AI Magazine


Deploying CommunityCommands: A Software Command Recommender System Case Study

AI Magazine

In 2009 we presented the idea of using collaborative filtering within a complex software application to help users learn new and relevant commands (Matejka et al. 2009). This project continued to evolve and we explored the design space of a contextual software command recommender system and completed a six-week user study (Li et al. 2011). We then expanded the scope of our project by implementing CommunityCommands, a fully functional and deployable recommender system. CommunityCommands was a publically available plug-in for Autodesk’s flagship software application AutoCAD. During a one-year period, the recommender system was used by more than 1100 users. In this article, we discuss how our practical system architecture was designed to leverage Autodesk’s existing Customer Involvement Program (CIP) data to deliver in-product contextual recommendations to end-users. We also present our system usage data and payoff, and provide an in-depth discussion of the challenges and design issues associated with developing and deploying the software command recommender system. Our work sets important groundwork for the future development of recommender systems within the domain of end-user software learning assistance.


Reports on the 2015 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

AI Magazine

The AAAI 2015 Spring Symposium Series was held Monday through Wednesday, March 23-25, at Stanford University near Palo Alto, California. The titles of the seven symposia were Ambient Intelligence for Health and Cognitive Enhancement, Applied Computational Game Theory, Foundations of Autonomy and Its (Cyber) Threats: From Individuals to Interdependence, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Integrating Symbolic and Neural Approaches, Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning, Socio-Technical Behavior Mining: From Data to Decisions, Structured Data for Humanitarian Technologies: Perfect Fit or Overkill? and Turn-Taking and Coordination in Human-Machine Interaction.The highlights of each symposium are presented in this report.


Advice Provision for Energy Saving in Automobile Climate-Control System

AI Magazine

Reducing energy consumption of climate control systems is important in order to reduce human environmental footprint. The need to save energy becomes even greater when considering an electric car, since heavy use of the climate control system may exhaust the battery. In this article we consider a method for an automated agent to provide advice to drivers which will motivate them to reduce the energy consumption of their climate control unit. Our approach takes into account both the energy consumption of the climate control system and the expected comfort level of the driver. We therefore build two models, one for assessing the energy consumption of the climate control system as a function of the system’s settings, and the other, models human comfort level as a function of the climate control system’s settings. Using these models, the agent provides advice to the driver considering how to set the climate control system. The agent advises settings which try to preserve a high level of comfort while consuming as little energy as possible. We empirically show that drivers equipped with our agent which provides them with advice significantly save energy as compared to drivers not equipped with our agent.


Platys: From Position to Place-Oriented Mobile Computing

AI Magazine

The Platys project focuses on developing a high-level, semantic notion of location called place. A place, unlike a geospatial position, derives its meaning from a user’s actions and interactions in addition to the physical location where they occur. Our aim is to enable the construction of a large variety of applications that take advantage of place to render relevant content and functionality and thus, improve user experience. We consider elements of context that are particularly related to mobile computing. The main problems we have addressed to realize our place-oriented mobile computing vision, are representing places, recognizing places, engineering place-aware applications. We describe the approaches we have developed for addressing these problems and related subproblems. A key element of our work is the use of collaborative information sharing where users’ devices share and integrate knowledge about places. Our place ontology facilitates such collaboration. Declarative privacy policies allow users to specify contextual features under which they prefer to share or not share their information.


AAAI News

AI Magazine

Summer news from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.



A General Context-Aware Framework for Improved Human-System Interactions

AI Magazine

For humans and automation to effectively collaborate and perform tasks, all participants need access to a common representation of potentially relevant situational information, or context. This article describes a general framework for building context-aware interactive intelligent systems that comprises three major functions: (1) capture human-system interactions and infer implicit context; (2) analyze and predict user intent and goals; and (3) provide effective augmentation or mitigation strategies to improve performance, such as delivering timely, personalized information and recommendations, adjusting levels of automation, or adapting visualizations. Our goal is to develop an approach that enables humans to interact with automation more intuitively and naturally that is reusable across domains by modeling context and algorithms at a higher-level of abstraction. We first provide an operational definition of context and discuss challenges and opportunities for exploiting context. We then describe our current work towards a general platform that supports developing context-aware applications in a variety of domains. We then explore an example use case illustrating how our framework can facilitate personalized collaboration within an information management and decision support tool. Future work includes evaluating our framework.


Reports on the 2015 AAAI Workshop Program

AI Magazine

AAAI's 2015 Workshop Program was held Sunday and Monday, January 25–26, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Austin Hotel in Austion, Texas, USA. The AAAI-15 workshop program included 15 workshops covering a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence. Most workshops were held on a single day. The titles of the workshops included AI and Ethics, AI for Cities, AI for Transportation: Advice, Interactivity and Actor Modeling, Algorithm Configuration, Artificial Intelligence Applied to Assistive Technologies and Smart Environments, Beyond the Turing Test, Computational Sustainability, Computer Poker and Imperfect Information, Incentive and Trust in E-Communities, Multiagent Interaction without Prior Coordination, Planning, Search, and Optimization, Scholarly Big Data: AI Perspectives, Challenges, and Ideas, Trajectory-Based Behaviour Analytics, World Wide Web and Public Health Intelligence, Knowledge, Skill, and Behavior Transfer in Autonomous Robots, and Learning for General Competency in Video Games.


Plan Recognition for Exploratory Learning Environments Using Interleaved Temporal Search

AI Magazine

This article presents new algorithms for inferring users’ activities in a class of flexible and open-ended educational software called exploratory learning environments (ELE). Such settings provide a rich educational environment for students, but challenge teachers to keep track of students’ progress and to assess their performance. This article presents techniques for recognizing students activities in ELEs and visualizing these activities to students. It describes a new plan recognition algorithm that takes into account repetition and interleaving of activities. This algorithm was evaluated empirically using two ELEs for teaching chemistry and statistics used by thousands of students in several countries. It was able to outperform the state-of-the-art plan recognition algorithms when compared to a gold-standard that was obtained by a domain-expert. We also show that visualizing students’ plans improves their performance on new problems when compared to an alternative visualization that consists of a step-by-step list of actions.


Parallelizing Plan Recognition

AI Magazine

Modern multicore computers provide an opportunity to parallelize plan recognition algorithms to decrease runtime. Viewing plan recognition as parsing based on a complete breadth first search, makes ELEXIR (engine for lexicalized intent recognition) (Geib 2009; Geib and Goldman 2011) particularly suited for parallelization. This article documents the extension of ELEXIR to utilize such modern computing platforms. We will discuss multiple possible algorithms for distributing work between parallel threads and the associated performance wins. We will show, that the best of these algorithms provides close to linear speedup (up to a maximum number of processors), and that features of the problem domain have an impact on the achieved speedup.