Our increased use of technology and social media means more data is available on how we live, consume and interact.
This data can be used to eventually develop new apps for individual consumers, business service providers and public sector service providers.
Carnegie Mellon University and Singapore Management University have entered a new partnership to create a center that will analyze this data.
"The Living Analytics Research Center builds on CMU's successful collaborations with SMU over the years," said CMU President Jared L. Cohon.
"We are pleased to be partnering with SMU on such an exciting initiative, one that has great potential for groundbreaking work in the emerging field of computational social science."
The center will develop new techniques to acquire data on consumer and social behavior.
It will also pioneer new approaches to analyze this kind of data to develop applications and methods that will benefit consumers, businesses and society.
The collaboration has received a S$26 million grant over five years from the National Research Foundation in Singapore.
This fund is managed through the multi-agency Interactive Digital Media Programme Office (IDMPO) hosted by Media Development Authority of Singapore.
With SMU and CMU committed to cash and in-kind contributions, and third party funding, the S$60 million center will establish Singapore as one of the world's pre-eminent centers of excellence in computational social science.
The Living Analytics research program is distinctive in that it combines the key technologies of Big Data (large scale data mining, statistical machine learning, and computational tools for the analysis of dynamic social networks) with analytics focused on consumer behavior and social media.
"We are honored to have this extraordinary LARC opportunity that takes our existing relationship with CMU to a new level of research intensity," said SMU President Arnoud De Meyer.
"The SMU-CMU collaboration gives us a global edge in interdisciplinary research that integrates computation, management and social science. The LARC is a giant step forward in SMU's drive to becoming a global leader in research and education at the intersection of business, behavioral and social analytics."
The LARC will also study the complex trade-offs between privacy protection and the benefits of sharing one's information with a broader social network.
This will be done in a variety of ways, including technology for privacy protection, as well as economic and behavioral approaches to explore how people prefer to make these trade-offs.
The center will draw on the cross-disciplinary strengths of SMU and CMU faculty and span the two universities.
It will be physically anchored at SMU's School of Information Systems in Singapore and at CMU's Heinz College iLab in Pittsburgh.