IC Faculty, Alumni Awarded with 10-Year Impact Award at Ubicomp 2017

School of Interactive Computing faculty and alumni were among a group of five recognized for the 10-Year Impact Award at the ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp 2017) for their paper titled At the Flick of a Switch: Detecting and Classifying Unique Electrical Events on the Residential Power Line.

The paper, which presented an approach that uses a single plug-in sensor to detect a variety of electrical events throughout the home, earned Best Paper and Best Presentation honors at Ubicomp 2007. This year, the paper was one of three awarded at Ubicomp 2017 for having outstanding influence over the past 10 years.

Co-authors on the paper included current Georgia Tech Professor Gregory Abowd, former Georgia Tech postdoctoral student and Research Scientist Matt Reynolds, alumni Shwetak Patel and Julie Kientz, and Tom Robertson, who worked in Abowd’s lab for two years around the time of publication.

► Explore Georgia Tech's Vast Contributions at Ubicomp/ISWC 2017

Reynolds, Patel, and Kientz now each hold faculty positions at the University of Washington.

To achieve desired results, the researchers applied machine learning techniques to recognize electrically noisy events such as turning on or off a particular light switch, a television set, or an electric stove. They tested their system in one home for several weeks and in five homes for one week each to evaluate the system performance over time in different types of houses. Results indicated that it is possible to learn and classify various electrical events with accuracies ranging from 85-90 percent.

The method has become known as Infrastructural Mediated Sensing, a concept developed and commercialized in a variety of subsequent ways by Patel and Reynolds.

Ubicomp 2017 took place earlier this month in conjunction with the ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computing in Maui, Hawaii.

Georgia Tech received another notable accolade at the co-located ISWC 2017 conference, which shares a technical program with Ubicomp. The Jury Prize for Best Paper and Entry in the aesthetics category of the Design Exhibition was awarded to Le Monstré, an interactive participatory performance costume developed by Ph.D. HCC student and research scientist Clint Zeagler. The team also included IMTC research scientists Scott Gilliland and Laura Levy.

Associate Professor Thomas Ploetz also provided organization assistance at the conference, spearheading Deep Learning for Ubiquitous Computing, a one-day tutorial held prior to the main Ubicomp conference. The full-day experience provided lectures and discussions on the theoretical foundations of Deep Learning, grounded into the Ubicomp domain.

This year, Georgia Tech had 11 paper accepted at the conference. Titles, authors, and available links for each can be found below.


David Mitchell

Communications Officer