Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov 2008 Two CHI 2009 workshop papers accepted.

Myself and members of my research group have had two of our workshop position papers accepted for CHI 2009.

The first paper entitled "Designing for Collaboration: Professional Information Management (PIM) in Research Communities" by Umer Rashid and Dr. Aaron Quigley has been accepted for the CHI 2009 workshop on The Changing Face of Digital Science: New Practices in Scientific Collaborations. The workshop will take place on Sunday, April 5, 2009 in Boston. In this paper, we report on the results of a case study exploring the use of collaborative tools in a research community. We conducted a questionnaire-based survey among 30 researchers to establish their preferences for different tools to collaborate with their research group, school and remote colleagues. Based on the results of this survey, we offer design guidelines for collaboration tools.

The second paper entitled “Do Pattern Languages help us Structure Evaluations in Healthcare Technologies?” by Dr. Julie Doyle, Dr. Aaron Quigley and Prof. Paddy Nixon has been accepted for the proceedings of the CHI (Computer Human Interaction) 2009 workshop ‘Evaluating New Interactions in Healthcare: Challenges and Approaches’.

As healthcare technologies are becoming increasingly pervasive, moving from controlled clinical and laboratory settings to large numbers of home deployments, new challenges arise in evaluating the impact of healthcare technologies and interactions in their context of use. This paper examines the potential benefits of using pattern languages to help structure such evaluations. Pattern languages can capture experience, guidelines and methods for evaluation of new healthcare technologies and ultimately help healthcare professionals and researchers to design effective evaluations.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences and ideas on how to conduct evaluations that will allow assessment of the overall impact of technology in its context of use. The workshop will take place in Boston, on April 4th 2009.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nov 2008 ODCSSS 2009 - Theme Announced "Technologies for bridging the digital-physical divide: sensing the environment"

ODCSSSWe have announced the theme for ODCSSS 2009 "Technologies for bridging the digital-physical divide: sensing the environment".

ODCSSS is 12 week undergraduate summer research internship program between the University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin City University (DCU) Ireland. This program offers a distributed and interdisciplinary research environment at the forefront of ICT research.

Each ODCSSS student is engaged in a research project with a faculty member and mentor which provides them an opportunity to experience research. The program offers paid internship awards and opens for applications in December of each year for the following summer. The selection of interns is highly competitive but we encourage anyone interested in research who is eligible to apply. Our Introduction page and Objectives pages have more details on the overall program. Our News page has extensive updates of the ongoing ODCSSS activities each year and our Students page has details of our over 60 past students.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nov 2008 Pervasive 2009 Workshop - Pervasive Advertising

Today Jörg Müller from the University of Münster, Albrecht Schmidt from University of Duisburg-Essen, Bo Begole from PARC USA and myself had our workshop on "Pervasive Computing will change the Future of Advertising" ( accepted at Pervasive 2009, the Seventh International Conference on Pervasive Computing which will be held May 11-14, 2009 in Nara, Japan. This annual conference is the premier forum for researchers to present their latest results in all areas related to architecture, design, implementation, application and evaluation of pervasive computing. I'm also a member of the steering committee (along with Albrecht and others), so it's great to see the conference go from strength to strength!

"The Pervasive Advertising workshop focusses on how Pervasive Technology is shaping the future of advertising. Technologies including digital signage, ambient displays, mobile phones, haptic interfaces and e-newspapers create a pervasive media environment that disrupts established advertising business models such as sponsorship, publishing houses, out-of-home (e.g. billboard) advertising and TV advertising. We believe that pervasive advertising will soon affect a majority of the world's urban population, both positively and negatively. Potential opportunities
will centre on the ubiquitous provision of calm and interesting information.

Particular threats are pervasive SPAM and pervasive surveillance, as advertisers try to establish who looks at their ads. This workshop aims at bringing together researchers to forecast opportunities and threats from this development and shape the future of urban citizen. We encourage participants who are excited by or afraid of pervasive advertising to apply to attend this workshop."

