All posts filed under “papers

Honorable Mention Award @ MobileHCI 2015: The Challenges of Mobile Phone Usage Data

A collaborative paper with Denzil Ferreira of University of Oulu, Nikola Banovic of Carnegie Mellon University and Kent Lyons a past colleague from Yahoo, in which we explore the challenges of mobile phone usage data through an analysis of three diverse smartphone application usage datasets, has been given an honorable mention award for the upcoming Mobile HCI 2015 conference in Denmark.

The goal of this work was to broaden our understanding of smartphone usage by investigating if differences in mobile device usage occurred not only across our three datasets, but also in relation to prior work. We provide an extensive review of prior work on related mobile data sets and mobile studies, present details of our comparative analysis focusing on top apps and micro-usage behaviors but most importantly we discuss the challenges and issues of conducting mobile research of this nature and reflect on caveats related to the replicability and generalizability of such work.

We’re delighted with the award / nomination!

Denzil worked on a beautiful visual table in our review of related work (see below). And you can read a pre-print of the paper here.


Frappé: Paper on arXiv & Context-Aware App Usage Dataset Release

During my last few months in Telefonica Research in 2013 I worked with wonderful colleagues and RecSys gurus Linas Baltrunas and Alexandros Karatzoglou along with scientific director Nuria Oliver on a context-aware mobile app recommendation service called Frappé. Frappé was specifically designed to support novel app discovery experiences. In order to assess it’s effectiveness we deployed Frappé in-the-wild on Google Play and ran a smaller-scale user study with 33 users designed to evaluate user perceptions of using and engaging with an app recommendation service.

Yes, it’s been a while since working on this specific project, however, I have 2 very exciting announcements to share about Frappé.

  • Firstly, a paper describing the Frappé application, our large-scale Google Play deployment and insights from our smaller scale user study has been published on arXiv. In particular we describe actionable lessons learned related to designing, deploying and evaluating mobile context-aware recommender systems in-the-wild with real users. Details and PDF are available here.
  • Secondly, we have released the anonymized Frappé data set!! It can be downloaded from Linas’s website HERE. The dataset contains 96,202 records by 957 users for 4,082 apps. We’re very excited to see what the RecSys and Mobile HCI communities end up doing with this rich dataset, in particular in terms of pushing the envelop in the context-aware recommender systems domain.

If you end up using the data, we ask that you please cite the following paper:

title={Frappe: Understanding the Usage and Perception of Mobile App Recommendations In-The-Wild},
author = {Linas Baltrunas, Karen Church, Alexandros Karatzoglou, Nuria Oliver},

Happy researching folks!!!

TVX 2015 Paper on Quantifying Mobile Device Use While Watching TV Accepted!

We recently found out that a paper focused on understanding more about how and why people use their mobile devices at home and while watching TV has been accepted for publication at TvX 2015 :-) In Winter 2014, my Yahoo Labs colleagues Christian Holz, Frank Bentley, Mitesh Patel and I conducted a mixed-method study conducted involving 7 participants in 7 diverse households. We set out to understand more about mobile device use in and around the home and in particular, in conjunction with watching TV.

In order to understand this use we equipped a primary participants mobile phone and tablet with Android logging software which tracked all the apps the participant used and when. We tracked indoor location using 4 BLE beacons around participants’ homes, primarily in the living area, kitchen, and bedroom. Finally, we placed a dedicated phone that ran sound-printing software by participants’ main television sets to detect and log which TV programs our participants watched. Read More

CHI 2015 Work-in-progress (WIP) Accepted – Location Requirements in Local Search

We have just had a CHI WIP accepted for presented in Seoul, Korea in April 2015! WooHoo :-) This work-in-progress paper was conducted with Henriette Cramer in which we conducted a large-scale survey via Mechanical Turk to shed light on what factors of location are important when choosing a target place of interest in a local search scenario, namely restaurant search.

The survey was deployed in December 2013 and collected a range of demographic information as well as details regarding participants’ current and most recent locations. The core of the survey was a local restaurant search scenario in which participants were asked to provide freeform textual responses to the following question: Read More

CHI 2015 Paper Accepted! An In-Situ Study on Mobile App & Mobile Search Interactions

We recently discovered that all our hard word has paid off! This past summer, JP Carrascal (a PhD candidate from UPF, Barcelona) and I worked together on a study to understand more about if and how mobile search and mobile app usage interacts. And a full CHI paper reporting our findings has been accepted for publication at CHI 2015 in Korea!

The motivation behind this work is that smartphone users spend much of their time transitioning between mobile search engines and mobile apps (and vice versa) when trying to find information. The figure below helps highlight this fact. The figure shows the timeline of mobile device interactions for a 1 hour period of a single day for an actual participant in our study, showing sequences of mobile device interactions in the form of mobile app launches, home screen interactions and mobile searches. Read More