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WPA-15 Program Announced! Early Registration Deadline May 5th!

The 2nd Workshop on Physical Analytics

The 2nd edition of Physical Analytics Workshop (WPA-15) is motivated by the observation that people spend a significant part of their daily lives performing a variety of activities in the physical world—travelling to places (including commuting to/from work using public or private transport), dwelling and engaging in various activities at various locations (e.g., exercising in the gym, eating at restaurants and food courts), interacting with various physical objects and artefacts (e.g., touching or picking up products at a retail store, or browsing through books and magazines at a library), being subject to various audiovisual stimuli (e.g., listening to announcements at transit hubs, watching advertisements on public displays or movies on TV) and interacting with other people (in groups, as part of crowds or one-on-one). These activities and interactions contain a wealth of information about user behavior, preferences, attitudes and interests, that, if harnessed, can benefit both users and consumer-facing businesses.

While research has been under way in utilizing various sensing and analytics tools to capture and annotate such behavior (e.g., profile smoking episodes using wearable devices or monitor consumer reactions to advertising content via video analysis), the vast majority of such research focuses on exploring individual sensing techniques targeted at specific activities, and is scattered across various academic forums. The goal of this workshop is to offer a unified forum to explore both (a) the technologies (current and emerging) that can enable unobtrusive capture and understanding of such individual and collective physical world behavior, and (b) the real-world commercial applications and services that leverage upon such understanding.

In particular, the workshop solicits submissions that relate to three distinct questions:

  1. What types of technologies (e.g., use of existing or new mobile/wearable sensors, use of passive RF monitoring) can capture different facets of physical world behavior?
  2. How actionable are the insights on physical behavior context that are generated via analytics over such captured data streams—in other words, what types of accuracy, false positives/negatives result from the real-world use of various technologies, and what analytics tools can enhance these performance metrics?
  3. What early examples of commercial usage of physical analytics are emerging across different vertical domains, and what bottlenecks remain to be overcome for successful utilization of such analytics-generated insights?

A particularly interesting aspect relates to the generalizability of such analytics tools—i.e., whether we can develop a set of common technologies and methods for capturing and understanding physical behavior across such diverse physical locations.

By bringing together researchers and practitioners from industry to have a continuing conversation on Physical Analytics, our goal is to help coalesce a research agenda for our community. The workshop is intended to have a mix of refereed research papers, invited presentations (especially from industry sectors) and extensive interactive discussions. We emphasize the broad scope of the proposed workshop—while topics such as multimedia sensing, localization, wearable computing, activity recognition and privacy are undoubtedly components of the emerging research agenda, the focus would be on exploring how these components can be harnessed holistically to build workable or plausible solutions that can capture real-world physical behavior of users. Contributions with experimental focus, real world experience, and building of vertical-specific solutions are particularly encouraged.

Workshop papers will be included with the MobiSys proceedings and posted in the ACM Digital Library.

Program Chairs

Archan Misra (Singapore Management University), archanm [at]
Dina Katabi (MIT, USA), dina [at]

Important Dates

Submission deadline: March 15, 2015
Notification deadline: March 25, 2015
Camera-ready workshop papers due (firm): April 2, 2015
Workshop date (confirmed): May 18, 2015 May 22, 2015