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Distributed Systems Seminar FS2012

Human Sensing Through Mobile Phones and Everyday Objects
Tuesdays, 11:00 - 13:00, Room CAB G 59

Visiting Professor, Dr. Anind K. Dey

Topic: Human Sensing Through Mobile Phones and Everyday Objects

Recent progress in systems research has enabled the embedding of sensing, computation and communication into artifacts that people engage with everyday. The amount of data available from mobile phones, for example, that requires no explicit interaction by their owners, is staggering: location, motion, light, heat, calls, charging status, etc. As another example, think about fixed objects that people interact with everyday: their office door, their refrigerator, their medicine or vitamin pillbox. From all of these interactions, we can better understand the behavior of the people interacting with these artifacts. In particular, we can extract routines and detect anomalies for behaviors. These very human-centric and personal characteristics can then be used as resources for designing novel applications.

This seminar will provide an overview on the state-of-the-art and the open research questions around human sensing with everyday objects. The first part of the seminar will investigate how human sensing can be performed by augmenting everyday objects or using off-the-shelf objects. The second part of the seminar will focus on techniques and algorithms for detecting routines and anomalies. The last part of the seminar will focus on how to leverage these in novel applications, including reducing energy use, epidemiology, and detecting stolen objects.


The seminar will interleave lectures given by the instructor and talks given by seminar attendees on selected topics. A tentative schedule (still subject to changes) is provided below. A maximum of 20 students will be admitted to the seminar.

Seminar attendees are assigned an article on a specific topic within the broader context of current human sensing research and are required to prepare an oral presentation on their topic. Additional complementary readings are provided below or may be assigned by the instructor. Each student will be required to read and provide a written review on the papers assigned to other seminar attendees. The quality of this review will be evaluated and considered for the final grade.

The seminar will be held in English. Presentations and reviews must be in English.

Requirements presentations and reviews

Oral presentations must last no longer than 30 minutes. Each presentation will be followed by a technical discussion as well as a short feedback session on the quality/style of the presentation. All attendees are required to participate in all sessions.

Essay reviews must be entered using the EasyChair conference system. Details about this process will be provided during the first lecture.


The goal of this seminar is to provide an overview on both fundamental principles and actual applications of human sensing and routines. Furthermore, the seminar aims to introduce basic scientific writing and presentation skills.


The final grade will be based on: the quality of the final presentation; the quality of reviews given to other papers presented in the seminar; participation in discussions and feedback sessions after each presentation.


For further information please contact Anind K. Dey.


The link to the EasyChair site of the seminar is TBA.


# Date Topic Speaker(s) Slides Supervisor
  1.   21.02.2012 Lecture 1: Introduction to the seminar
Lecture 2: Administratives / Presentations: How to
 A. Dey 
 A. Dey 
  2.   28.02.2012 Lecture 3: Human Sensing Applications
Lecture 4: Sensing mechanisms for everyday interaction
 A. Dey
 A. Dey
  pdf     -  
  3.   06.03.2012 Frameworks
Android and off the phone
CenceMe [Miluzzo 2008]
Jigsaw [Lu 2010]]
Funf [Aharony 2011]
 A. Dey
  pdf     -  
  4.   13.03.2012 Routines
Work Rhythms [Begole 2002]
MetroTrack [Ahn 2010]
 B. Oštrek
 T. Weber
  5.   20.03.2012 Routines
Using T-Patterns [Brdiczka 2009]
Eigenbehaviors [Eagle 2009]
 A. Tschofen
 C. Fuentes M.
  6.   27.03.2012 Routines
Topic Models [Huynh 2008]
SituVis [Clear 2009]
 R. Meyer
 D. Langenegger
  7.   03.04.2012 Applications
BeWell [Lane 2011b]
Social Sensing to model epidemiological [Madan 2010]
 M. Kläy
 N. Inhelder
  10.04.2012 EASTER      
  8.   17.04.2012 Applications
TagSense [Qin 2011]
NextPlace [Scellato 2011]
 P. von Bergen
 B. Gröhbiel
  9.   24.04.2012 Applications
Davidoff paper [Davidoff 2010]
Stealing Reality [Altshuler 2011]
 V. Gianluca
 A. Küçük
  01.05.2012 LABOUR DAY      
  10.   08.05.2012 In Class Exercise: representing routines  A. Dey     
  11.   15.05.2012 Power
MAUI [Cuervo 2010]
Supporting energy efficient [Musolesi 2010]
 I. Giurgiu
 D. Hasenfratz
  12.   22.05.2012 Privacy
TaintDroid [Enck 2010]
Cells [Andrus 2011]
 C. Barthels
 M. Zimmerling
  13.   29.05.2012 Last class - wrap-up  A. Dey    pdf     -  

