Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas 2016


Look inside your envelope,

the Christmas card should have them all:

Wooden wheel, a snowflake, too.

Copper things, we have a few.

Resistor, light, they’re all brand new,

a paper cut out with a view.


To bring the gift of light,

for every winter night.

You will need the following pieces for the first assembly part:

four copper strips (two long, two short), LED, resistor, wooden rim, wooden plug and the black piece of paper.


Slide in the LED,

into the holes that be.

Long leg positioned through the oak,

on the left side of the thickest spoke.

First, insert the LED into the two holes on the wooden rim. The longer leg of the LED goes into the left hole, when the thickest spoke points away from you.


Resistor needs to be installed,

’cause, otherwise, it will explode.

Remember the longer diode leg,

it connects to the pole that adds (+).

Bend the legs towards the other side of the spoke and attach the resistor to one of the legs. Make sure it is tightly connected. Remember the position of the longer leg for later on. 


Onto the wooden ring,

attach with copper string.

Wrap around the leggy bit,

the extra strings will make it fit.

Now it is time to attach the copper strings to the rim. Carefully place the two longer copper strips on both sides of the thick spoke using the adhesive side. Twist it around the LED legs and use the short strips to fixate it. CAUTION: the adhesive side does not conduct electricity, so make sure the other side is attached to the LED legs.


The gluey side just won’t conduct,

hence wires must be nicely tucked.

Repeat the same step for the second leg. When finished, the result should look similar to the picture above.


Plus pole connects to long diode leg,

make sure this is correct.

Conductive strips for the plug,

need to be edge-snug.

Connect the plug to the two stripes using the small piece of black paper to keep the strips separated. Make sure to connect the longer LED leg to the plus pole (marked on the plug). If you followed all steps up until now, you can simply connect it as shown above. The strips attached to the plug should be spaced as far apart as possible (on both side), but must not overlap over the ledge.


Attach the plug you just might,

and you have a working light.

You may want to test your Christmas lantern for now. Plug it into a USB-charger and check if the LED lights up. If not, check the wiring, especially the connection between LED legs and copper strips. Consider checking for correct polarity. Do not despair if your light does not work. You can still proceed and build the final lantern.


The lantern stands on wooden feet,

and then you join the paper sheets.

Be aware of text alignment,

else you prolong the assignment.

Now it is time to make it look like a lantern. Attach the feet to the wooden rim and connect the two paper ornaments. Check the text orientation before connecting both pieces. Be sure to insert the paper hooks as shown in the picture for a stable and round lantern.


And now it’s time to mount the screen,

it wraps around the wooden rim.

Slide the transparent paper into the lantern. For best visual results, position the fold in front of the overlap.


The snowflake goes on top,

ensure that room lights are now off.

Position the quadratic transparent paper on top of the lantern and add the snowflake ornament.


Now it’s time to plug it in,

and pour yourself a Christmas drink.


Highlights 2016!

Congratulations to our PhDs

This year we had 6 people finishing their PhD – the highest number for a single year till now – congratulations!


Exciting new Projects

In 2016 we started a number of new projects:


Event Highlight

50 Jahre mit der Maus


captureDie Abteilung für Mensch-Computer Interaktion der Universität Stuttgart, das Informatik-Forum Stuttgart (infos e.V.) und die GI- / ACM-Regionalgruppe Stuttgart / Böblingen laden ein zur Festveranstaltung ” 50 Jahre Computer mit der Maus” am

Montag, 5. Dezember 2016, 17:30 – 19:00 Uhr.

Alle Interessierten sind herzlich zu dieser Veranstaltung eingeladen. Die Teilnahme ist kostenfrei. Anmeldungen bitte unter: http://www.infos.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/50jahremaus/.

Von der klobigen Kugel bis zur ergonomischen High‐End‐Maus: Das griffigste Eingabegerät in der Mensch‐Computer‐Interaktion feiert Geburtstag. Wir feiern mit der Maus und werfen einen Blick auf die Geschichte des ersten Nagers aus Deutschland. Die Computermaus ‐ “Wer hat sie erfunden?” Heute gilt der Amerikaner Douglas C. Engelbart als Erfinder der ersten Computermaus. Das Team um Rainer Mallebrein bei der deutschen Firma Telefunken stellte aber schon im Oktober 1968 – wenige Monate vor der Veröffentlichung von Engelbarts Maus – die Rollkugelsteuerung (RKS) vor, die als Eingabegerät an einem Bildschirm hing. Den Ruhm als Erfinder der Computermaus konnten die Ingenieure leider nicht für sich beanspruchen. Man hielt die Maus für nicht patentwürdig, denn sie war nur ein schlichtes Beiwerk für den neuen Großrechner TR440. Aber die Mäuse blieben und sind auch 50 Jahre später nicht mehr aus unserem Alltag wegzudenken. Gemeinsam mit Rainer Mallebrein werfen wir einen Blick zurück in die Entstehungsgeschichte der Maus, lernen ihren ersten Anwendungsfall kennen und erleben die Evolution der Maus bis heute. Wird es den zuverlässigen Nager auch in Zukunft geben? Diskutieren Sie im Anschluss mit und teilen Sie Ihre Erinnerungen.