Albrecht blogged about this earlier in the year and highlighted some interesting uses of Pervasive Computing in advertising with "Beamvertising".

Other examples I found are.

Advertising in a pervasive computing environment [ACM]

"The advent of the internet has revolutionized the field of advertising by providing a whole new path for reaching potential customers. Studies show that online advertising is, on the whole, extremely effective and that consumer acceptance of online advertising is comparable to traditional media[7][8]. One of the reasons for the high effectiveness of online advertising is that users interact with the web at a far more personal and intimate level than they interact with other advertising media like the radio or television. Pervasive computing environments deal with users at an even more intimate level; hence such environments are even better advertising platforms than the web. Pervasive environments allow the delivery of relevant advertising in suitable ways to selected consumers. In this paper, we examine some of the possibilities of pervasive advertising as well as some of the issues involved."

And using ubiquitous computing in interactive mobile marketing - S Kurkovsky, K Harihar

Student papers Advertising in Ubiquitous Environment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nov 2008 Invited Speaker, ICT Lyon 2008 "Health@Home"

I have been invited to speak at the Eurescom's networking session on "Health@Home - A new paradigm for prevention and chronic disease management". The session will take place at the Lyon Congress Centre, room Saint Clair 4, on Wednesday, 26 November 2008, 9:00 - 10:30 during the ICT 2008 in Lyon from the 25-27th of November.

"The biennial ICT Event (formerly called the "IST Event") is the most important forum for discussing research and public policy in information and communication technologies at European level. The Event brings together researchers and innovators, policy and business decision-makers working in the field of digital technologies." [ Read More ]

"The purpose of this session is to initiate multi-disciplinary projects between network operators, service providers, manufacturers and e-health experts on the research challenges to create Health@Home applications and services. These services will empower citizens to manage their own health in the home environment with optimal medical support through remote monitoring and reliable on-demand health advice. This is particularly relevant in the context of the ageing European society and increases in chronic diseases.

It is now necessary to integrate the expertise of the health, technology, telecoms and homecare sectors to re-invent both active health management and treatment in the home environment. The Health@Home paradigm on health-supporting ICT solutions integrates health management, disease prevention and treatment of chronic conditions in the home environment. The Health@Home vision entails a seamless continuation of healthcare from the hospital to the home." [ Read PDF ]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nov 2008 Irish Chapter of ACM SIGCHI Launch (Dec 2nd)

Irish Research into Human-Computer Interaction

A new Irish Chapter of ACM SIGCHI will be officially launched at Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday 2 December 2008, 4pm, reception to follow.

SIGCHI brings together people working on the design, evaluation, implementation, and study of interactive computing systems for human use. The Irish chapter brings together researchers and designers from across the Irish third level and commercial sector. With ever increasing amounts of technology in our cars, mobile phones, workplace and private lives, there is a huge challenge faced in designing systems which meet the needs of people in the real world.

Prof. Liam Bannon, Chair of the Irish SIGCHI, and Director of the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick, welcomed this announcement, noting "While research has been done over many years in Irish Universities that fits under the umbrella of HCI, until relatively recently there have been few fora for researchers and practitioners to come together to share their experiences and discuss developments in this increasingly important interdisciplinary field. With the launch of an annual Irish HCI Conference series in 2007, and now the establishment of this ACM SIGCHI Chapter in Ireland, we are well on the way to creating a thriving and successful professional infrastructure to promote all aspects of HCI within Ireland, and provide a clear identity for the field in Ireland at the EU and international level."

The launch will be accompanied by an inaugural lecture from Professor Alan Dix of the University of Lancaster as detailed below.

NOTE: Please RSVP your attendance by Tuesday the 25th of November to

SIGCHI Ireland Inaugural Lecture - Prof. Alan Dix

Human-Computer Interaction in the early 21st century: a stable discipline, a nascent science, and the growth of the long tail

Tuesday 2 December 2008, 4pm, reception to follow.

