D. Ferreira – Understanding human behaviour with technology: challenges, tools & methods

Denzil Ferreira (University of Oulu)

Monday 2016-11-01 12.00 – 13.00

Lecture hall AS3, TUAS building

Understanding human behaviour with technology: challenges, tools & methods

Mobile phones have an increasing spectrum of built-in sensors, such as motion, light, atmospheric pressure. These sensors are primarily used to enhance the user experience with the device, such as detecting the screen orientation. More important for scientists, these sensors offer the potential to sense and reason about the user’s environment, or in other words, the user’s context. Mobile phones are the most widespread personal sensing device and provide an exciting opportunity for wider cross-disciplinary research to attain a better understanding of human behaviour by analysing the users’ unique context.

Yet the biggest challenge in conducting user studies is the scientists’ need to build software and logging tools from scratch, often without proper development experience, over and over again. More critically, multidisciplinary research becomes increasingly challenging due to the diversity of applications and environments. Researchers have no infrastructure support for exchanging their expertise and to collaborate locally or remotely.

In this talk, we introduce AWARE, a tool that focuses on an infrastructure for sensing behavioural and social context from mobile phones sensors, to enable a better understanding of human and social behaviour, and to improve users’ understanding of their own quality of life. More importantly, it is a platform that supports reuse and sharing of mobile-based behavioural and social context and researchers’ expertise.

Ferreira’s research is on leveraging mobile technologies to improve people’s lives, understanding people’s frustrations and fix them! He develops and evaluate tools for better understanding how mobility and social context affects your wellbeing and others. He is a member of Center for Ubiquitous Computing (http://ubicomp.oulu.fi) research group at the University of Oulu, and also a member of Ubicomp Lab research group at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.