17:30 – 17:40: Begrüßung / Einlass

17:40 – 18:10: Prof. Dr. Horst Oberquelle, “Eine kurze Geschichte der Eingabegeräte – Ein Blick in das Hamburger Mouse-oleum”

18:10- 18:30: Valentin Schwind, Clemens Krause: Eingabegeräte aus dem Computermuseum Stuttgart und die 3D Rekonstruktion des RKS 100-86 (Studentenprojekt).

18:30- 19:10: Im Gespräch: mit Herrn Mallebrain und mit Prof. Rul Gunzenhäuser über die Rollkugel (Moderation Albrecht Schmidt)

19:10 – 19:30: Impuls: Was kommt nach der Maus? Die Zukunft der Mensch-Computer-Interaktion (Albrecht Schmidt)

19:30: Gespräche mit Snacks und Getränken

 Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Kommen!

Merry Christmas 2015!

Dear colleagues and friends,

we hope you received your exclusive hcilab xmas construction kit, version 4.0. The design is inspired by the traditional German Christmas pyramid (instructions for last year’s Christmas kit you find here). To fully enjoy the hcilab Christmas experience, here are quick steps to a successful assembly:

xmas15-final xmas15-construction-kit

Click here to see the instructions

This is the first construction kit that – if assembled right – will move. We are curious about your result and we would like to see if it really moves. Please take a picture or better a movie of your final version and we would be happy if you email it to us, or if you share your accomplishment with us on facebook or link to it in a blog comment.

It is now – nearly by the day – 5 years that our group started at the University of Stuttgart. The group is much bigger now than we anticipated, and hence we work closer together (=more people have to share a room).

Absence leads to productivity?

While Albrecht enjoyed his time in Cambridge working with Per Ola Kristensson at the University and with Steve Hodges’ Sensor and Devices group at Microsoft Research, the group was very productive.

a2 a1

CHI2015 in Korea

The ACM SIGCHI was this year for the first time in Asia and we participated, presenting research results in different forms.


Postdoc++ == Professor

At the moment we are without postdocs, as Katrin Wolf and Oliver Korn left us. Katrin accepted an offer from the University of Art & Design in Berlin (btk) and is now Professor for media informatics. Oliver Korn joint Offenburg University of Applied Sciences and is now professor for human computer interaction. We are looking forward to 2016 and to the new postdocs we have hired.

German HCI conference with 750+ People in Stuttgart

In September we ran the German HCI conference Mensch und Computer, which had more than 750 attendees. Organizing such a conference at the University is a major undertaking and it kept many of us very busy.
11999682_695737560561663_1308933216170982553_o IMG_1393

Book with some of our research highlights

Our institute is growing and we have a book to highlight ongoing projects and research in Computer Graphics, Visualization, Computer Vision, and Human-Computer-Interaction. The book is in German and online available as PDF. For the project in Human-Computer-Interaction and Socio-Cognitive Systems see from page 53 onwards.

hci2015 Capture

New and Ongoing Projects

This year four new larger projects started and we have several ongoing projects – too many to describe all of them. If you are around in Europe Stuttgart is really close – please take the chance and visit us. Here are some pointers to the larger projects:

New projects in 2015

SFB-TRR161 (DFG funded). Collaborative Research Center on Quantitative Methods for Visual Computing with University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen.
CIMPLEX (EU H2020 funded). Bringing CItizens, Models and Data together in Participatory, Interactive SociaL EXploratories
DAAN (BMBF funded). Design of ambient adaptive notification environments.
FeuerWeRR (BMBF funded). Augmented reality thermal camera for fire fighters.

Ongoing projects

MotionEAP (BMWi funded and extended as everyone is excited by the outcome so far): increasing efficiency in manual production through projected augmented reality. < http://www.motioneap.de/ >

Recall (European Project): Re-thining and re-defining memory augmentation. Augmenting the human mind has many facets.

SimpleSkin (European Project): Cheap, textile based whole body sensing systems for interaction, physiological monitoring, and activity recognition.

meSch (European Project): Material EncounterS with digital cultural Heritage.

SimTech (DFG funded): Interaction with simulation systems.

We are looking forward to a set of projects starting in 2016 and would like to wish all collegues, friends, acquaintances, and our families the very best for 2016!

— Albrecht Schmidt

Some Publications in 2015

Florian Alt, Stefan Schneegass, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Mariam Hassib, and Andreas Bulling. 2015. Graphical Passwords in the Wild: Understanding How Users Choose Pictures and Passwords in Image-based Authentication Schemes. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 316-322.

Katrin Wolf, Stefan Schneegass, Niels Henze, Dominik Weber, Valentin Schwind, Pascal Knierim, Sven Mayer, Tilman Dingler, Yomna Abdelrahman, Thomas Kubitza, Markus Funk, Anja Mebus, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2015. TUIs in the Large: Using Paper Tangibles with Mobile Devices. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1579-1584.

