business goals to social aspirations and environmental objectives. ICT can bring people together to build thriving, resilient communities. Papers relating to ICT for sustainability in a broad sense and papers developing this year’s theme (and beyond) were welcome.

The list of conference topics to solicit contributes included the following:

  • Sustainable community building via ICT

  • Grassroots movements facilitated by ICT

  • Resilience by ICT

  • Social sustainability implications, contributions and limitations of ICT

  • Enabling and systemic effects of ICT on society and/or the environment

  • Smart cities, homes and offices

  • Intelligent energy management in buildings

  • Smart grids

  • Sustainability in data centers and high-performance computing

  • Intelligent transportation and logistics

  • Green networking, monitoring and adaptation of software-intensive systems and services

  • ICT-induced behavioral and societal change

  • Design principles for sustainable ICT

  • Energy-efficient and energy-aware software engineering

  • Sustainability of technical infrastructures

  • Software for environmental sustainable ICT

  • Software for sustainable business governance

  • Reduced hardware obsolescence

  • E-waste and closed material cycles

  • Incentives for more sustainable ICT

  • Tools supporting green decision making and development

  • Challenges for an environmentally sustainable ICT industry

  • Education in ICT for sustainability

  • Systematic interdisciplinary efforts in ICT for sustainability

  • Computational sustainability

  • Climate informatics


2 Contributions

2.1 Workshops

We invited workshop proposals of traditional or unconventional formats for half-day or full-day workshops. Workshops are held on Monday, May 14, and Friday, May 18, 2018.

ICT4S’18 workshops facilitate the exchange of new ideas in all areas related to sustainability and technology research and practice. A variety of formats is considered, ranging from traditional research paper presentations to extremely interactive and participatory sessions.

The workshops this year:

WK1 (Full Day) – May 14, 2018

SketchingICT4S: Picturing our way towards ICT4S


SketchingICT4S will bring together individuals from industry and academia that have an interest or have used hand-drawn sketching. The workshop aims to: (i) discuss the potential contribution of hand-drawn sketching to ICT4S, (ii) collaboratively develop a visual library of tools and techniques for sketchnoting the ICT4S conference, (iii) through a series of exercises, develop the confidence to use sketching in ICT4S, (iv) agree on plan for sketchnoting the rest of the ICT4S conference.

Workshop Chairs: Samuel Mann, Mariam Sturdee, Maria Angela Ferrario, Ray Maher 


WK2 (Full day) – May 18, 2018
Computing, Sustainability, and Education 


With this participatory workshop, we aim to gather participants from academia as well as from industry who are interested in developing ICT4S education and discuss core subject areas, concrete examples and seminal literature that we use and/or that “should” be included in such courses. This workshop will thus be an interdisciplinary effort to further ICT for sustainability and the workshop is organised by persons who lead these developments and who all have experiences of planning and teaching sustainability courses for computer science students.

Workshop Chairs: Stefanie Betz, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Tom Crick, Birgit Penzenstadler, Jari Porras, Colin C. Venters, Elina Eriksson, Daniel Pargman, Samuel Mann, Anna Kramers, Hanna Hasselqvist

WK5 (Half Day – afternoon) – May 18, 2018
Sidewalk Toronto and the Sustainable Smart City
On October 17 “Sidewalk Toronto” was announced, a partnership between City of Toronto and

Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company (alongside Google) to create a “new type of mixed-use, urban community” through redevelopment of Quayside, 12 acres on the waterfront. Through a “walkshop” based at the future site of Sidewalk Toronto, participants will be guided through differing perspectives and viewpoints on the debate around Sidewalk Toronto, and the intersection of emerging ICTs, smart cities discourse, and sustainability. Through a guided tour and site-based activities, participants will be invited to engage with underlying assumptions and themes around how ICTs are used in smart city projects and potential implications for sustainability.

Workshop Chairs: Rebecca Noone, Dawn Walker

WK6 (Half Day – morning) – May 18, 2018
The internationalization of a guide encouraging municipalities and enterprises to use digitalization for the environment


The workshop focuses digitalisation for supporting environmental targets and supporting communication between people from academy, municipalities and industry. In late 2017, CESC Centre for Sustainable Communications, produced an info-brochure in Swedish aimed at supporting municipalities and industry to focus on using Digitalisation for the environment. The brochure is creative-commons-licensed. The workshop aims at creating a new version of the brochure, in English, with all participants being welcome as authors.