Reading list

Pick 3 papers from the list below and email your choices numbered 1 - 3 to
Please use [DSS 2012] in the subject.
The papers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


  • [Lane 2010]
    Nicholas D. Lane, Emiliano Miluzzo, Hong Lu, Daniel Peebles, Tanzeem Choudhury, Andrew T. Campbell
    A Survey of Mobile Phone Sensing
    In IEEE Communications Magazine, September 2010

  • [Miluzzo 2010]
    Emiliano Miluzzo, Cory T. Cornelius, Ashwin Ramaswamy, Tanzeem Choudhury, Zhigang Liu, Andrew T. Campbell
    Darwin Phones: The Evolution of Sensing and Inference on Mobile Phones
    Proc. of Eighth International ACM Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys '10), San Francisco, CA, USA, June 15-18, 2010

  • [Falaki 2010]
    Hossein Falaki, Ratul Mahajan, Srikanth Kandula, Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, Ramesh Govindan, and Deborah Estrin
    Diversity in Smartphone Usage
    Proc. of MobiSys '10: Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Mobile systems, applications and services.

  • [Caceres 2012]
    Ramon Caceres, Adrian Friday
    Ubicomp Systems at 20: Progress, Opportunities, and Challenges
    IEEE Pervasive Computing, 11(1), pp. 14-21, Jan. 2012.

  • [Keshav 2007]
    S. Keshav
    How to read a paper
    ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 37(3), pp. 83-4, July 2007.


  • [Miluzzo 2008]
    Emiliano Miluzzo, Nicholas D. Lane, Kristóf Fodor, Ronald A. Peterson, Hong Lu, Mirco Musolesi, Shane. B. Eisenman, Xiao Zheng, Andrew T. Campbell
    Sensing Meets Mobile Social Networks: The Design, Implementation and Evaluation of the CenceMe Application
    In Proc. of 6th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys '08).

  • [Lu 2010]
    Hong Lu, Jun Yang, Zhigang Liu, Nicholas D. Lane , Tanzeem Choudhury, Andrew T. Campbell
    The Jigsaw Continuous Sensing Engine for Mobile Phone Applications
    ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2010)

  • [Aharony 2011]
    Nadav Aharony, Wei Pan, Cory Ip, Inas Khayal, Alex Pentland
    Social fMRI: Investigating and shaping social mechanisms in the real world
    Pervasive and Mobile Computing 7(6), pp. 643-659, Dec. 2011


  • [Peebles 2010]
    Daniel Peebles, Tanzeem Choudhury, Hong Lu, Nicholas Lane, Andrew Campbell
    Community-Guided Learning: Exploiting Mobile Sensor Users to Model Human Behavior
    24th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI '10), Atlanta, Georgia, USA, July 11--15, 2010

  • [Ahn 2010]
    Gahng-Seop Ahn, Mirco Musolesi, Hong Lu, Reza Olfati-Saber and Andrew Campbell
    MetroTrack: Predictive Tracking of Mobile Events using Mobile Phones
    6th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS '10), Santa Barbara, California, USA, June 21-23, 2010

