Urban Interaction

Urban interaction @ Glasgow

There has been much recent interest in "smart cities" and the use of technology in improving urban living. This page collects some of the research on urban interaction in the School of Computing Science that has been ongoing over the last decade.

Urban interaction encompasses a wide range of research in the application of information-technology to enhance living in cities. At the School of Computing Science, there has been a long history of pioneering research in urban interaction, particularly with mobile devices. Research topics include:
  • localised social media search to link physical and digital worlds;
  • the use of novel interfaces to improve pedestrian navigation in built up environments;
  • employing digital technology to create new cultural opportunities in museums;
  • using large-scale mobile sensor deployments to track mass movements through city environments;
  • building decentralized social network infrastructures and nformation systems infrastructure for urban analytics;
  • the deployment, analysis and ethical aspects of mass participation trials with thousands of users.
Urban Interaction

City-scale Tracking and Visualisation

This research subtopic involves building large-scale sensor networks using mobile devices; building ubiquitous computing environments in cities; capturing and visualising the acitivities of crowds in urban areas.

  1. Visualisation of spectator activity at stadium events Alistair Morrison, Marek Bell, Matthew Chalmers Proc. Information Visualization 2009, iv, pp.219-226, PDF
  2. Mobile Pollution Mapping in the City Paul Rudman, Steve North, Matthew Chalmers Proc. UK-UbiNet workshop on eScience and ubicomp, Edinburgh, May 2005 PDF
  3. Ubiquitous computing in urban environments Shared Visiting in Equator City Ian MacColl, Barry Brown, Steve Benford, Matthew Chalmers et al. Proc. ACM Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE 2002), Bonn, September 2002, 88-94.
  4. Interweaving Mobile Games with Everyday Life Marek Bell, Matthew Chalmers, Louise Barkhuus, Malcolm Hall, Scott Sherwood, Paul Tennent, Barry Brown, Duncan Rowland, Steve Benford, Mauricio Capra, Alistair Hampshire Proc. ACM CHI 2006, Montreal, pp. 417-426. PDF
  5. Picking Pockets on the Lawn: The Development of Tactics and Strategies in a Mobile Game Louise Barkhuus, Matthew Chalmers, Malcolm Hall, Paul Tennent, Marek Bell, Scott Sherwood, Barry Brown Proc. Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp), Tokyo, LNCS 3660, pp. 358-374, 2005 PDF

Large-scale User Trials

Capturing data from city-scale applications brings with it a range of technical and ethical issues. Research in this subtopic has focused on visualisation of mass participation trials; deployment and analysis tools for large scale mobile experiments; and investigating ethical issues and research guidelines for performing such experiments.

  1. McMillan, D., Morrison, A., & Chalmers, M. (2013, April). Categorised ethical guidelines for large scale mobile HCI. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1853-1862). ACM. 2013 PDF
  2. Higgs, M., Morrison, A., Girolami, M., & Chalmers, M. (2013, April). Analysing user behaviour through dynamic population models. In CHI'13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 271-276). 2013 PDF
  3. Informed consent and users' attitudes to logging in large scale trials Alistair Morrison, Owain Brown, Donald McMillan & Matthew Chalmers CHI '11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems Pages 1501-1506 ACM SIGCHI PDF
  4. Large Scale User Trials: Research Challenges and Adaptive Evaluation Scott Sherwood, Stuart Reeves, Jules Maitland, Alistair Morrison, Matthew Chalmers Book Chapter, "Human Computer Interaction and Innovation in Handheld, Mobile and Wearable Technologies", Joanna Lumsden (ed.), IGI Global, 2011. Book
  5. SGVis: Analysis of Data From Mass Participation Ubicomp Trials Alistair Morrison & Matthew Chalmers IJMHCI 3(4), Special Issue on "Research in the Large", 36-54, 2011 PDF
  6. A Comparison of Distribution Channels for Large-Scale Deployments of iOS Applications Donald McMillan, Alistair Morrison & Matthew Chalmers IJMHCI 3(4), Special Issue on "Research in the Large", 1-17, 2011 PDF
  7. A Hybrid Mass Participation Approach to Mobile Software Trials Alistair Morrison, Donald McMillan, Scott Sherwood, Stuart Reeves and Matthew Chalmers ACM CHI 2012, 1311-1320, http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2208516.2208588 PDF

Information systems infrastructure for urban analytics

This research explores how the data collected from users through the aforementioned applications can be collected, stored, managed, and analysed so to aid urban planners and scientists in decision making processes, facilitating the execution of complex analytics tasks, for example those involving linking datasets and ranking, analytics over datasets with missing data values, temporal analytics.