Yomna Abdelrahman, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Niels Henze, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2015. Investigation of Material Properties for Thermal Imaging-Based Interaction. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 15-18.

Luis A. Leiva, Alireza Sahami, Alejandro Catala, Niels Henze, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2015. Text Entry on Tiny QWERTY Soft Keyboards. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 669-678.

Max Pfeiffer, Tim Dünte, Stefan Schneegass, Florian Alt, and Michael Rohs. 2015. Cruise Control for Pedestrians: Controlling Walking Direction using Electrical Muscle Stimulation. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2505-2514.

Niels Henze, Thomas Olsson, Stefan Schneegass, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, and Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila. 2015. Augmenting food with information. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 258-266.

Markus Funk, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Sven Mayer, Lars Lischke, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2015. Pick from here!: an interactive mobile cart using in-situ projection for order picking. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 601-609.

Lars Lischke, Sven Mayer, Katrin Wolf, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, and Niels Henze. 2015. Subjective and Objective Effects of Tablet’s Pixel Density. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2769-2772.

Sven Mayer, Katrin Wolf, Stefan Schneegass, and Niels Henze. 2015. Modeling Distant Pointing for Compensating Systematic Displacements. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4165-4168.

Martin Pielot, Tilman Dingler, Jose San Pedro, and Nuria Oliver. 2015. When attention is not scarce – detecting boredom from mobile phone usage. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 825-836.

Tilman Dingler and Martin Pielot. 2015. I’ll be there for you: Quantifying Attentiveness towards Mobile Messaging. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-5.

UNH IRES research interns on tour

Group photoStatmitte

Miriam and the UNH IRES research interns from the HCI lab went to Saarbrüken to visit the Saarbrüken University HCI group. The first lab visited was the DFKI Lab (or the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) where they met researcher Dr. Sven Gehring to get a tour. The tour exhibited demonstrations such as the possible future technology of grocery stores, collaborative reading environment on a single screen, augmented system to develop floor plans and similar layouts, and a viable poster voting system. In addition to the demos they were talked through some posters displayed on the various other projects being undertaken at the HCI group in Saarbrüken like mobile projection to facilitate learning guitar, large interactive displays, and even a mobile application to chart rock climbing paths of various difficulties.


The second lab visited was the Cluster of Excellence Multimodal Computing and Interaction (MMCI) lab. This is where doctoral researcher Martin Weigel gave a tour of the lab and went into detail about his project which was in wearable touch sensors that are worn on the skin.

Chloe Eghtebas

Reading List: Developing Ubiquitous Computing Devices


Together with Thomas Kubitza I was teaching a class in the UBI summer school on Developing Ubiquitous Computing Devices. The summer school was held in Oulu and organized by Timo Ojala.

In total the summer school include the following 4 courses:

  • EXPERIENCE-DRIVEN DESIGN OF UBIQUITOUS INTERACTIONS IN URBAN SPACES Prof. Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, Tampere University of Technology, Finland & Dr. Jonna Häkkilä, University of Oulu, Finland
  • DESIGNING MOBILE AUGMENTED REALITY INTERFACES Prof. Mark Billinghurst, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • DEVELOPING UBIQUITOUS COMPUTING DEVICES Prof. Albrecht Schmidt, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • URBAN RESOURCE NETWORKS Prof. Malcolm McCullough, University of Michigan, USA

There was more than work… if you are curious have a look at flickr for photos and more photos.

As some people asked for the reading list for our course on Developing Ubiquitous Computing Devices, I thought I post it here…. The reading list is also available as PDF for download.

The reading list comprises 4 areas that are relevant to our course. We expect that you have come across the original paper by Marc Weiser, introducing the concept of ubiquitous computing [1].

In the first part we have included papers that provide an overview of interaction concepts that are relevant in the context of ubiquitous computing. In particular this is tangible interaction [2a] [2b], reality based interaction [3], embedded interaction [4]. The concept of informative art [5] is introduced as well as the notion of persuasive technologies [16].This part is concluded with an overview of interaction with computers in the 21st century [6].

In the second part we have included a paper on how to create smart devices [7], which gives an overview of sensors that may be useful for creating novel and reactive devices. In [8] sensing is extended to context and context-awareness. In the third part we introduce the .NET Gadgeteer platform [9] and show some trends in the development of ubiquitous computing devices: how can we create new products once we can fabricate things [10] and enclosures [10b] and how ubicomp technologies enable new devices and devices concepts [11].

The final part provides some ideas for application scenarios that we plan to assess during the course. In [12] a concept of how to change a bed into a communication media is presented and in [13] a social alarm clock is presented. A recent study [14] shows the impact of technology on communication and in [15] an overview of novel alarm clocks and sleep monitoring devices is given.

