Rule and theme discovery in human interactions with an 'internet of things'

J. Waldo Cervantes-Solis, Chris Baber, Ahmad Khattab, Roman Mitch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)


The 'Internet of Things' promises a society of smart objects which can work towards common purposes. For HCI, core questions relate to how people might become members of, or otherwise interact with, such a society. In this paper, we address these questions through a simple experiment in which people interact with smart objects, each of which has a specific sensingprocessing- communicating capability. In the experiment, objects had to be arranged such that their individual goals were satisfied. The human's role was partly to move the boxes and partly to ensure that all goals were met. The task was presented either as a rule discovery task (i.e., to deduce the goal of each object) or as a theme (pattern) discovery task (i.e., to deduce an appropriate arrangement of objects to satisfy the goals). In other words, the human task involved either a bottom-up analysis of goals or a topdown analysis of configuration. Differences between these conditions were found. The study presents a simple paradigm which, through modification of objects and rules, allows study of human interaction with smart objects in a goal-directed manner. The main conclusions relate to the ways in which people make sense of the smart objects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish HCI 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 British HCI Conference 2015
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336437
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2015
EventBritish HCI Conference, British HCI 2015 - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jul 201517 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


ConferenceBritish HCI Conference, British HCI 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLincoln, Lincolnshire


  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Internet of Things
  • Smart Objects
  • Society of Mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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