13th ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing
  September 17-21, 2011
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UbiComp 2011 Tutorials

UbiComp 2011 intends to launch the first edition of a tutorial program in the UbiComp history. Full-day tutorials are planned to be held prior to the main technical programme of the conference on Saturday, 17 Sept., 2011.

Accepted Tutorials

TUTORIAL 1 [full day]
The Fantasy and Reality of Conducting Ubiquitous Computing Research "In the Wild"

Timo Ojala and Vassilis Kostakos

This introductory level full-day tutorial provides a comprehensive insider view to a large multidisciplinary research program called UBI (UrBan Interactions, http://www.ubioulu.fi), and covers a range of issues related to conducting research in the wild.
The 'fantasy' of the UBI program has been to facilitate studies of ubiquitous computing systems in an authentic urban setting with sufficient scale and time span. Such studies are important because real world ubiquitous computing systems are culturally situated - as such they cannot be reliably assessed with lab studies detached from the real world context. By deploying the systems in authentic urban setting for longitudinal assessment by large numbers of real users, we wish to establish the technical and cultural readiness and the critical mass of users needed for determining whether the systems can be deemed '(un)successful'. The 'fantasy' has been pursued by establishing an open urban computing testbed comprising of rich computing resources such as interactive public displays, different types of wireless networks, and various middleware resources providing open APIs for application development. The testbed has been employed to deploy two different types of proof of concept prototypes, short-term small-scale DEMOs and long-term large-scale PILOTs of the ubiquitous city. Their evaluation provides valuable feedback and informs the researcher of the requirements of a particular application domain for the next design cycle. The 'reality' of the UBI program has been that the high external validity ensured by the longitudinal real-world deployment of the testbed and the prototypes comes with a substantial cost and methodological and practical difficulties.


Timo Ojala is the Professor of Computer Engineering and the Director of the MediaTeam Oulu research group at the University of Oulu, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering Laboratory. He obtained the M.Sc. (with honors) and Dr.Tech. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Oulu, in 1992 and 1997, respectively. His research interests span from wireless networking and distributed computing to HCI and ubiquitous computing with emphasis on empirical research on real- world urban settings. He is the founding co-chair of the international conference on mobile and ubiquitous multimedia (MUM) and serves as the chair of the MUM steering committee. He is the responsible director of the UBI (UrBan Interactions) research program. In this capacity he has given numerous presentations on the implementation and results of the UBI research program. He has given tutorials in the MUM 2008 and GPC 2011 conferences.

Vassilis Kostakos is an Assistant Professor in the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute at the University of Madeira, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Fellow of the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme. He holds a BSc. and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bath. His research has been reported by popular media such as the BBC and New Scientist, and he regularly consults on social networking systems. His current projects address security and privacy for the web and situated services, novel sensing techniques for urban transport, sustainability, and modeling of city-scale mobility. His interests include: mobile and pervasive computing, human-computer interaction, social networks, security and privacy, modeling and simulation, epidemics, wireless technologies, and space syntax.

TUTORIAL 2 [full day]
Building and Deploying Mobile Systems for Activity Recognition

Tanzeem Choudhury, Pedja Klasnja and Nicholas Lane

Sensor-equipped mobile devices are rapidly becoming a powerful platform for activity and context recognition. The ability to recognize user activities in everyday environments is driving innovations in healthcare, entertainment, social networking, gaming, transportation and citizen science. Although mobile sensing enables a wide range of applications, the different usage scenarios are unified by a set of common technical challenges related to: i) efficient and reliable sensing of people’s activities and environment; ii) accurate interpretation and classification of mobile sensor data; and iii) development and effective deployment of user applications based on sensing. Experts in machine learning, human-computer interaction and mobile systems have been addressing these challenges but typically approach the problem from only one perspective.
In this tutorial we will provide an interdisciplinary audience with the holistic view of the issues involved in the development and deployment of mobile systems for activity recognition. We will give an overview of the key ideas and approaches that have been proven successful in sensing, learning, and real-world deployments, as well as discuss some of the common pitfalls. The tutorial will be organized into a series of interactive sessions based around common usage scenarios that engage the audience via hand-on exercises that examine specific aspects of mobile activity recognition systems.


Tanzeem Choudhury is an assistant professor in the computer science department at Dartmouth and will be joining Cornell University in the fall of 2011. She directs the People-Aware Computing group that develops systems that can reason about human activities, interactions, and social networks in everyday environments. Tanzeem received her PhD from the Media Laboratory at MIT. Tanzeem's research was the first to demonstrate the feasibility of using wearable sensors to capture and model social networks automatically, on the basis of face-to-face conversations. MIT Technology Review recognized her as one of the top 35 innovators under the age of 35 (2008 TR35) for her work in this area. Tanzeem has also been selected as a TED Fellow (2009), PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow (2010), and is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award (2008). More information can be found at Tanzeem's webpage: http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~tanzeem

Pedja Klasnja is a research scientist at the Information School at the University of Washington. His research is in the areas of Health Informatics and Human-Computer Interaction and it focuses on investigating how technology can help individuals to manage their health more effectively. Pedja has studied how mobile technology can help cancer patients to manage care-related information, individuals' privacy concerns related to the use of on-body sensors and wireless networks, use of mobile technology to encourage physical activity, and use of mobile phones and sensing to improve recall of low salience activities. His current research is on the use of mobile technology for risk modification in heart disease.