[1] Weiser, M. (1991). The computer for the 21st century. Scientific american,265(3), 94-104. http://wiki.daimi.au.dk/pca/_files/weiser-orig.pdf
[2a] Ishii, H., & Ullmer, B. (1997, March). Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 234-241). ACM. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/258549.258715 http://labs.rightnow.com/colloquium/papers/tangiblebits.pdf
[2b] Ishii, H. (2008, February). Tangible bits: beyond pixels. In Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Tangible and embedded interaction (pp. xv-xxv). ACM. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1347390.1347392
[3] Jacob, R. J., Girouard, A., Hirshfield, L. M., Horn, M. S., Shaer, O., Solovey, E. T., & Zigelbaum, J. (2008, April). Reality-based interaction: a framework for post-WIMP interfaces. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 201-210). ACM. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1357054.1357089 http://research.cs.queensu.ca/~audrey/papers/chi08.pdf
[4] Kranz, M., Holleis, P., & Schmidt, A. (2010). Embedded interaction: Interacting with the internet of things. Internet Computing, IEEE, 14(2), 46-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MIC.2009.141 http://pure.ltu.se/portal/files/39756776/FINAL_PRINT_w2iot_preprint.pdf
[5] Ferscha, A. (2007). Informative art display metaphors. In Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Ambient Interaction (pp. 82-92). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://www.pervasive.jku.at/Research/Publications/_Documents/InformativeArtDisplayMetaphors-ferscha2007.pdf
[6] Schmidt, A., Pfleging, B., Alt, F., Sahami, A., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2012). Interacting with 21st-Century Computers. Pervasive Computing, IEEE, 11(1), 22-31. http://www.hcilab.org/wp-content/uploads/schmidt-ieeepc-21century.pdf http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2011.81
[7] Schmidt, A., & Van Laerhoven, K. (2001). How to build smart appliances?.Personal Communications, IEEE, 8(4), 66-71. http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/~albrecht/pubs/pdf/schmidt_ieee_pc_08-2001.pdf
[8] Schmidt, A. (2013). Context-Aware Computing: Context-Awareness, Context-Aware User Interfaces, and Implicit Interaction. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/context-aware_computing.html
[9] Villar, N., Scott, J., Hodges, S., Hammil, K., & Miller, C. (2012). . NET gadgeteer: a platform for custom devices. In Pervasive Computing (pp. 216-233). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/163162/Gadgeteer%20Pervasive%202012%20Proof.pdf
[10] Schmidt, A., Doring, T., & Sylvester, A. (2011). Changing How We Make and Deliver Smart Devices: When Can I Print Out My New Phone?. Pervasive Computing, IEEE, 10(4), 6-9. http://www.hcilab.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/schmidt2011changing.pdf http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2011.68
[10b] Weichel C., Lau M., Gellersen,H. (2013). Enclosed: A Component-Centric Interface for Designing Prototype Enclosures. Tangible, embedded, and embodied interaction conference (TEI 2013) http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2460625.2460659 http://www.csweichel.de/papers/2013-enclosed.pdf
[11] Hodges, S., Villar, N., Scott, J., & Schmidt, A. (2012). A New Era for Ubicomp Development. Pervasive Computing, IEEE, 11(1), 5-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2012.1 http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/163175/ANewEraForUbiCompDevelopment-IEEEPervasiveComputing.pdf
[12] Dodge, C. (1997, March). The bed: a medium for intimate communication. InCHI’97 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems: looking to the future (pp. 371-372). ACM. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1120212.1120439
[13] Schmidt, A., Shirazi, A. S., & van Laerhoven, K. (2012). Are You in Bed with Technology?. Pervasive Computing, IEEE, 11(4), 4-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2012.63
[14] Schmidt, A. (2006). Network alarm clock (The 3AD International Design Competition). Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 10(2-3), 191-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00779-005-0022-y http://old.hcilab.org/documents/Schmidt_NetworkAlarmClock.pdf
[15] Shirazi, A. S., Clawson, J., Hassanpour, Y., Tourian, M. J., Schmidt, A., Chi, E. H., Borazio, M., & Van Laerhoven, K. (2013). Already Up? Using Mobile Phones to Track & Share Sleep Behavior. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071581913000244
[16] Fogg, B. J. (2009, April). A behavior model for persuasive design. In Proceedings of the 4th international conference on persuasive technology (p. 40). ACM. http://bjfogg.com/fbm_files/page4_1.pdf

Appendix: .NET Gadgeteer Links (optional)

Keynote at PerDis2013: Proxemic Interactions by Saul Greenberg

Saul Greenberg presented the opening keynote at PerDis2013, the second international symposium on pervasive displays, held at Google in Mountain View, US.

Saul gave a brief history motivating the challenges that arise from the move to interactive ubiquitous computing environments. The degrees of freedom for interaction, when moving from graphical user interfaces to ubiquitous computing environments, are massively increased and the social context becomes central.