Workshop Chairs: Mattias Höjer, Tina Ringenson 


2.2 Papers

We welcomed original papers and posters reporting on research, development, case studies, and experience reports in the field of ICT4S.

We received 63 submissions in this category, of which 27 were accepted after the reviews and discussion period. The accepted papers are to be found in the remainder of the proceedings at hand.


2.3 Journals First Track

This is the first year ICT4S has a Journals first track. We invited authors of recently published journals papers to present their work at ICT4S. Journals First papers relate to ICT4S and describe original and previously unpublished results that significantly extend (or were not previously reported in) prior work. Papers that were extensions of previous conference papers, or which are minor enhancements or variants of the results presented in the prior work were not eligible.

For a journal paper to be eligible to participate, the paper had to be:

  • In scope of the conference, see above for possible topics;

  • Accepted in one of the journals listed on this page;

Accepted for publication after May 15, 2016 and before November 29, 2017.

If authors wanted us to consider a paper published in another journal of equal reputation to those presented in the list on our website, they were to contact the Program Chair.

There were two submissions in this category, one of which was accepted for presentation:


“Empirical Validation of Cyber-Foraging Architectural Tactics for Surrogate Provisioning”

Fahimeh Alizadeh Moghaddam, Giuseppe Procaccianti, Grace A. Lewis and Patricia Lago.

Abstract: Cyber-foraging architectural tactics are used to build mobile applications that leverage proximate, intermediate surrogates for computation offload and data staging. Compared to direct access to the cloud, using surrogates improves system qualities. The state-of-the-art mostly focuses on introducing new tactics rather than quantitatively comparing the existing tactics that provide new insights on tactics. In our work, we empirically evaluate the surrogate provisioning tactics regarding resilience and energy efficiency. We follow a systematic experimentation framework to collect data on Static Surrogate Provisioning and Dynamic Surrogate Provisioning tactics. Our experimentation approach can be reused for validation of other tactics. We perform statistical analysis to test our hypotheses, comparing to baseline measurements without cyber-foraging tactics. Our findings show that Static tactics provide higher resilience to runtime changes than Dynamic tactics. Both tactics perform with no significant difference regarding their energy efficiency. The overhead of our optimization algorithm is similar for both tactics. Our quantitative results empower software architects and software engineers to make more conscious design decisions. This contribution, as a starting point, emphasizes the use of quantifiable metrics to make better-informed trade-offs between quality attributes. As our next step, we focus on the impact of programmable infrastructure on cyber- foraging system qualities.

The original article was published in the Journal of Systems and Software in 2017.

2.4 Posters

We also invited submissions of high-quality extended abstracts for posters to present late-breaking research or work in progress. A poster can help attract interest and give a rapid overview of what your research is all about, presented in interactive discussion with the audience. We especially welcomed posters that describe proposed empirical studies. Accepted posters:

