Archived entries for publications

Poster submitted to Graphics Interface

oday Lyn and I submitted a poster proposal to the 36th Graphics Interface conference, to be held in Ottawa in June. According to the conference website, it is the oldest continuously-scheduled conference in the field, inviting research in interactive systems, human computer interaction, and graphics. We decided to focus our contribution on our research in ambient and artistic information visualization of residential resource use, with the prototypes from North House and West House as examples.

Rodgers, J. and Bartram, L. (2010). Ambient and Artistic Visualization of Residential Resource Use.

Supporting sustainable resource use in the home requires a range of feedback techniques to enable informed decision-making. These techniques can include traditional screen-based interfaces, but these tools often require too much effort and attention from already-busy residents. An alternative approach is the provision of ambient and artistic visualizations integrated into the domestic environment. This method reduces the attention required of residents, increases aesthetic interest and coherence with the home, and enables situated and timely feedback on resource use. We present the theoretical basis of our research, discuss how we have applied it to the development of prototypes in two green home projects, and detail our ongoing efforts to evaluate techniques within this domain.

Framework paper submitted to InfoVis

fter significant effort, I today submitted my first full-length paper as first author to Information Visualization 2010. My supervisor, Dr. Lyn Bartram, co-wrote as second author.

In contrast to our submissions to IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, CHI, and UbiComp, which more or less took the form of design studies with accompanying discussion, our submission to InfoVis is explicitly a theory paper. In it, we propose a framework of dimensions related to the visualization of residential resource use. This theoretical structure is the by-product of our work on North House and West House over the past 18 months, and the accompanying literature reviews and environmental scans of the marketplace that we have undertaken throughout the process. I hope the reviewers see the potential that this domain represents for InfoVis researchers.

Rodgers, J. and Bartram, L. (2010). Visualizing Residential Resource Use: A Framework for Design.

Providing effective feedback on resource consumption in the home is a key challenge of environmental conservation efforts. However, existing approaches have relied on a variety of assumptions about effective techniques without a unifying theoretical foundation. We present a comprehensive framework for the analysis and design of visualization instances in the domain of residential resource use. We base this framework on our research experience in three contexts: 1) the design and implementation of energy management systems in two high-profile sustainable homes, 2) an extensive review of the relevant literature, and 3) an analysis of currently available tools, both commercial and research-based. Our proposed framework comprises five sets of dimensions upon which visualization tools may be mapped: Context, Behaviour, Human Factors, Aesthetics, and Data. It serves both the investigation of existing instances and the design of future systems. We offer this framework with the intention of laying the groundwork needed for a deeper understanding of approaches to visualizing resource use, and in hopes of establishing a common set of terms to characterize the field.

Paper submitted to Ubiquitous Computing

ogether with my colleagues on the North House and West House projects, I’ve recently submitted a full paper to Ubiquitous Computing 2010. If accepted, it will be published in the conference proceedings of the event in Copenhagen, Denmark in September!

In this paper, we present our design rationale and experiences regarding our two house projects. We include thorough system descriptions of each unique implementation of the control and feedback systems, emphasizing the potential of this combination to support sustainable living. That is, simultaneously providing feedback on house state and enabling action to adjust that state through intelligent control and optimization. We also address the body of work, particularly in the UbiComp field, that has informed our work and offered opportunities for further development of such systems.

Bartram, L., Rodgers, J. Brandson, C. and MacKenzie, R. (2010). Supporting Sustainable Living: Aware Homes and Smart Occupants.

Awareness of resource consumption in the home is a key part of reducing our ecological footprint, yet lack of appropriate understanding and motivation often deters residents from behaviour change. We report on the design and implementation of an in-home system that supports residents in awareness of resource use, facilitates efficient control of house systems, and encourages conservation in daily activities. Initial response from two high-profile deployments in unique homes indicates this approach has great potential in engaging residents in sustainable living.

Two papers submitted

long with Dr. Lyn Bartram and my colleague Kevin Muise, I’ve recently submitted two papers for publication. The first, which has been reviewed and accepted, will be published in the Visualization Viewpoints column of IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications in the spring of 2010.

Bartram, L., Rodgers, J. and Muise, K. (2010). Chasing the Negawatt: Visualization for Sustainable Living.

Information visualization has an important role to play in enabling residents to understand and manage their use of resources in the home. Existing solutions designed for building managers in industrial and commercial contexts do not account for the diversity of factors at play in effective visualization of residential energy consumption. In this discussion, we discuss several of these factors, such as placement, visibility, aesthetics, and integration with an information and visualization ecosystem. We then discuss how we applied our research to the design of ALIS (Adaptive Living Interface System), the interactive computing and information visualization backbone of North House, a net-zero home that placed 4th in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. We envision this combination of green building methods with pervasive visualization technologies as a powerful vehicle for helping to encourage conservation in a residential setting. However, we highlight that simply transferring current approaches into the residential environment is inappropriate. Finally, we briefly address the myriad challenges involved in the evaluation of these techniques.

The second has been submitted to the CHI Work-In-Progress stream as an extended abstract and poster submission. We’ll find out in February if the submission has been accepted.

Rodgers, J., Bartram, L., and Muise, K. (2010). ALIS: Designing an interactive ecosystem for sustainable living.

In this paper we describe the design of ALIS (Adaptive Living Interface System), a distributed system of control and feedback interfaces to support sustainable living in an alternative energy home. ALIS was developed for North House, a net-zero energy home that placed 4th in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009. We present the context and goals of our research, outline the components of the system we are developing and suggest that they comprise an interactive ecosystem, and discuss the challenges and successes we have experienced during the process. Finally, we position this work in relation to our broader research agenda into human-centered systems for sustainable living and our continued work on ALIS.

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