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Mon, 2 Jan 2012 12:57:47 +0000
"Lammers, H.A." <[log in to unmask]>
"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
"Lammers, H.A." <[log in to unmask]>
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Dear Colleague,
Please accept our respectful greetings and best wishes in this New Year!

We are organizing Activity Context Representation workshops at the following conferences in 2012. The intent is to create fresh ideas and highlight existing ideas at the intersection of AI and HCI to enable capture, transfer, exchange and retrieval of activity context information to enable efficient knowledge work. The papers for AAAI are due on March 30th and those for IUI and CHI are due on January 9th (Sunday of next week).

1. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) '12 (July 22nd-23rd, Toronto, Canada) Due Date for Papers/Proposals: March 30th, 2012 at [log in to unmask] Website:

2. Computer Human Interfaces (CHI'12, May 5th-6th, Austin, TX, USA) Due Date for Papers/Proposals: January 9th 2012 (Friday) at [log in to unmask] Website:

3. Intelligent User Interfaces (February 14th, Lisbon, Portugal) Due Date for Papers/Proposals: January 9th 2012 (Friday) at [log in to unmask] Website:

This is a formal call requesting your participation by 1. Sending in papers/proposals, and coming to the venue, 2. Recommending colleagues for participation and invited/keynote talks 3. Reviewing submissions, and 4. Helping drive the agenda and organization.

Please let us know which venue(s) you plan to participate at, and the topic on which you plan to present a paper or proposal.

Please forward this call for participation to fellow researchers who may be interested, as well.

On behalf of the organizing committee,
Best Regards,
Vikas Agrawal

Activity Context Representation: Techniques and Languages

For AAAI details, please see:
Due Date for Papers/Proposals for AAAI: March 30th, 2012

For IUI details, please see: For CHI details, please see: Due Date for Papers/Proposals for IUI/CHI: January 9th, 2012

Steering Team: James "Bo" Begole (PARC), Tim Finin (UMBC), Lokendra Shastri (Infosys), Munindar Singh (NCSU),  Henry Kautz (President AAAI) [There is a smaller team of organizers for each venue]

This series of workshops is developing a strong collaborative team of AI and HCI researchers to deliver the techniques and solutions needed for context-aware computing systems that reduce cognitive load on users by providing an intelligent interface and toolset for knowledge workers. This focused team will work with industry and academia to create fast moving domain-specific tools for application and device context transfer via peer-to-peer and services in the Cloud. The community will remain engaged via online interactions, ongoing standard and techniques creation activities and research focus-groups. The international consortium will serve as the forum for research funding and engaging industry.

Research Areas to Be Investigated

At the workshop, we will explore task and context modeling issues of capture, representation, exchange, standardization and interoperability for creating context-aware and activity-based assistive tools. The discussion will focus on the following topics and their corollaries:

1. Activity Modeling, Representation, Recognition, Detection, and
Acquisition: Which (low-level) human activities can be reliably learned and detected? How indicative are those for human tasks and intent? Which granularities of activities could be chosen for creating an extensible hierarchy of human activity? What types of, and to what extent, context information can be captured and incorporated in activity models? What are the most effective and efficient methods for incorporating context information in activity models?

2. Context Representation within Activities: What machine languages are most suitable for activity representation to enable activity and context switching and context recall across devices, platforms and technologies?
Do we need user-device specific activity and context dialogue sub-languages?

3. Semantic Activity Reasoning: How to model and represent activities, objects, resources, actions and their semantics in their context during task performance? How do we design activity/context models to enable the searching of repositories of previous activities that have behaviorally and semantically similar components to current activity requirements?

4. Information integration and Exchange: How can we integrate and exploit the growing amount of information available from devices, services, the environment and general background knowledge to support activity context recognition tasks? What common ontologies or data vocabularies will be useful? What exchange techniques and formalisms will be most effective in specific domains? How can the externalized cognitive state transfer be properly affected?

What are the relevant use-case scenarios and collaboration environments?
What are suitable software architectures, user interfaces, developer tools, benchmarking tools for activity-based computing? What kind of text, context and behavioral analytics is needed?

6. Security and Privacy: What features must be designed into activity /context models for information exchange across enterprise or private domain boundaries to enable masking, security and privacy measures without compromising user experience?

7. Context Capture: How far can the context capture be automatic and to what extent will it require collaborative meta-dialogue between people and devices? What might be ways of determining the most relevant elements of context for a given task and for an activity/context switch?

For instance, within an activity there may be context elements such as the following (these are merely suggestions to seed discussions and need to be augmented by research at the workshop and subsequently):

a. User: Users work within a role, permissions, preferences, bringing past and immediate history, memory, skills, goals and perceptions.

b. Type of Activity and Domain: People create diverse activities in multiple domains, including but not limited to office work, healthcare, education, and entertainment.

c. Social: Users have the support of collaborators, connected devices and adjacent networks.

d. Spatial and Temporal: People may be at a certain geo-location, experiencing local conditions (weather, traffic, network connectivity).
Tasks may be synchronous or asynchronous.

e. Resources Available: Users may have access to other people, databases, multiple applications, networks, related datasets, transportation methods, non-electronic resources (tools, paper etc.).

f. Devices and Interfaces: People may work on a variety of devices such as laptops, desktops, netbooks, tablets, cell phones, using multiple applications, operating systems and interfaces.