  1. Open-source Governance: Online Chat Groups as a Forum for Ecological Citizenship in India (Nicole Rigillo)
  2. Constraint-based Methods for Assessing Resilience in Urban Systems (James Williams, Mark Fox and Steve Easterbrook)
  3. Predicting Human Count through Environmental Sensing in Closed Indoor Settings (Shamir Ahmed, Abdus Salam Azad, Tarik Reza Toha, Nafisa Islam, Taslim Arefin Khan and Alim Al Islam Razi)
  4. My network, my rules (Laura Tresca and Marcelo Dos Anjos)
  5. A Smart Mobile Solution with Novel MCP, Peak Demand and Hourly Grid GHG Emissions with Multiple Integration Points (Ace Sahebalam, Gary Michor, Greg Doucett and Cherie Ding)
  6. Before and After the Financial Crash: The Corporate Network Evolution and Sustainability Implications (Maria Angela Ferrario, Periklis Andritsos, Niel Chah and Thais Bittencourt)
  7. Smart and green? Methodological challenges for assessing indirect effects of ICT with LCA (Johanna Pohl and Matthias Finkbeiner)
  8. How Sustainable and Efficient our Neighbourhoods Really are? – Assessment Framework for Responsive Neighbourhoods and Communities (Spela Verovsek, Matevz Juvancic and Tadeja Zupancic)
  9. Contacting Congress: ICTs for Representative-Constituent Communication in the U.S. Congress (Samantha McDonald)
  10. Selection of indicators for monitoring the Lean / Green synergy in coffee producing properties (Nicholas Hoffmann, Lucas Vinicius Reis, Liane Mahlmann Kipper, Fáber D. Giraldo and Maria Patrícia Giraldo Correa)
  11. Green and Sustainable Software: A Research Landscape (Eva Kern, Achim Guldner and Stefan Naumann)
  12. Teaching Computer Science To All: What Are The Implications For Sustainability? (Horatiu Halmaghi and Elizabeth Patitsas)
  13. Comparison of Offloading On Various Mobile Devices For Better Battery Life And Performance (Dagnachew Temesgene, Jari Porras and Janne Parkkila)
  14. Carbon Footprints of Various Universities in Islamabad, Pakistan; A Way Forward Towards Carbon Neutral Campus (Sami Naeem Khan, Fiza Sarwar and Anjum Rasheed)
  15. Data Storage Sustainability: Unused Data or Orphan Data? (Jannatun Noor and A. B. M. Alim Al Islam)
  16. Open data platform and analysis DTU Smart Campus (Ole Schultz)
  17. ICT, Agricultural Development, and Environmental Justice (Lindsay Barbieri and Sonya Ahamed)
  18. Governance Network Analysis of Electronic Waste Management: An Actor-Network Model for sustainability (Homeira Ekhtari)
  19. Towards sustainable internationalization of higher education through experiential pedagogy of virtual mobility (Raidell Avello Martínez, Dayni Diaz Mederos and Valentine Cadieux)
  20. Reducing Food Waste: Designing and Building an Interactive Website for Connecting Stakeholders in Food Recovery Efforts (Irini Spyridakis, Madison Holbrook, Ria Athavia, Hye Won Son, Meghna Shrimanth Bhairappa, Espen Scheuer, Collin Tran, Zubin Chopra, Ariel Lin, Joyce Huang, Brent Gruenke and Srinithi Sellakumaran Latha)
  21. Virtual Reality for Piloting Urban Projects (Edmund Konroyd-Bolden and Tamer El- Diraby)
  22. A Technology Model For Sustainable Smart Water Management (Kirori Mindo, Simon Karume and Moses Thiga)
  23. Resiliency and sustainability of Canada’s built environment under the new wind conditions due to climate change (Hamidreza Naderian, Oya Mercan, Paul Kushner, Xuebin Zhang and Jamil Mardukhi)
  24. Designing a method for integrating Corporate Social Responsibility in the organizational and ICT dimensions (Audrey Sie, Sergio España, Cory Searcy, Sara Martín and Marcela Ruiz)

3 Co-located events

Co-located event (2 full days) – May 13-14, 2018

The Fourth ACM Workshop on Computing Within Limits


The ACM LIMITS workshop aims to foster discussion on the impact of present and future ecological, material, energetic, and societal limits on computing. These topics are seldom discussed in contemporary computing research. A key aim of the workshop is to promote innovative, concrete research, potentially of an interdisciplinary nature, that focuses on technologies, critiques, techniques, and contexts for computing within fundamental economic and ecological limits. A longer-term goal is to build a community around relevant topics and research. We hope to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits. This year we are colocating for the first time with ICT4S.

Workshop Chairs: Bonnie Nardi, Jay Chen


Furthermore, there is ICT4S Green Hack on Saturday, May 19th.


The ICT4S Green Hack is part of http://2018.ict4s.org/ week long activities. Be challenged to create sustainable solutions for the future! What does it mean to create sustainability?

The Green Hack brings together sustainability researchers, government, experts, undergrad students, graduate and PhD students, faculty and youth from the community to create innovative solutions to solve some of the tough sustainability problems that the world is facing.

Each team submits a working prototype of an idea to tackle a problem related to the environment and sustainability. The Hackathon features 3 challenges, the Future of Food, Future of Transportation, and Future of Relief.



We wish you an exciting and inspiring time at the conference and a wonderful time in Toronto!
- Birgit and Steve

Birgit Penzenstadler
Steve Easterbrook
May 8, 2018
Long Beach