The other line of motivation Saul used is the notion of proxemics as studied in social science. The primary element is the distance between people. By physical proximity a lot in the interaction between people is determined. Interpersonal relationships are at the heart of the theory by Edward Hall, who explored this already in the 1960ties ([1], for a short overview and introduction see the Wiki-Pages on Edward Hall and on Proxemics). It is interesting (and not undisputed) to see that people in computer science have moved the notion of proxemics beyond human-to-human interaction to include technologies.

Saul outlined the dimensions for proximic interactions:

  • Distance 
  • Movement 
  • Location 
  • Orientation 
  • Identity 

In a paper in ACM Interactions Saul provides a really good and easy to read introductory text to proximic interactions – which is also well suitable for teaching [2]. There is more on the dimensions, the overall concept of proximic interactions, and potential applications in a 2010 paper they presented at ITS [3]. One of the aspects they have looked into in their work is at supporting proxemic interactions through a toolkit [4]. For more details we can be looking forward to the PhD thesis of Nicolai Marquardt, who worked in Saul’s group and who will defend in a few weeks.

Proxiemic interaction is a hot topic and several researchers have started to explore this space. There is also a Dagstuhl Seminar on the topic later this year (http://www.dagstuhl.de/13452) orgamized by Saul Greenberg, Kasper Hornbæk, Aaron Quigley, and Harald Reiterer.

[1] Hall, E. T., & Hall, E. T. (1969). The hidden dimension (p. 119). New York: Anchor Books. http://courses.arch.ntua.gr/fsr/137555/Hall-The-Hidden-Dimension.pdf
[2] Greenberg, S., Marquardt, N., Ballendat, T., Diaz-Marino, R., & Wang, M. (2011). Proxemic interactions: the new ubicomp?. interactions, 18(1), 42-50. http://grouplab.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/grouplab/uploads/Publications/Publications/2011-ProxemicInteraction.Interactions.pdf
[3] Ballendat, T., Marquardt, N., & Greenberg, S. (2010, November). Proxemic interaction: designing for a proximity and orientation-aware environment. In ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (pp. 121-130). ACM. http://www.cs.ucf.edu/courses/cap6121/spr11/readings/proxemic.pdf
[4] Marquardt, N., Diaz-Marino, R., Boring, S., & Greenberg, S. (2011, October). The proximity toolkit: prototyping proxemic interactions in ubiquitous computing ecologies. In Proceedings of the 24th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 315-326). ACM. http://curis.ku.dk/ws/files/44312111/marquardt.UIST_2011.proximity_toolkit.pdf

Our lab says “Merry Christmas” 2012!

Dear colleagues and friends,

we hope you received your exclusive hcilab ornament construction kit. In order to fully enjoy the hcilab Christmas experience, 7 quick steps will guide you through the rather intuitive assembly:

The target result:
The target result.

The Christmassy ingredients:
The target result.

Step 1a: Free the tree!
The target result.

Step 1b: Bolden the golden!
The target result.

Step 1c: Take a breath!
The target result.

Step 2: Assemble the tree!
The target result.

Step 3a: Assemble the globe (1st stay)!
The target result.

Step 3b: Assemble the globe (2nd stay)!
The target result.

Step 3c: Connect the stays using the disks!
The target result.

Step 4a: Put the tree in the middle!
The target result.
The target result. The target result.

Step 5a: Put in the remaining stays (3rd stay)!
The target result.

Step 5b: Put in the remaining stays (4th stay)!
The target result.

Step 6: Hook it!
The target result.

Step 7: That’s it. Celebrate!
The target result.

We are curious about your end result and are keen to receive a picture of the final version of your ornament. Feel free to email it to us or to link it in a blog comment.

The year 2012 was very exciting and we more than appreciate your every involvement with us! As an additional treat we have attached to this Christmas packet a quick overview which lists several projects and topics in the field of human computer interaction we have been working on.
In that sense, we have continued to work on Public Displays networks. The following publications give an overview of some of the directions we took this year:

  1. Davies, N., Langheinrich, M., José, R., & Schmidt, A. (2012). Open display networks: A communications medium for the 21st century. Computer, 45(5), 58-64. Alt, F., Schneegaß, S., Schmidt, A., Müller, J., & Memarovic, N. (2012, June). How to evaluate public displays. In Proceedings of the 2012 International Symposium on Pervasive Displays (p. 17). ACM.
  2. Alt, F., Schmidt, A., & Müller, J. (2012). Advertising on Public Display Networks. Computer, 45(5), 50-56.

Automotive User interfaces was another area where we continued our research. We moved more towards multimodality and included speech input in a prototype:

  1. Pfleging, B., Schneegass, S., & Schmidt, A. (2012, October). Multimodal interaction in the car: combining speech and gestures on the steering wheel. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (pp. 155-162). ACM.
  2. Pfleging, B., Kern, D., Döring, T., & Schmidt, A. (2012). Reducing Non-Primary Task Distraction in Cars Through Multi-Modal Interaction. it-Information Technology, 54(4), 179-187.

