MSE Research Project Database

Cognition-aware computing

Project Leader: Tilman Dingler
Primary Contact: Tilman Dingler (
Keywords: information systems; machine learning; ubiquitous computing
Disciplines: Computing and Information Systems

Our ability to focus and concentrate highly fluctuates across the day: at times we are able to work highly focused and at other times we have trouble processing information effectively. The idea behind cognition-awareness is to make systems aware of these fluctuations and design them in a way to support users in-situ according to their current cognitive abilities. Such systems are capable of identifying productive phases throughout the day and provide suggestions for tasks or adjust interfaces on-the-fly with the goal of keeping users engaged, challenged, but avoid information overload and frustration.

This research explores the use of sensors in the form of wearables, as part of the environment, and prevalent in pervasive computing devices including watches, phones, and stationary computers. The sensor data is used to build models of users' attention to assess momentary cognitive levels as well as systematic changes, such as the circadian rhythm of alertness and cognitive performance. These models will allow us to design and deploy circadian-aware technologies, which will help users to schedule tasks and activities effectively, trigger interventions to sustain high levels of physical and mental performances throughout the day, and to avoid interruptions and disruptions to people's circadian rhythms.