  • [Brdiczka 2010]
    Oliver Brdiczka, Norman Makoto Su, James Bo Begole
    Temporal task footprinting: identifying routine tasks by their temporal patterns.
    IUI 2010: 281-284
  • [Brdiczka 2010b]
    Oliver Brdiczka
    Integral framework for acquiring and evolving situations in smart environments.
    JAISE 2(2): 91-108 (2010)
  • [Brdiczka 2009]
    Oliver Brdiczka, Norman Makoto Su, Bo Begole
    Using temporal patterns (t-patterns) to derive stress factors of routine tasks.
    CHI Extended Abstracts 2009: 4081-4086
  • [Brdiczka 2011]
    Oliver Brdiczka, Victoria Bellotti
    Identifying Routine and Telltale Activity Patterns in Knowledge Work.
    ICSC 2011: 95-101
  • [Su 2012]
    Su, N. M.; Brdiczka, O.; Begole, J.
    The Routineness of Routines: Measuring Rhythms of Media Interaction paper
    To appear in the HCI Journal

  • [Bettini 2010]
    Claudio Bettini, Oliver Brdiczka, Karen Henricksen, Jadwiga Indulska, Daniela Nicklas, Anand Ranganathan, Daniele Riboni
    A survey of context modelling and reasoning techniques.
    Pervasive and Mobile Computing 6(2): 161-180 (2010)

  • [Brdiczka 2009b]
    Oliver Brdiczka, James L. Crowley, Jan Curín, Jan Kleindienst
    Situation Modeling.
    Computers in the Human Interaction Loop 2009: 121-132

  • [Kleindienst 2009]
    Jan Kleindienst, Jan Curín, Oliver Brdiczka, Nikolaos Dimakis:
    Situation Modeling Layer.
    Computers in the Human Interaction Loop 2009: 315-324

  • [Begole 2002]
    James "Bo" Begole, John C. Tang, Randall B. Smith and Nicole Yankelovich
    Work rhythms: analyzing visualizations of awareness histories of distributed groups
    Proc. CSCW 2002, 334-343
  • [Begole 2003]
    James "Bo" Begole, John C. Tang, Rosco Hill
    Rhythm modeling, visualizations and applications
    Proceedings of UIST 2003, pp. 11-20.

  • [Eagle 2009]
    Nathan Eagle and Alex Pentland
    Eigenbehaviors: identifying structure in routine
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63:7, 1057-1066.
  • [Sookhanaphibarn 2009]
    Kingkarn Sookhanaphibarn and Ruck Thawonmas
    A Movement Data Analysis and Synthesis Tool for Museum Visitors' Behaviors
    Proceedings of PCM 2009, pp. 144-154
  • [Calabrese 2010]
    Francesco Calabrese, Jonathan Reades and Carlo Ratti
    Eigenplaces: Segmenting Space through Digital Signatures
    Pervasive Computing, IEEE 9.1 (2010): 78-84.

  • [Huynh 2008]
    Tam Huynh, M. Fritz and B. Schiele
    Discovery of Activity Patterns using Topic Models
    Proceedings of the 10th international conference on Ubiquitous computing
  • [Farrahi 2008]
    Katayoun Farrahi, Daniel Gatica-Perez
    Discovering human routines from cell phone data with topic models
    12th IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers, pp.29-32, 2008
  • [Ferrari 2009]
    Laura Ferrari, Marco Mamei
    Discovering daily routines from Google Latitude with topic models
    8th IEEE Workshop on Context Modeling and Reasoning, pp. 432-437, 2009

  • [Clear 2009]
    Adrian K. Clear, Ross Shannon, Thomas Holland, Simon Dobson, Aaron Quigley and Paddy Nixon
    Situvis: a visual tool for modeling a user's behaviour patterns in a pervasive environment
    Proc. of Pervasive 2009, 327-341

  • [Rattenbury 2007]
    Tye Rattenbury, John F. Canny
    CAAD: an automatic task support system.
    CHI 2007: 687-696

  • APPS

  • [Motoru 2011]
    Sai Moturu, Inas Khayal, Nadav Aharony, Wei Pan and Sandy Pentland
    Using social sensing to understand the links between sleep, mood and sociability
    IEEE Conf. on Social Computing, SocialCom 2011

  • [Campbell 2010]
    Andrew T. Campbell, Tanzeem Choudhury, Shaohan Hu, Hong Lu, Matthew K. Mukerjee, Mashfiqui Rabbi, and Rajeev D. S. Raizada, NeuroPhone: Brain-Mobile Phone Interface using a Wireless EEG Headset
    Second ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Networking, Systems, and Applications on Mobile Handhelds (MobiHeld'10), New Delhi, August 30, 2010