  1. N. Ntarmos, I. Patlakas, P. Triantafillou, “Rank Join Queries in NoSQL Databases”, In Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment, (PVLDB), 7(7), 2014 PDF
  2. C. Anagnostopoulos and P. Triantafillou, “Scaling Out Big Data Missing Value Imputations”, In Proc. ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, (KDD14), 2014.
  3. G. Sfakianakis, I. Patlakas, N. Ntarmos, P. Triantafillou , Interval Indexing and Querying on Key-Value Cloud Stores, In Proc. 29th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE13), 2013 PDF
  4. S. Bedathur, K. Berberich, I. Patlakas, P. Triantafillou, G. Weikum, D-Hive: Data Bees Pollinating RDF, Text, and Time, 6th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research, (CIDR13), 2013 PDF
  5. G. Weikum, N. Ntarmos, M. Spaniol, P. Triantafillou, Longitudinal Analytics on Web Archive Data: It's About Time!, 5th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR), 2011. PDF

Pedestrian navigation with mobile devices

There has been a significant research output in pedestrian navigation for mobile systems, particularly with the use of multimodal input and output technology. This research has included modelling and representation of GPS uncertainty; auditory displays for navigation; haptic and gestural interfaces for mobile navigation systems; and pedestrian navigation aids for users with special needs (e.g. older adults and the visually impaired).

  1. S. Robinson, M. Jones, J. Williamson, R. Murray-Smith, P. Eslambolchilar, M. Lindborg, Navigation Your Way: From Spontaneous Independent Exploration to Dynamic Social Journeys, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 2012 PDF
  2. S. Robinson, M. Jones, P. Eslambolchilar, R. Murray-Smith, M. Lindborg. 'I Did It My Way': Moving Away from the Tyranny of Turn-by-Turn Pedestrian Navigation. In MobileHCI '10: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, pp. 341-344. PDF
  3. J. Williamson, S. Robinson, C. Stewart, R. Murray-Smith, M. Jones, S. Brewster, Social Gravity: A Virtual Elastic Tether for Casual, Privacy-Preserving Pedestrian Rendezvous, ACM SIG CHI 2010. PDF
  4. S. Strachan, R. Murray-Smith, Nonvisual, distal tracking of mobile remote agents in geosocial interaction, LoCA 2009, Tokyo. PDF
  5. R. Murray-Smith, S. Strachan, GeoPoke: Rotational Mechanical Systems Metaphor for Embodied Geosocial Interaction, NordiCHI 2008: Using Bridges, 18-22 October, Lund, Sweden, 2008. PDF
  6. S. Strachan, R. Murray-Smith, Bearing-based selection in mobile spatial interaction, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2009. PDF
  7. S. Strachan, J. Williamson, R. Murray-Smith, Show me the way to Monte Carlo: density-based trajectory navigation, Proceedings of ACM SIG CHI Conference, San Jose, p1245-1248, 2007. PDF
  8. J. Williamson, S. Strachan, R. Murray-Smith, It's a Long Way to Monte-Carlo: Probabilistic GPS Navigation, Proceedings of Mobile HCI 2006, Helsinki, 2006. PDF
  9. S. Strachan, P. Eslambolchilar, R. Murray-Smith, S. Hughes, S. O'Modhrain, gpsTunes - controlling navigation via audio feedback, Mobile HCI 2005. PDF
  10. McGookin, D. and Brewster, S.A. Eyes-free overviews for mobile map applications. In Proceedings of MobileHCI 2009 (Bonn, DE). PDF
  11. McGookin, D. and Brewster, S.A. Audio Bubbles: Employing non-speech audio to support tourist wayfinding. In Proceedings of HAID 2009 (Dresden, DE), Springer LNCS Vol 5763, pp 41-50. PDF
  12. McGookin, D., Herteleer, I. and Brewster, S.A. Transparency in Mobile Navigation. In Extended Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 (Vancouver, CA). ACM Press Addison-Wesley PDF
  13. McGookin, D. and Magnusson, C. (Eds.). Special Issue of Extreme Navigation. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 16(8) Springer-Verlag (2012). Introduction (PDF)
  14. McGookin, D., Brewster, S. Investigating and Supporting Undirected Navigation for Runners. Extended proceedings of ACM CHI 2013 ACM Press (2013). PDF
  15. Goodman, J., Gray, P.D., Khammampad, K. and Brewster, S.A. Using Landmarks to Support Older People in Navigation. In Proceedings of MobileHCI2004 (Glasgow, Scotland), Springer LNCS Vol. 3160, pp 38-48. PDF
  16. Goodman, J., Brewster, S.A. and Gray, P.D. How can we best use landmarks to support older people in navigation? Behaviour and Information Technology, (2005), 24(1), pp 3-20. PDF
  17. EyeSpy: Supporting Navigation Through Play Marek Bell, Stuart Reeves, Barry Brown, Scott Sherwood, Donny MacMillan, John Ferguson, Matthew Chalmers Proc. ACM CHI 2009, pp. 123-132, PDF
  18. E. von Buchwald, J. E. Larsen, R. Murray-Smith, Mobile Context-Aware Support for Public Transportation Users, Mobile Context Awareness, p133--142, Springer, 2012 PDF
  19. McGookin, D. K., & Brewster, S. A. Investigating and supporting undirected navigation for runners. In CHI'13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1395-1400). ACM 2013 PDF

Interaction in public spaces

This theme explores the use of interactive technology in public spaces; ways in which the apparent nature of existing spaces can be enhanced using mobile and ubiquitous technology.