Intended Outcomes
1. Discuss and review/revise initial drafts of structure of potential Activity Context Representation and Exchange Languages which will be made into draft Requests for Comments (RFCs) by the industry consortium. This will include identification of use cases, list of domain-specific instantiations needed along with owners and draft of initial reasoning schemes and algorithms, based on work from the AAAI'11 workshop. Results from creation of solution architectures and proposals for languages, data structures, operations to enable top use-case categories, will be discussed.
2. Discuss papers/proposals for new research areas and review work building on key research themes from the first AAAI'11 workshop with specific opportunities for collaborative work in the next two-three years in this academically and commercially important area, with topics including, but not limited to semantic computing, task modeling, context representation, and activity recognition.
3. Augment the core research group, identify new collaborations, and formalize the international academic and industrial consortium to significantly augment existing standards/drafts/proposals and create fresh initiatives to enable capture, transfer, and recall of activity context across multiple devices and platforms used by people individually and collectively. Create an adoption plan addressing likely barriers such as critical mass, privacy, not-invented-here and implementation complexity.

These workshops expect to make serious progress in key research areas identified at the first workshop for longer term focus (after AAAI'11): 1.
User/Intent Modeling, Activity Recognition, Detection, Acquisition, Observation, Recording Tacit Knowledge and Cognitive State Transfer 2.
Activity Context Analysis, Modeling, Representation, and Ontologies 3.
Developing Use Cases/Scenarios, Defining User Interfaces, Identifying Collaboration Tools, Software Architectures, Developer Tools, Benchmarking Tools for Activity Based Computing.
4. Text, Context and Behavioral Analytics 5. Security and Privacy

Impact: This series of workshops is expected to spur significant cooperative research and development of pervasive computing applications in domains as diverse as retail marketing, entertainment, healthcare, life sciences, biotechnology, product design and pervasive computing experience providers by creating a common language for interchange of activity context, task / activity model representations and context representations for assistive cognition devices, the digital workplace and the consumer play-space. Major benefits include seamless context switching across devices / tasks and ability to record, reuse and enable semantic task reasoning / search, learning from and guiding user actions. Side benefits made may include technology for creating application add-ins for context capture and task flow capture to enable investments in legacy applications to be used along with next generation technologies.
Activity Context Representation: Techniques and Languages
AAAI 2012 Workshop, July 22nd and 23rd, 2012, Toronto

Call for Participation

Description: Pervasive context-aware computing technologies are essential enablers for next generation applications for the digital workplace, consumer electronics, research, education, government and health-care. Context-aware cognitive support requires activity and context information to be captured and, ever more often, moved across devices - securely, efficiently and with multi-device interoperability. 

This workshop builds on techniques to represent context within activity models using a synthesis of HCI/CSCW and AI approaches to improve the human-computer interface for enhanced human performance of knowledge work, including reducing demands on people, such as the cognitive load inherent in activity/context switching.

Main Objectives: The objectives and intended end results of the workshop are (please see details at
1. Discuss and review/revise initial drafts of structure of potential Activity Context Representation and Exchange Languages
2. Explore fresh topics by discussing position papers/proposals building on key research focus areas.
3. Augment the core research group, identify new collaborations, and formalize an international academic and industrial consortium to significantly augment existing standards/drafts/proposals and create new research initiatives.

Topics and Research Questions to be Explored: We will explore task and context modeling issues of capture, representation, exchange, standardization and interoperability for creating context-aware and activity-based assistive cognition tools, including but not limited to the following (details available at
*	Activity Modeling, Representation, Recognition, Detection, and
*	Acquisition
*	Context Capture and Representation within Activities
*	Semantic Activity Reasoning
*	Information integration and Exchange
*	Use-cases/Scenarios, Architectures and Prerequisites
*	Security and Privacy

Format of workshop: This two day workshop will include keynotes to set the tone, invited comprehensive reviews of the field, new proposals, open panel focusing on key research issues and directions, discussion of proposals on new frameworks for synthesis of multiple/new approaches, and working group formation to investigate sub-areas during the year. There will be plenty of opportunity for questioning existing systems, creating research partnerships and identifying fresh research ideas.

Participation: The size of the workshop will be about 25 researchers with a majority of participants selected from the respondents to the call for participation. 

Submission Requirements: Researchers should submit 6-8 page papers or 3-4 page position statements in the standard AAAI format or provide a 1-2 page statement of interest along with a description of their related work and publications. All the selected papers will be published in a AAAI Technical Report volume. For more details, please see 

Contact: All submissions, statements, or requests to be on this workshop's (moderated) mailing list should be addressed to Vikas Agrawal ([log in to unmask])

Organizing Committee: Lokendra Shastri (Infosys) - Chair, James "Bo" Begole (PARC - Palo Alto Research Center), Tim Finin (University of Maryland, Baltimore), Henry Kautz (University of Rochester).

Workshop URL: 

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