University of Maryland

Attention Management in Pervasive Computing (Due March 1, 2013)

December 1st, 2012 by

Finely-woven, globe-spanning digital networks, together with the radical miniaturization  and embedding of information, communication, and sensor electronics into almost everything, have made human-to-computer bonds truely ubiquitous and pervasive. Accordingly, our approach to human-computer interaction is reversing: while HCI previously, addressed issues related to how humans initiate interaction with ICT systems, we now increasingly observe ICT system designs that also approach humans. Within this “human computer confluence”, human attention—more than processor speed, communication bandwidth, and storage resources—becomes the single most critical (yet least understood) resource in pervasive system design today.

While previously considered a mental variable that could not be quantified and measured, attention now constitutes a fundamental element of psychological research. Today, everyone has an intuitive understanding of what attention is, how it can be assessed, and how it impacts perception, memory, expectation, awareness, relevance, decision-making, and other behaviours. This special issue focusses on novel approaches to attention modelling, attention representation, attention sensing, recognition or estimation, together with attention management as a theoretical and practical principle for designing Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing systems.

We welcome multi-disciplinary articles not only from the core Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing community, but also from Behavioural Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Brain Research linked to attention management system design principles.

Potential topics

  • Theories and formal models of attention, theory driven modelling, evidencing theories Attention sensing and data-driven attention modelling (including recognition chains, mining Big Data)
  • Attention estimation from behaviour (gaze, speech, pose, effort, somatic indicators) and  from mental effort (memorizing, response time)
  • Attention recognition (pattern recognition, machine learning) and management architectures (goals, plans, decision making)
  • Individual attention (perceptual load, cognitive load, recall performance, consciousness, overt vs. covert attention, focus and periphery of attention) and sensors (EEG, FOVA, SC, BVP, …)
  • Collective attention (information diffusion, novelty propagation, sharing, consesus finding) and sensors (social networks, microblogs, tweets, web/phone, exploiting patterns,…)
  • ICT design based on the economics of attention: design principles, interaction principles, interface designs, attractors
  • Attention management system architectures, tools and development frameworks

Attention management showcases, success stories, and user studies in application domains of societal significance—for example, health care systems, intense care and control centers, electronic workplaces and electronic trading systems, mission-critical construction and engineering, avionic and automotive systems, energy and environmental protection systems, safety and security systems, monitoring and surveillance systems, crisis observatories, sales and digital signage systems, art installations, public advertising, public opinion building, etc.

For more information about the focus, contact the Guest Editors

Submission Information

  • Submission deadline:  1 March 2013
  • Notification:        26 April 2013
  • Publication:        Jan.–Mar. 2014

Submissions should be 4,000 to 6,000 words long and should follow the magazine’s guidelines on style and presentation. All submissions will be peer-reviewed in accordance with normal practice for scientific publications, and all accepted articles will be edited according to Computer Society guidelines. Submissions should be received by 1 March 2013 to receive full consideration.

For general author guidelines or submission details: or

To submit your article go directly to our online peer-review system, Manuscript Central (