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FET: Mobility - Mobile Interaction Study

FRONTS will be showcasing its results in fet11, probably the greatest European forum for facilitating international cross-disciplinary dialogue and discussion on visions and challenges for frontier research in future and emerging information technologies. Apart from our exhibition, we conducted a large-scale experiment, investigating interactions and contextual awareness between the exhibits and visitors carrying mobile devices.

The post-event short questionnaire is now available:

Click here to fill out a few questions about your interests after the fet11 event

A study on interactions and interests of groups of attendees in a conference and exhibition environment

Our primary goal with this experiment is to infer and analyze the interactions and interests among individuals, groups of people and the conference exhibits in fet11, mainly by utilizing their Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones or tablets. This overall setting fits in nicely with FRONTS concepts; large societies of tiny artifacts interacting with each other and their environment. We will be able to record such activities and the related transactions in realistic conditions, utilising existing technologies in an interesting and useful way!

Our experiment was held for the duration of the conference and all participation will be voluntary. Each person participating in the experiment was asked to switch on Bluetooth networking for his mobile device and set it to discoverable mode, during the time period in which they were present at the premises of the exhibition. Bluetooth-enabled hotspots covering the FET11 venue and conference rooms were constantly logging the participants' devices encountered in their proximity.

There was also an option for users carrying specific mobile devices, to download an application that enabled their device to act as an additional tracker of mobility and contacts/encounters with other participants in the experiment. This application does not access personal data on the participant's device, but does require a Wi-Fi connection to periodically upload recorded activity data to our system.

The gathered data from all participants will be used to infer co-presence, interests and interactions among groups of attendees participating in the experiment. Statistics could be extracted e.g., for the:

  • top 10 visited booths.
  • most "busy" areas.
  • do encounters between mathematicians in the conference form a complete graph?
  • top 10 booths where visitors spend the most time.
  • which are the scientific disciplines that are most interested for other sciences' results?

Daily results will be issued in real-time as twits on a twitter account informing the participants of various interesting statistics during the day.

Participation in the experiment will be done anonymously and voluntarily. Bluetooth will be used only for device discovery within the range of the bluetooth hotspots. No connection attempts will be made to users' devices via bluetooth and no software will be installed on them without their consent. No disclosure of personal data for a participant will occur. Movement and presence detection will be filtered out for persons who have chosen not to participate in the experiment. We won't be inferring interactions with people not participating to the experiment (i.e., all passive non-participants' activity will be filtered out).

Why should I participate?

  • Contribute to science and research! The mobility traces that will be gathered can be used to infer mobility patterns, social behavior and preferences in a conference environment for various groups of people
  • Help us reach a large dataset! A large participation means more reliable and meaningful extracted statistics and more useful results to be used for further research. The traces will be made publicly available in the future, after addressing all anonymity and privacy issues.
  • Interesting periodic announcements on Twitter! Quick updates on various useful statistics will be continuously posted on Twitter about exhibition booths and talk sessions' popularity, as well as the interactions of groups from various disciplines.
  • Find booths in the exhibition that might interest you! You can use the information posted on Twitter to determine “hot” exhibition spots, related to your own interests and background.

How can I participate in this experiment?

  • You will need to have a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device, e.g., a smartphone or a tablet.
  • You will have to fill in our online registration form, stating your agreement to participate and providing the Bluetooth address of your device, as well as info about your own interests and other general characteristics, e.g., age, research field, etc.
  • Bluetooth networking will have to be switched on and set to discoverable on your device, for the duration of your stay in the premises of the exhibition and conference rooms, until the end of the conference.
  • You will be asked to fill out a short online questionnaire at the end of the conference about your experience.

And that's it! As simple as that, you will be part of our experiment! We are very excited about conducting this ambitious experiment with your active participation.

Registration for the experiment

Online registration for the experiment is now closed.

Post-event questionnaire

If you participated in the experiment you can now fill in this short post-event questionnaire, indicating any change of your interests with regards to the fet11 themes.

For more information or your suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us using our online contact form.

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