Onkar Hoysala

Social Media Research Workshop, August 12, 2016


As part of the third and final cycle of Sarai’s Social Media Research Fellowship, since March this year, short-term research fellows have been studying different aspects of digital and social media. On Friday, 12 August, 2016 we are organising a workshop for the fellows to present and discuss their research with a select group of discussants. Limited seats are available to take part in the workshop. To register, please fill up this…

Context is King: Contextualisation of Models and Simulations


“Models and simulations, both, represent certain reality in an abstract form…we are essentially trying to represent reality in some sense. [It is an] abstraction of reality – it could be a mathematical model, simulation model, or a physical model. When we develop a model there are a lot of parameters that need to be tuned, such as vehicle distribution, speed profile… Generally the software would have default values for these parameters and they have to be tuned based on Indian contexts. This becomes much more complicated in our traffic conditions because of the heterogeneity and non-lane-based movement. All this has to be replicated well in the simulation model…”

The Case of the Missing Data


In the previous post, I broadly discussed the primary findings from the five pilot interviews I conducted – issues related to data, and contextualisation of models. Here, I take the case study of Vinay’s team to examine the issue of data, and its implications for practice, in greater detail. Vinay is a professor of civil engineering from a reputed university in Bangalore, whose group works on transportation simulation and policies. I examine the process by which Vinay and his group overcome the lack of access to data, and the resulting practices that emerge. In this project, I use the lens of practice, borrowing concepts of Communities of Practice, and technology enactment – and in this post I lay the foundations of the same.

Data, Contextualisation, and Simulation Design: Findings from Pilot Interviews


After completing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering, I joined a research organisation which looked at infrastructure and policy studies, using gaming and simulation methods. A year and a half later, I was one of the co-founders of Fields of View, a research group using gaming, modelling and simulation methods to study cities. Over the course of the last few years, working on projects where computer simulations have played a crucial part got me interested in understanding where these technologies come from, who uses them, and how…

A Practice Perspective on Technologies Used in Transportation Studies: Introduction


In this post, Onkar Hoysala, one of the researchers who received the Social Media Research grant for 2016, introduces his proposed work. The significance of the transport sector in increasing productivity, reducing poverty and help achieve sustainable development goals, especially in rapidly urbanising areas, is well recognised (Asian Development Bank, n.d.; World Bank, 2014). Globally, there has been a push towards using computational methods and tools to help address issues in transportation, with international bodies such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank pushing towards the use of technology and data management in helping…

Short Term Research Projects in Social Media: Selected Proposals 2016


The Sarai Programme is committed to developing a public architecture for creating knowledge and creative communities. In keeping with this commitment, we seek to develop a community of scholars, writers and practitioners who are motivated to make the materials and outcome of research available for public access and circulation, with the understanding that an imaginative… Read More