We ventured into new domains this year. In particular we looked at usable security and brain computer interaction. The following two papers show some examples of this work. We are particularly proud of the BCI paper, as this is the first one wih our students in Stuttgart.

  1. Bulling, A., Alt, F., & Schmidt, A. (2012, May). Increasing the security of gaze-based cued-recall graphical passwords using saliency masks. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3011-3020). ACM.
  2. Shirazi, A. S., Funk, M., Pfleiderer, F., Glück, H., & Schmidt, A. MediaBrain: Annotating Videos based on Brain-Computer Interaction.

Finally this paper may be an interesting read, when you are tired …

  1. Schmidt, A., Shirazi, A. S., & van Laerhoven, K. (2012). Are You in Bed with Technology?. Pervasive Computing, IEEE, 11(4), 4-7.


Silvia Miksch talking about time oriented visual analytics

It seems this term we picked a good slot for the lecture. On Thursday we had Prof. Silvia Miksch from Vienna University of Technology visiting our institute. We took this chance for another guest lecture in my advanced HCI class. Silvia presented a talk with the title “A Matter of Time: Interactive Visual Analytics of Time-Oriented Data and Information”. She first introduced the notion of interactive visual analytics and then systematically showed how time oriented data can be visually presented.

I really liked how Silvia motivated visual analytics and could not resist to adapt it with a Christmas theme. The picture shows three representations (1) numbers, always 3 grouped together, (2) a plot of the numbers where the first is the label and the second and the third are coordinates, and (3) a line connecting the labels in order. Her example was much nicer, but I missed to take a photo. And it is obvious that you do not put it on the same slide… Nevertheless I think even this simple Christmas tree example shows the power of visual analytics. This will go in my slide set for presentations in schools 😉

If you are more interested in the details of the visualization of time oriented data, please have a look at the following book: Visallization of Time-Oriented Data, by Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, Heidrun Schumann, and Christian Tominski. Springer, 2011. http://www.timeviz.net [2]. After the talk there was an interested discussion about the relationship and fundamental difference between time and space. I think this is worthwhile further discussion.

Another direction to follow up is tangible (visual) analytics. It would be interesting to assess the contributions to understanding of further modalities when interactively exploring data, e.g. haptics and sound. Some years back Martin Schrittenloher (one of my students in Munich) visited Morten Fjeld for his project thesis and experimented with force feedback sliders [1], … perhaps we should have this as a project topic again! An approach would be to look specifically at the understanding of data when force-feedback is presented on certain dimensions.

[1] Jenaro, J., Shahrokni, A., Schrittenloher, and M., Fjeld, M. 2007. One-Dimensional Force Feedback Slider: Digital platform. In Proc. Workshop at the IEEE Virtual Reality 2007 Conference: Mixed Reality User Interfaces: Specification, Authoring, Adaptation (MRUI07), 47-51
[2] Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, Heidrun Schumann, and Christian Tominski. Visallization of Time-Oriented Data. Springer, 2011. http://www.timeviz.net

A proposal to replace non-archival publications

In the CHI community we have the notion of non-archival publications. Some years back this concept may have been good but I find it harder and harder to understand. Over the month I had several people about this concept and in Paris I discussed it with several colleagues, who are involved in SIGCHI. Here are some of the thoughts – hopefully as a starting point for further discussion.

First a short introduction to the concept of Non-archival publications: non-archival publications in the “CHI world” are papers that are published and shown at the conference, but that must not be held against a later publication. In essence these papers are considered as not-published when reviewing an extended version of the paper. A typical example is to publish a work in progress (WIP) paper in one year showing outlining the concept, the research path you have started to take, and some initial findings. Than in the following year you publish a full paper that includes all the data and a solid analysis. In principles this a great way of doing research, getting feedback from the community on the way, and publishing then larger piece of work. Elba in our group did this very well: a WIP in CHI2010 [1] and then the full paper in CHI2011 [2]. This shows there is value to it and understand the motivation why the concept of non-archival publications was created.

Over the last years however I have seen a number points that highlight that the concept of non-archival publication is everything but not straightforward to deal with. The following points are from experience in my group over the last years.

1) Non-archival publications are in fact archival. Once you assign a document a DOI and include them in a digital library (DL) these publications are archived. The purpose of a digital library and the DOI is that things will live on, even if the people’s websites are gone. The point that the authors keep the copyright and can publish it again does not chance the fact that the paper is archived. It is hard to explain someone from another community (e.g. during a TPC meeting of Percom) that there is a paper which has a DOI, is in the ACM DL, it counts into the download and citation statistics of the author in the ACM DL and is indexed by Google Scholar, and yet it has to be considered as not published, when assessing a new publication.

2) Non-archival publications may be the only publication on a topic. Sometimes people have a really cool idea and some initial work and they publish it as WIP (non-archival). Then over the years the authors do not get around to write the full paper, e.g. because they did not get the funding to do it. Hence the non-archival work in progress paper is the only publication that the authors have about this work. As the believe it is interesting they and probably other people will reference this work – but referencing something that is non-archival is questionable, but not in this case as in fact is archival as it is in the DL with DOI. Here is an example from our own experience: Sometimes back we had in our view a cool idea to chance the way smart objects can be created [3] – we did initial prototypes but did not have funding for the full project (we still work on getting it). The WIP is the only “paper” we “published” on it and hence we keep it in our CVs.

