St Andrews HCI Research Group

UMUAI special issue on UbiqUM


Ubiquitous and Pervasive User Modelling (UPUM) has a key role to play in the visions for personalisation that are central to ubiquitous and pervasive computing. The large amounts of personal data that are increasingly being captured across each individual’s personal digital ecosystem have the potential to contribute to a user model, which, in turn, can drive personalised services. The multi-faceted challenges of achieving this have been recognised as critical for the progress towards ubiquity and pervasiveness. For example, Caceres and Friday, in reflecting on 20 years of research, point to the importance of dealing with issues such as pervasive ubiquitous data, support for users to control their own data and the personalisation based on it, particularly in terms of privacy, but also in ensuring people control their own smart environments.
Rapid technological changes, such as widespread smarter and cheaper devices providing personal sensing and services, has brought important progress in the field of UPUM. Many of these changes have occurred over the past seven years, since the previous UMUAI special issue on user modeling in UbiComp. It makes this a timely opportunity to call for an update of the state of the art in the field. Such updates can provide a critical review of what was central research then and is now on the periphery, or what new challenges and gaps have emerged or remained present. Overall, this issue will focus on the scientific challenges of ubiquitous user modelling in today’s dynamic environments.
This UMUAI special issue builds on recent activities in this area and is designed to solicit papers that report on recent significant advances, carry out innovative explorations, and establish foundations for further research. It interprets the notion of context broadly, as any additional conditions and circumstances beyond user profile and item content information that may affect user preferences for items.  It is intended to reflect the changes in the domain in the past seven years (since the previous special issue) and therefore, a wide range of topics are included. Those topics include (but are not limited to):

Paper Submission and Review Process

The prospective authors must first submit an extended abstract of no more than 4 single-spaced pages, formatted with 12 pt font and 1 inch margins, by email directly to the special issue editors by March 1, 2013.
All submitted abstracts will receive an initial screening by the special issue editors.  Authors of abstracts will be notified about the results of the initial screening by March 15, 2013.  Abstracts that do not pass this initial screening (i.e., the abstracts that are deemed not to have a reasonable chance of acceptance) will not be considered further.
Authors of abstracts that pass the initial screening will be invited to submit the full version of their paper by July 15, 2013.  Authors will be given initial feedback by the editors by September 15, 2013 with suggestions about possible improvements to their papers. The formatting guidelines and submission instructions for full papers can be found at  The special issue papers should not exceed 40 pages in journal format.  Each paper submission should note that it is intended for the Special Issue on Ubiquitous User Modeling and be submitted via email to the address mentioned in the submission instructions above (
The further tentative timeline for the special issue is as follows:

September 15, 2013: Initial feedback from the editors with suggestions for improvements
October 15, 2013: Submission deadline for improved versions
November 15, 2013: Notification to authors
January 15, 2014: Revisions of papers due
March 15, 2014: Final notifications due
April  15, 2014: Camera ready papers due
June 1, 2014: Publication of special issue

Guest Editors

Judy Kay, University of Sydney, Australia
Tsvi Kuflik, University of Haifa, Israel
Aaron Quigley, University of St Andrews, UK.