  1. Williamson, J. R., & Williamson, J. Analysing Pedestrian Traffic Around Public Displays. In: Pervasive Dispays ACM PerDis14, 2014. PDF
  2. Williamson, J. R., & Brewster, S. Capturing Performative Actions for Interaction and Social Awareness. In Mobile Social Signal Processing (pp. 51-63). 2014, PDF
  3. Vazquez-Alvarez, Y., Oakley, I. and Brewster, S.A. Urban Sound Gardens: Supporting Overlapping Audio Landmarks in Exploratory Environments. In Proceedings of Multimodal Location Based Techniques for Extreme Navigation workshop, Pervasive 2010 (Helsinki, Finland). PDF
  4. Hansen, L.K., Rico, J., Jacucci, G., Brewster, S. and Ashbrook, D. Performative interaction in public space. In Extended Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 (Vancouver, CA). ACM Press Addison-Wesley, pp 49-52. PDF
  5. McGookin, D.K., Brewster, S.A. and Christov G. DigiGraff: Considering Graffiti as a Location Based Social Network. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 2012. ACM Press (Austin, Texas, USA), pp 2591-2596. PDF
  6. Williamson, J. R., Crossan, A., Brewster, S. Multimodal Mobile Interactions: Usability Studies in Real World Settings. In Proceedings of ICMI 2011 (Alicante, Spain). PDF
  7. Rico, J., Jacucci, G., Reeves, S., Hansen, L., and Brewster, S. Designing for Performative Interactions in Public Spaces. In Proceedings (Workshops) of Ubicomp 2010. ACM Press. PDF

Urban Social Network Awareness

This research explores how social networking can be used to provide enhanced local experiences; including emergency service applications of real-time social media platforms; collaborative interaction in urban environments; and search technology for localised microblogging. This research explores also how to build decentralized social network infrastructures and how to use crowdsourcing techniques, engaging humans in order to extract meaningful knowledge, superior to that possible with automated techniques.

  1. A. Loupasakis, N. Ntarmos, P. Triantafillou, eXO: "Decentralized Autonomous Scalable Social Networking", 5th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR), 2011 PDF
  2. . Kumar Kondredi, P. Triantafillou, and G. Weikum, "Combining Information Extraction and Human Computing for Crowdsourced Knowledge Acquisition”, In Proc. 30th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, 2014 PDF
  3. S. Kumar Kondredi, P. Triantafillou, and G. Weikum, "Knowledge Acquisition Meemts the Crowds", In Proc. 23rd International World-Wide Web Conference, (WWW2013), 2013 PDF
  4. S. Kumar Kondredi, P. Triantafillou, and G. Weikum, "Human Computing Games for Knowledge Acquisition", In Proc. ACM Conference in Information and Knowledge Management, (CIKM13) 2013 PDF
  5. D. Karampinas and P. Triantafillou, "Crowdsourcing Taxonomies", In proc. 12th Extended Semantic Web Conference, (ESWC12) , 2012 PDF
  6. P. Triantafillou, "Anthropocentric Data Systems" , 37th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, VLDB11, 2011 PDF
  7. Identifying Local Events by Using Microblogs as Social Sensors. M-Dyaa Albakour, Craig Macdonald, Iadh Ounis. In Proceedings of OAIR 2013. PDF
  8. SMART: An open source framework for searching the physical world. M-Dyaa Albakour, Craig Macdonald, Iadh Ounis, Aristodemos Pnevmatikakis and John Soldatos. In Proceedings of the SIGIR Workshop in Open Source Information Retrieval
  9. Can Twitter Replace Newswire for Breaking News? Sasa Petrovic, Miles Osborne, Richard McCreadie, Craig Macdonald, Iadh Ounis, Luke Shrimpton. In Proceedings of ICWSM 2013. PDF
  10. Bieber no more: First Story Detection using Twitter and Wikipedia. Miles Osborne, Sasa Petrovic, Richard McCreadie, Craig Macdonald and Iadh Ounis. In Proceedings of the SIGIR Workshop in Time-aware Information Access. (TAIA). PDF
  11. McGookin, D.K., and Brewster, S. A. PULSE: The Design and Evaluation of an Auditory Display to Provide a Social Vibe. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 2012. ACM Press (Austin, Texas, USA), pp 1263-1272. PDF
  12. Dingler, T., Brewster, S.A. and Butz, A. AudioFeeds - A Mobile Auditory Application for Monitoring Online Activities. In Proceedings of ACM Multimedia 2010 (Florence, Italy), ACM Press, pp 1067-1070. DOI=10.1145/1873951.1874151. PDF
  13. Crisees: Real-Time Monitoring of Social Media Streams to Support Crisis Management European Conference on Information Retrieval 2012, Barcelona, Spain D. Maxwell, S. Raue, Leif Azzopardi, C.W. Johnson and S. Oates PDF
  14. Raue, S., Johnson, C.W., and Storer, T. (2012) A social media audience sharing model for authorities to support effective crisis communication. In: System Safety 2012: The 7th IET Conference on Systems Safety and CyberSecurity, 15-18 Oct 2012, Edinburgh, UK. PDF
  15. From Awareness to Repartee: Sharing Location within Social Groups Louise Barkhuus, Barry Brown, Marek Bell, Scott Sherwood, Malcolm Hall and Matthew Chalmers Proc ACM CHI, 497-506, Florence, 2008. PDF
  16. Sharing the square: collaborative leisure in the city streets Barry Brown, Matthew Chalmers, Marek Bell, Ian MacColl, Malcolm Hall, Paul Rudman Proc. Euro. Conf. Computer Supported Collaborative Work (ECSCW), Paris, pp. 427-447, 2005 PDF
  17. Sharing photos and recommendations in the city streets Marek Bell, Matthew Chalmers, Barry Brown, Ian MacColl, Malcolm Hall, Paul Rudman Pervasive 2005 Workshop on Exploiting Context Histories in Smart Environments (ECHISE) PDF
  18. Tourism and Mobile Technology Barry Brown and Matthew Chalmers Proc. Euro. Conf. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW 2003), Helsinki, pp. 335-354. PDF

