Human-sensor dialogue in participatory sensing

Paxton, Mark Christopher (2009) Human-sensor dialogue in participatory sensing. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Participatory sensing is an emerging field that uses pervasive technology to create new forms of sensing networks combining people, personal devices, and other sensors. Pervasive computing technology forms an essential component, used to report data and coordinate activities. This thesis reviews research in participatory sensing and key fields related to it: pervasive computing, observation networks and public engagement with science.

After examining wider issues in sensor-based interaction from pervasive computing literature, this thesis investigates human-sensor dialogue; specifically how to develop new forms of dialogue in future participatory sensing experiences. The term 'dialogue' is used in broad sense, encompassing affordances and ongoing relationships between sensors and users. The thesis examines participatory sensing activities centring on two studies involving groups of young people collecting and visualising environmental sensor data using automatic and manual sensors. Participant observation methods are used for in-situ, naturalistic evaluation using observations, video footage and system logs and data.

A framework for human-sensor dialogue is developed as a tool to help analyse the dialogue in participatory sensing experiences and inspire new forms of dialogue in future experiences. It highlights five activities to which dialogue can relate: planning, testing, navigation, capture and reflection. These are interleaved throughout an experience, affecting how it takes shape and resulting from the design of the devices and the whole experience. The framework is demonstrated by applying it to the experiences in the previous two studies.

The framework is used to prototype a new experience intended for longer term engagement. It is used to elicit requirements for the new experience, structuring the activity and highlighting the desired transitions. The resulting prototype application is described, outlining the activity setup, key features and technical details. This application uses handheld devices as mobile sensors, wirelessly connected to fixed environmental sensors, which collect, process, and store the restating data.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Benford, S.D.
Rodden, T.A.
Keywords: participatory sensing, pervasive computing, observation networks
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 28898
Depositing User: Hatton, Mrs Kirsty
Date Deposited: 22 May 2015 13:22
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 22:27

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