  • [Qin 2011]
    Chuan Qin, Xuan Bao, Romit Roy Choudhury, Srihari Nelakuditi
    TagSense: A Smartphone based Approach to Automatic Image Tagging
    Proceeding MobiSys '11 Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Mobile systems, applications, and services

  • [Madan 2010]
    Madan A., Cebrian M., Lazer D. and Pentland
    Social Sensing to Model Epidemiological Behavior Change
    Proceedings of ACM Ubicomp 2010, Copenhagen

  • [Altshuler 2011]
    Altshuler, Y.; Aharony, N.; Pentland, A.; Elovici, Y.; Cebrian, M.
    Stealing Reality: When Criminals Become Data Scientists (or Vice Versa)
    IEEE Intelligent Systems 26(6), pp. 22-30, Nov.-Dec. 2011

  • [Pan 2011]
    Wei Pan, Nadav Aharony, Alex Pentland
    Fortune monitor or fortune teller: understanding the connection between interaction patterns and financial status
    SocialCom/PASSAT 2011: 200-207

  • [Madan 2010b]
    Anmol Madan, Sai T. Moturu, David Lazer, Alex Pentl
    Social Sensing: Obesity, Unhealthy Eating and Exercise in Face-to-Face Networks
    Wireless Health 2010: 104-110

  • [Lane 2011]
    Nicholas D. Lane, Ye Xu, Hong Lu, Shaohan Hu, Tanzeem Choudhury, Andrew T. Campbell, Feng Zhao
    Enabling Large-scale Human Activity Inference on Smartphones using Community Similarity Networks (CSN)
    Ubicomp 2011: 355-364

  • [Scellato 2011]
    Salvatore Scellato, Mirco Musolesi, Cecilia Mascolo, Vito Latora and Andrew T. Campbell,
    NextPlace: A Spatio-temporal Prediction Framework for Pervasive Systems
    Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive'11). San Francisco, California, USA. June 2011.

  • [Lane 2011b]
    Nicholas D. Lane, Tanzeem Choudhury, Andrew Campbell, Mashfiqui Mohammod, Mu Lin, Xiaochao Yang, Afsaneh Doryab, Hong Lu, Shahid Ali and Ethan Berke
    BeWell: A Smartphone Application to Monitor, Model and Promote Wellbeing
    (Pervasive Health 2011), 5th International ICST Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, Dublin, 23-26 May 2011

  • [Davidoff 2010]
    Scott Davidoff, John Zimmerman and Anind K. Dey
    How routine learners can support family coordination


  • [Andrus 2011]
    Jeremy Andrus, Christoffer Dall, Alexander Van't Hof, Oren Laadan, and Jason Nieh
    Cells: A Virtual Mobile Smartphone Architecture (VMs on an Android)
    Proceedings of the Twenty-third ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP 2011)

  • [Cuervo 2010]
    Eduardo Cuervo, Aruna Balasubramanian, Dae-ki Cho, Alec Wolman, Stefan Saroiu, Ranveer Chandra, and Paramvir Bahl
    MAUI: making smartphones last longer with code offload
    Proceedings of ACM MobiSys 2010

  • [Musolesi 2010]
    Mirco Musolesi, Mattia Piraccini, Kristóf Fodor, Antonio Corradi, Andrew T. Campbell
    Supporting Energy-Efficient Uploading Strategies for Continuous Sensing Applications on Mobile Phones
    Proc. of Eighth International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive '10), Helsinki, May 2010

  • Privacy work:

  • [Gilbert 2010]
    Peter Gilbert, Landon P. Cox, Jaeyeon Jung and David Wetherall
    Toward Trustworthy Mobile Sensing
    Proc. HotMobile 2010

  • [Enck 2010]
    William Enck, Peter Gilbert, Byung-Gon Chun, Landon P. Cox, Jaeyeon Jung, Patrick McDaniel, Anmol N. Sheth
    TaintDroid: An Information-Flow Tracking System for Realtime Privacy Monitoring on Smartphones
    Proc. OSDI 2010

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    Last updated June 20 2023 01:45:05 PM MET wk