Nicholas Lane is a researcher at Microsoft Research Asia, where he is a member of the Mobile and Sensing Systems Group (MASS). His research interests revolve around mobile sensing systems that incorporate robust and scalable sensor-based computational models of human behavior and context. Lane has extensive experience building and deploying mobile sensing systems using a variety if sensing platforms (e.g., mote-class sensors, mobile phones and wearable devices). His PhD thesis proposed community-guided learning techniques for mobile sensing systems; and demonstrated by effectively leveraging both individuals and their communities, these systems can cope with the diverse large-scale user populations found in the real world.

TUTORIAL 3 [full day]
Android for Ubiquitous Computing Researchers

Andrew Rice

Android smart-phones offer a huge opportunity to Ubiquitous Computing researchers. Due to the fact that a great deal of functionality can be accessed by applications running on an unmodified handset they offer the opportunity for robust, large scale deployment of UbiComp research ideas. The tutorial will focus on the development of a simple location-based application ‘GeoMessanger’. This application allows a user to post a geo-coded message and to receive background notifications of new messages in their vicinity. The tutorial will focus around a walk-through development of the application and we require all delegates to bring along their own laptops. Android development will take place using the Eclipse IDE and thus delegates will be free to use Linux, Mac or Windows platforms. Those delegates already owning Android devices will be able to develop straight onto these devices, those without devices will make use of the Android emulator. The workshop will also feature a presentation on downloading, modifying and deploying new variants the Android operating system. The tutorial aims to be accessible to delegates from all programming backgrounds. Prior experience of the Java programming language is desirable but not a prerequisite.


Andrew Rice is a University Lecturer in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, UK. He has been using Android in both teaching and research since 2008. He teaches the Programming for Mobiles Course on the Advanced Computer Science MPhil1, and has run numerous summer projects with undergraduates developing Android applications2. He previously gave an Android tutorial at the International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM) 2009. His research on the power consumption of Android devices was awarded best paper at PerCom20103.

TUTORIAL 4 [full day]
Title: Evaluating ubicomp applications in the field: The history, the techniques, and advice.

Gregory D. Abowd

As the technologies of ubiquitous computing mature, we are forced as a research community to go beyond proof of concept demonstrations of ubicomp applications and demonstrate what impact these systems have in the everyday lives of people. In this tutorial, I will provide an historical overview of important ubicomp evaluation efforts from the past that can serve as models of what to do and challenges that remain. I will also provide an overview of formative (in the process of designing a system to deploy) and summative (a real deployment evaluation) techniques that are particularly valuable for ubicomp application development and evaluation, with special attention paid to the role of ubicomp technology to facilitate evaluation. This tutorial will be aimed at ubicomp researchers (both students and faculty) who may be very familiar with ubicomp research topics but not familiar with human-computer interaction, interaction design or evaluation techniques. Simple group exercises will help to establish some confidence in conducting some of the techniques described. Notes and references will be provided, but those interested in preparing for this tutorial should get a copy of the book, Ubiquitous Computing Fundamentals, edited by John Krumm, and focus on the field studies chapter written by A.J. Brush.


Gregory Abowd is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Inst. of Technology and has been an active ubicomp researcher since 1995. He has developed and evaluated a number of seminal ubicomp systems, including Classroom 2000, Cyberguide, the Personal Audio Loop, and a number of systems for use in the home and health spaces. Dr. Abowd is a co-author of a leading textbook in Human-Computer Interaction (with Alan Dix, Janet Finlay and Russell Beale) and has taught courses on HCI since 1994.

TUTORIAL 5 [half day]
Urban sensing using mobile phone network data

Francesco Calabrese

Over the past decade the development of digital networks and operations has produced an unprecedented wealth of information reflecting various aspects of urban life. In this framework, telecom operators gather massive amount of data about how their users interact or occupy the city's infrastructure. During the tutorial I aim to outline some examples of data that can be collected from telecommunication networks, and consider their strengths and weaknesses in terms of accuracy, level of details, and applications. Moreover, I aim at introducing techniques for dealing with limitations in granularity in both space and time, and pre-processing of mobile phone network data to infer patterns related to human activities in the city. Each of these techniques will be described in terms of assumptions and limitations, and will be illustrated with examples using real telecommunication datasets. Finally, I aim to provide an overview of the challenges currently being faced in this field.


Francesco Calabrese is an Advisory Research Staff Member at the IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre, Dublin, Ireland, where he leads research in urban dynamics. He is also a Research Affiliate at the SENSEable City Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. He received the Laurea (BS and MS) degree in Computer Engineering, cum laude, in 2004 and the Ph.D. in Computer and System Engineering from the University of Naples FedericoII, Italy, in 2007. He was research scientist and postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2007 to 2010, where he leaded the Network & Society group. His research interests include ubiquitous computing, intelligent transportation systems, urban network analysis and the design of distributed control systems. He has co-authored over 50 scientific publications. His work has been exhibited in leading museums worldwide, including the Venice Biennale and MoMA, NY. Francesco Calabrese is a member of the IEEE and the Control Systems Society. He is chairing a workshop on pervasive urban applications (PURBA, http://purba.mit.edu/) at the International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive 2011), which received over 30 submissions. A recent workshop he organized on the analysis of mobile phone networks (NETMOB, http://www.inma.ucl.ac.be/~blondel/netmob/) held in conjunction with the International Conference on Network Science attracted over 100 participants and 50 submissions.

Tutorial Co-Chairs

  • Cecilia Mascolo, University of Cambridge, UK

  • Daqing Zhang, Institute TELECOM SudParis, France

  • Email: tutorial2011@ubicomp.org

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