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Research Projects

Over the last several years we have been studying how digital media affects people’s lives. Rather than bring people into a laboratory, I view the real world as a living laboratory--I go where people live, study, and work, to study them as they go about their normal activities. Digital media use affects people’s mood, stress, and behavior quite significantly. In particular, people experience disruptions when working with digital media due to multi-tasking and interruptions.

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Project Dates: 
January 2004

Literature about design suggests that a variety of alternatives leads to a higher quality final design. When software designers, either individually or together, are designing in front of the whiteboard, they rarely explore different solution alternatives. How can we help designers to explore more design alternatives for software problems? To achieve this, we are working on a process to facilitate designers to collaborate and produce high quality software designs while considering more solution alternatives.

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April 2015

In the era of big data and personalization, websites and (mobile) applications collect an increasingly large amount of personal information about their users. The large majority of users decide to disclose some but not all information that is requested from them. They trade off the anticipated benefits with the privacy risks of disclosure, a decision process that has been dubbed privacy calculus. Such decisions are inherently difficult though, because they may have uncertain repercussions later on that are difficult to weigh against the (possibly immediate) gratification of disclosure. How can we help users to balance the benefits and risks of information disclosure in a user-friendly manner, so that they can make good privacy decisions?

Project Dates: 
September 2010

Anti-social behavior such as flaming and griefing is pervasive and problematic in many online venues. This behavior breaks established norms and unsettles the well-being and development of online communities. In a popular online game, Riot Games's League of Legends, the game company received tens of thousands of complaints about others every day. To regulate what they call "toxic" behavior, Riot devised the "Tribunal" system as a way of letting the community to police itself. The Tribunal is a crowdsoucing system that empowers players to identify and judge misbehavior.

Project Dates: 
April 2012

When a live site is down or time is of the essence, software teams mobilize to fix bugs as fast as possible. How might such important bugs be fixed more quickly? One answer is through crowdsourcing, where ad-hoc participants are each given small, self-contained microtasks that are then aggregated into an overall solution. To explore this idea, we are currently designing new techniques and tools for crowd debugging.

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Project Dates: 
January 2013

This research focuses on techniques for identifying and reducing the costs, streamlining the process, and improving the readiness of future workforce for the acquisition of complex software systems. Emphasis is directed at identifying, tracking, and analyzing software component costs and cost reduction opportunities within acquisition life cycle of open architecture (OA) systems, where such systems combine best-of-breed software components and software products lines (SPLs) that are subject to different intellectual property (IP) license requirements.

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Project Dates: 
October 2007

In order to produce effective fault-localization, debugging, failure-clustering, and test-suite maintenance techniques, researchers would benefit from a deeper understanding of how faults (i.e., bugs) behave and interact with each other. Some faults, even if executed, may or may not propagate to the output, and even still may or may not influence the output in a way to cause failure. Furthermore, in the presence of multiple faults, faults may interact in a way to obscure each other or in a way to produce behavior not seen in their isolation.

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August 2011

The broad goal of this project is to understand how to combine sustainability knowledge with information and communication technology (ICT) in creating sustainable communities. The Transition Movement is a global social experiment aiming to promote sustainable living and build ecological resilience in the near future at local levels. The Transition movement began in 2005 in Totnes, UK, a market town in South Devon. Today there are about 1000 registered Transition towns in 34 countries.

Project Dates: 
April 2013

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