3) Chances in authorship between non-archival and full paper. Academia is a dynamic environment and hence things are started in one place and continued somewhere else. In this process the people doing the research are very likely to chance. To account for this we typically include a reference to the first non-archival publication to acknowledge the earlier contributions made. We have one example were we had an idea for navigation system that we explored in Munich very superficial and wrote up a WIP [4]. Enrcio then moved on to Lancaster and did a serious system and study – and as he is a nice person he references the WIP to acknowledged that some other people were involved in initial phase of creating the idea [5]. And by doing so he increased Antonio’s and my citation count, as we list the WIP paper on our Google scholar page.

4) Non-archival publication are part of people’s citation count and h-index. When assessing the performance of individuals academia seems to move more and more towards “measurable” data, hence we see that citation counts and h-index may play a role. I have one “publication”, it was a poster at ISWC 2000 about a wearable RFID reader [6], that has 50+ citations and it hence impacts my h-index (on Google). For ISWC2000 posters were real publications in the IEEE DL, but this could have equally been a WIP at CHI. Hence there is the question: should non-archival material be part of the quantitative assessment of impact?

I have some further hypothetical points (inspired by the real world) that highlight some of the issues I see with the concept of non-archival publications:

Scenario A) Researcher X has great idea for a new device and publishes a non-archival paper including the idea, details about the way the implementation, some initial results, and a plan how she will do the study at Conf201X. She has a clear plan to complete the study and publish the full paper at Conf201X+1. She falls short in time due to be ill for a few months and manages to submit only a low quality full paper. Researcher Y talks to Research X at the conference is impressed and reads the non-archival version of the paper. He likes it and has some funds available hence he decides to do a follow-up building on this research. He hires 3 interns for the summer, gets 20 of the devices build, does a great study, and submits a perfect paper. The paper of Researcher Y is accepted and the paper of researcher X is not. My feeling would be that in this case Y should at least reference the non-archival paper of X, hence non-archival papers should be seen as previous work.

Scenario B) A researcher starts a project, creates a systems and does an initial qualitative study. He publishes the results as non-archival paper (e.g. WIP) including a description of the quantitative study to be conducted. Over the next month he does the quantitative study – it does not provide new insights, but confirms the initial findings. He decides to write a 4 page note in two column format that is over 95% the same text as the 6 page previously published WIP, just with the addition, of one paragraph that a qualitative study was conducted which confirmed the results. In this case having both papers in the digital library feels not write. The obvious solution would be to replace the work in progress by the note.

Here is a proposal how non-archival publication could be replaced: 

  • Everything that is published in the (ACM) digital library and which has an DOI is considered an archival publication (as they are in fact are)
  • Publications carry labels such as WIP, Demo, Note, Full paper, etc.
  • Scientific communities can decided to have certain venues that can be evolutionary, e.g. for SIGCHI this would be to my current understanding WIP, Interactivity, and workshops.
  • Evolutionary publications can be replaced by “better” publications by the authors, e.g. an author of a WIP can replace this WIP in the next year with a Full paper or a Note, the DOI stays the same
  • To ensure accountability (with regard to the DOI) the replaced version remain in the appendix of the new version, e.g. the full paper has then as appendix the WIP it replaces
  • If evolutionary publications are not replaced by the author they stay as they are and other people have to consider these as previous work
  • Citations accumulated along the evolutionary path are accumulated on the latest version include.
  • Authors can decide (e.g. when the project team changes, when the results a contradictory to the initial publication, when significant parts of the system chance, when authors chance) to not go the evolutionary path. In this case they are measured against the state of the art, which includes their own work.

In the CHI context this could be as follows: you have a WIP in year X, in year X+1 you decided to replace the WIP by the accepted Full paper that extended this WIP, in year X+3 you decided to extend Full Paper with your accepted ToCHI paper. When people download the ToCHI paper they will have the full conference paper and the WIP in the appendix. The citations that are done on the WIP and on the full paper are included in the citations of the journal paper. In a case where you combine conference several papers into a consolidated journal paper, you would create a new instance not replacing any of it or you may replace one of the conference papers.

This approach does not solve all the problems but I hope it is a starting point for a new discussion.

Just claiming stuff that is in the ACM DL and has a DOI is not archival feels like we create our own little universe in which we decide that gravity is not relevant…

UPDATE – Discussion in facebook (2012-12-11):

Comment by Alan Dix:
It seems there are three separate notions of ‘archival’:
(i) doesn’t count as prior publication for future, say, journals
(ii) is recorded in some stable way to allow clear citation
(iii) meets some minimum level against some set of quality criteria

In the days before people treated conferences as if they were journal publications. It was common to have major publications in university or industrial lab ‘internal’ report series. These were often cited, and if they made it to journals, it was years later. The institutions distributed and maintained the repositories, hence they were archival by defn (ii). Conference and workshop papers likewise were and have always been cited widely whether or not they were officially declared ‘archival’.