Digital Culture

There has been a long-standing research interest within the School in enhancing cultural exhibits in cities with shared digital/physical systems, which can extend the visitor experience beyond that of solely physically co-located visitors.

  1. Can You See Me?: Exploring co-visiting between physical and virtual visitors Areti Galani & Matthew Chalmers Proc. Museums and the Web 2002, Archives & Museum Informatics. Boston, April 2002. pp. 31-40.
  2. McGookin, D., Vazquez-Alvarez, Y., Bergstrom-Lehtovirta, J., and Brewster, S., Shaking the Dead: Multimodal Location Based Experiences for Un-Stewarded Archaeological Sites. In proceedings of NordiCHI 2012 (Copenhagen, Denmark) ACM Press (2012) pp. 199-208 PDF
  3. Lessons from the Lighthouse: Collaboration in a Shared Mixed Reality System Brown,B. MacColl,I. Chalmers,M. Galani,A. Randell,C. Steed,A. Proc. ACM CHI 2003, pp. 577-584. PDF
  4. Developing a mixed reality co-visiting experience for local and remote museum companions Galani, A., M. Chalmers, B. Brown, I. MacColl, C. Randell, A. Steed Proceedings of HCII2003, Crete, Greece. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 1143-1147. PDF
  5. Empowering the Remote Visitor: Supporting Social Museum Experiences among Local and Remote Visitors Areti Galani and Matthew Chalmers Proc. 2nd Intl. Conference of Museology (ICM), Mytiline, Greece, 2004. PDF
  6. Production of Pace as Collaborative Activity Areti Galani and Matthew Chalmers Proc. ACM CHI2004, pp. 1417-1420, Vienna, April 2004. PDF
  7. Close at hand but far away: Shared mixed reality museum experiences for local and remote museum companions Areti Galani and Matthew Chalmers Proc. International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting (ICHIM), Paris, September 2003. PDF

Funded research projects

Student Projects

There have been a number of undergraduate projects in recent years building urban interaction systems specific to Glasgow:

  • GlasGo (2011/2012) GlasGo is a mobile "meetup" app for Android, which uses local public transport information to compute optimal routes for a group of users to converge on a location without having to preselect a rendezvous point. This allows casual meetups which are convenient for all participants.
  • LARA (2012/2013) LARA is an HTML5 mobile application to allow users to annotate sections of text from works of literature with geolocations, and then view these while mobile. Tours can automatically be generated to guide users through locations relevant to texts they are reading.
  • Glasgow Bus Finder (2010/2011) An interactive guide to bus transport in Glasgow, with detailed timetable support and location awareness. Now available as an app on Google Play, with more than 10,000 downloads.