Venue: Lloyd Building LB08 Trinity College Dublin


In this talk I will give a personal view of the state of HCI as a design discipline and as a scientific discipline and how this is changing in the face of new technological and social situations. Going back 20 years a frequent topic of discussion was whether HCI was a 'discipline'. It is unclear whether this was ever a fruitful topic, but academic disciplines are effectively about academic communities and the establishment of SIGCHI Ireland is yet another sign of the long term stability of the international HCI/CHI community. However, as in computer 'science', the central scientific core of HCI is perhaps still unclear. A strength of HCI is the closeness between theory and practice, but the corresponding danger is that the two are often confused.

For twenty years the desktop GUI interface has been dominant, but in recent years the computer has 'escaped' the office desktop into the physical world of ubiquitous computing, into the virtual world of the internet, into our homes and our social lives. I will discuss one such change the move from a small number of applications used by many people to a 'long tail' of large numbers of applications used by small numbers of people. This change calls for different practical design strategies; focusing on the peak experience of a few rather than acceptable performance for many ... or as I sometimes refer to it 'Mars Bar vs. baked bean design'.

These changes are a challenge and an opportunity for new research and novel designs. However, as we see more diversity both in terms of types of systems and kinds of concerns, this may also be an opportunity to reflect on what is core across these; potential fragmentation becoming a locus to understand more clearly what defines HCI, not just for the things we see now, but for the future that we cannot see.

Alan Dix is Professor of Computing at Lancaster University. He has taught and researched in human-computer interaction (HCI) for over 20 years, has published over 300 articles and is author of one of the key textbooks in the area. He began as a mathematician at Cambridge University (and mathematics is still his first love) but moved into computing and HCI whilst doing his PhD at University of York. He has worked in several universities, agricultural engineering research, local government, hi-tech start-ups and even submarine design.

His research interests are eclectic: formalisation and design, physicality and digitality, the economics of information, structure and creativity and the modelling of dreams. Recently he and a colleague have developed technology for autonomous pixels that can be configured to turn any surface or space into a two or three dimensional display

For more information contact Dr. Gavin Doherty Vice-Chair (TCD) or Dr. Aaron Quigley Secretary/Treasurer (UCD).,

NOTE: Please RSVP your attendance by Tuesday the 25th of November to

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nov 2008 Emil Vassev starts as a postdoctoral fellow

Emil VassevWelcome to Dr. Emil Vassev from
Concordia University in Montreal, Canada to the Systems Research Group. Emil recently completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science and his thesis was on ASSL a "Framework for Specification and Code Generation of Autonomic Systems".

ASSL: Autonomic System Specification Language is a framework that implies a multi-tier structure for specifying autonomic systems. The ASSL framework is defined through formalization tiers. Over these tiers, ASSL provides a layered structure for specifying ASs as formal executable models. ASSL defines an AS with its interaction protocol and autonomic elements.

Earlier this year Emil had a paper with Mike Hinchey the new research director for Lero so we expect this collaboration to continue as new ones develop with us all here in the SRG. The paper was entitled "Towards an ASSL Specification Model for NASA Swarm-Based Exploration Missions." Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC 2008).

Emil was awarded a highly competitive IRCSET Postdoctoral Fellowship earlier this year to join me as a postdoc in the SRG. Over the coming weeks Emil will give some informal seminars on his research both here and in Limerick. In time he will give a seminar during an RSS and as a school seminar.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nov 2008 Two Journal Papers Published

Congrats to two of my students Brendan and Ross on our recent journal papers which have been published in high profile venues with high impact factors. The work on both of these projects continues so I expect we will have more Journal papers in the future on these topics.

  • Sheehan B., Quigley A., Gaudin B. and Dobson S., A relation based measure of semantic similarity for gene ontology annotations. BMC Bioinformatics 2008, 9:468 (4 November 2008)
  • Knox A., Clear A., Shannon R., Coyle L., Dobson S., Quigley A. and Nixon P., Scatterbox: a Context-Aware Message Forwarding Platform, 2008, Journal Revue d'Intelligence Artificielle pp.549-568, RSTI serie RIA - Volume 22 No 5/2008, (ISBN 978-2-7462-2261-8)