Models of Attention in Computing and Communication: From Principles to Applications
Eric Horvitz, C.M. Kadie, T. Paek, David Hovel
Adaptive Systems and Interaction
Redmond, Washington 98052
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Over the last five years, our team at Microsoft Research has explored, within the Attentional User Interface (AUI) project, opportunities for enhancing computing and communications systems by treating human attention as a central construct and organizing principle. We introduced to the research community a broad array of AUI challenges and opportunities, including (1) the treatment of attention as a rare commodity and critical currency in sensing and reasoning about the information awareness versus disruption of users, (2) the use of attentional cues as an important source of rich signals about goals, intentions, and topics of interest, and (3) the triaging of computation, bandwidth, and rendering resources in guiding precomputation and prefetching with forecasts of future attention. We shall first describe several principles and methodologies centering on integrating models of attention into human-computer interaction. Then, we shall review representative efforts that illustrate how we can harness these principles in attention-sensitive messaging and mixed-initiative interaction applications.
Keywords: Attentional User Interfaces, AUI, augmented cognition, User modeling, models of attention, human-computer interface, intelligent agents, probability, decision theory, alerting, notifications, attentive user interface.
In: E. Horvitz, C. M. Kadie, T. Paek, D. Hovel. Models of Attention in Computing and Communications: From Principles to Applications, Communications of the ACM 46(3):52-59, March 2003.
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- "Learning and Reasoning about Interruption." Paper on learning statistical models for predicting the cost of interruption from multiple classes of sensors, streams of information.
- "Probabilistic Forecasting of Presence and Availability." Paper on the Coordinate system on forecasting presence and availability.
- "BusyBody: Creating and Fielding Personalized Models of the Cost of Interruption." Paper on the BusyBody learning tool and run-time component.
- Presentation of Notification Platform, CHI 2001 Keynote talk by Bill Gates, Seattle, April 2001. CHI 2001 photo. Video of presentation (higher quality or smaller/lower quality).
- News story on Attentional User Interface (AUI) project at Microsoft Research: "Microsoft Sees Software Agent as Way to Avoid Distractions", John Markoff,
New York Times, July '00.
- Video snippets of Priorities, SmartOOF, Notification Platform, Bestcom.
- Overview high-level video on efforts in notifications, attention, interaction.
- Paper on the Attention Manager and Priorities projects.
- Considerate Computing, Wayt Gibbs, Scientific American, January '05 (article on Notification Platform and Bestcom projects).
- Paper on the Qualia project on attention, resources, and grapics.
- Paper on the Seer system for providing awareness about office activities.
- Paper on Lookout project on principles of mixed-initiative interaction.
- Paper on the Lumiere project on Bayesian user modeling.
- Paper on the DeepListener system for clarification dialog.
- Paper on the Quartet system on attention in mutual understanding under uncertainty.
- Paper on continual computation.
- Paper on the Scope visualization for Notification Platform.
- Papers describing efforts to probe the cost of interruptions on users.
- Paper on sensing in small devices.
- Story highlighting several efforts, including Coordinate, Priorities, and Notification Platform: "18th-century theory is new force in computing", Michael Kanellos,
CNET, February 2003.
- Article on Notification Platform and Priorities work, Michael Hiltzik,
MIT Technology Review, March '02.
- Article on sensing cell phones, MIT Technology Review, March 2002.
- Article on presentation of Priorities and Notification Platform at ACM Conference (within Steve Ballmer's keynote), Stephen Buel, Techweb News, March 2001.
- Red Herring article on the Priorities and Notification Platform projects.
- Demonstration of Notification Platform prototype, IJCAI 2001 keynote talk by Bill Gates, Seattle, August 2001. (IJCAI 2001 photo.)
- Bill Gates keynote at CTIA Wireless Conference, including live demonstration of the Priorities system.
- IEEE Intelligent Systems (March, April '98) article on research at Microsoft Research (.pdf file, read with Acrobat viewer; article copyright IEEE Intelligent Systems 1998, used with permission.).
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