Conference papers, even if from prestigious conferences such as CHI are NOT usually archival by defn (iii) – or at least cannot be guaranteed to – as it is not a minimal standard in all criteria, more a balance between criteria, if something is really novel and important, but maybe not 100% solid it would and *should* be conference publishable, but shuld not be jiurnal publishable until *everything* hits minimum standard may not be fantastic against any though – faultless != best

As for (i) that is about venue, politics and random rubbish rules. For a conference the issue is “is there enough new for the delegates to see?” (unless the conference is pretending to be ‘archival’ meaning (ii), but we should ignore such disingenuous venues).

For a journal, it would quite valid to publish a paper absolutely identical (copyright issues withstanding) one that had previously been published (and is archival by (i)) as its job is to ensure (ii).

This was common in the past with internal reports and common again now with eprints services providing pre-prints during submission as well as pre-publication.

In a web world *all* conference contributions are archival by defn (i) and *none* are by def. (ii).

Conferences are news channels, journals and quality agencies … and when the two get confused the discipline is in crisis.

Comment by Eva Hornecker
Reading Alan’s response I am reminded I used to learn the distinction between ‘grey’ literature (citable, e.g. technical reports) and white/black (not sure anymore which is which) that is either informal and not archived (e.g. workshop position papers) or fully published and peer reviewed. Difference with WiPs etc. is they are peer reviewed (although only gently)

Comment by Rod Murray-Smith
I guess there is also a question about whether WIPs are really still being used as “works in progress”, or more frequently as a way to attend the conference despite the paper not being lucky enough to get in. Do we have any stats on % of papers which are recycled from the main conference, as by submitting them to that, authors are claiming that these are ready for archival. Similar issues for many workshop papers.

Comment by Alan Dix

Of course workshop position papers are often web ‘archived’ (my criteria (ii)), and some even heavily refereed … indeed many people would prefer a CHI workshop paper on their CV than a more heavily refereed conference paper elsewhere … I guess about brand, like a Nike holdall.

There is another orthogonal issue too which is about the level and surety of the process, which is pretty independent of the clarity and kind of criteria. You may have a poor quality journal that is using similar criteria to a better journal, but simply having a lower bar and perhaps, because of quality of reviewing, lower level of confidence. I’m sure both Fiat and Ferrari have quality control, just the level different.

In some ways I am happier with low quality journals that you now are low quality (and therefore readers apply caveat emptor) than high quality conferences, where it is easy for readers to assume high quality = all OK.

This is why I always feel that all reviewing processes should have a non-blind point, as a paper with a fantastic idea, but major methodological flaw, is fine if produced by an unknown person in and unknown institution (as readers will take it with a inch of salt), but should be rejected if from a major name in the field (as it is more liely to be taken as a pattern of how to do it by readers).

Alternatively anonymous refereeing + anonymous publication

… and none of this is about the absolute value, significance, etc. of the work, quality control is about stopping the bad apples, not making good ones.

Comment by Susanne Boll

I fully agree. Coming from the Multimedia community initially, I never understood this concept. SIGMM and the annual conferences will publish anything that undergoes a peer-review. Full papers are the most prestiguous one, short papers (4 pages) are for smaller contributions or more focused work. Workshops are THE platform to start new topics in the field and of course the work is peer-reviewed and published. For example, the Multimedia Information Retrieval run for several years and gained more and more interest in the field until it finally became an own conference.

I also found it strange this year that I reviewed a full paper for one year but had a deja vu as the work was already shown in the interactivity session the year before. This not only makes it difficult to judge novelty but also is contradictory to the blind review. Maybe have a look how other SIG conferences such as Multimedia handle it.

Comment Amanda Marisa Williams

I’m intrigued — no time at the moment but it’s bookmarked for later today. Def wanna have this conversation with some CHI veterans since I have some concerns about the archival/non-archival distinction as well.

Comment by Bo Begole
I think the crux of the issue is simply that we shouldn’t use the term “archival” at all – as you point out, anything published on the DL with a DOI is “archived”. It’s an archaic term. More properly, we should use accurate terms to describe the level of review. CHI uses the terms “refereed” “juried” and “curated” for different levels http://chi2013.acm.org/authors/call-for-participation/#refereed which map to ACM categories of CHI refereed is roughly equiv to “refereed, formally reviewed” CHI juried is equiv to “reviewed” and CHI curated is roughly equiv to “unreviewed”. CHI also uses the ACM criteria regarding republishability of content

Comment by Chris Schmandt
What Bo says is good, but this distinction is lost on the masses. It’s a “CHI paper” no matter what venue. And even in the old day when we had the separate “abstracts” volume, only the few in the know could recognize the difference between the short …

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