Attentive Agents for Collaborative Learners

European commission: ist research programme

 AtGentiveWatch Attention

AtGentiveWatch Attention

keywords: attention, cognition, mental effort


News collapse


Interesting documents collapse

Interesting documents

Starting points

Web 2.0 (Blog posts, podcasts and/or Interviews, ...)

Blog posts

  • Attention economics

    • Jon Udell's Weblog, October 19, 2005
  • The attention company's blog

    • Note: John Beck, one of the author of the book the "Attention Economy" works in this company
  • TouchStone company's blog

    • Note: TouchStone? is the company behind OPML
  • Emily Chang - My Data Stream

    • February 19, 2007
    • After a year and a half of using social applications heavily, I recently had to revisit the plan to aggregate all my activity into one data stream. As the calendar rolled to 2007, I kept wishing I could look at all my social activity from 2006 in context: time, date, type of activity, location, memory, information interest, and so on. What was I bookmarking, blogging about, listening to, going to, and thinking about?
  • The Attention Economy: An Overview

    • Written by Alex Iskold / March 01, 2007


  • In Defense of Distraction

    • By Sam Anderson Published May 17, 2009, New York magazine
    • Twitter, Adderall, lifehacking, mindful jogging, power browsing, Obama’s BlackBerry?, and the benefits of overstimulation.
  • Is it Time to Retire the Never-Ending List?

    • Linda Stone,, June 11, 2008
  • Online test calculates brain speed

    • by Stefanie Olsen, CNET, March 23, 2006
    • San Francisco-based Posit Science unveiled a program in recent weeks that tests how fast a person's brain can process information, based on his or her hearing speed
  • Can You Find Concentration in a Bottle?

    • A guide to today's brain-boosting pills and supplements and what's in the pipeline
    • by Unmesh KHER, Sunday, Time Magazine, January 08, 2006
    • If you haven't already heard the term nootrope, better jot it down. Chances are you'll hear it a lot in the future.
  • Driven to distraction by technology

    • by Ina Fried, CNET, July 21, 2005
    • The typical office worker is interrupted every three minutes by a phone call, e-mail, instant message or other distraction. The problem is that it takes about eight uninterrupted minutes for our brains to get into a really creative state.
  • Une si fragile attention

    • Claire Leconte-Lambert, Cerveau & Psycho no 11, septembre 2005
  • Queen's Researchers Invent Computers That 'Pay Attention' To Users; Reduce Interruptions From E-mail, Cell Phones, Digital Appliances

    • Science Daily, April 2, 2003
    • Kingston, ON -- With increasing numbers of digital devices vying for our attention and time today, researchers from the Human Media Lab (HML) at Queen's University have developed a new concept that allows computers to pay attention to their users' needs.
  • How Corporate Leaders Can Help their Companies Manage the Scarcest Resource of All: Attention

    • by John C. Beck and Thomas H. Davenport, Accenture Point of View, Auguste 2001
    • For several years we have been investigating how the boom of information technology—and the concomitant “info glut”—has affected corporate leadership. Our research has convinced us that attention is the scarce resource in today’s economy and that it can be managed.
    • Since attention management now plays such a critical role in a company’s success, corporate leaders must take on the responsibility of helping themselves and the people in their organization learn how to manage attention.
  • Getting the Attention you need

    • by John C. Beck and Thomas H. Davenport, Harvard Business Review, September-October 2000
  • The Attention Economy and the Net

    • by Michael H. Goldhaber, First Monday Vol.2 No.4 - April 7th. 1997

Articles (academic)

  • Popularity, novelty and attention

    • Fang Wu and Bernardo A. Huberman, January 23, 2008
  • Comparative Advantage and Efficient Advertising in the Attention Economy

    • Bernardo A. Huberman and Fang Wu, HP Information Dynamics Lab, January 9, 2007
    • Comparative advantage in the attention economy can be used to maximize the revenues a company gets from advertising.
  • The Economics of Attention: Maximizing User Value in Information-Rich Environments

    • Bernardo A. Huberman and Fang Wu, HP Information Dynamics Lab, August 15, 2006
    • Deciding what to display.
  • Designing for Augmented Attention: Towards a Framework for Attentive User Interfaces

    • Roel Vertegaal, Daniel Chen, Jeffrey Shell and Aadil Mamuji. In Special Issue on Attention-Aware Systems. Journal of Computers in Human Behaviour.
  • Resources attentionnelles et processus de création de connaissances;

    • Belmondo, Cecile (2006); Invited chapter in the book Gestion de la connaissance, Capital Immatériel et Performance Ahmed Bounfour Editor, L'Harmattan
    • see also this paper available online from Cecile Belmondo.
  • BusyBody: Creating and Fielding Personalized Models of the Cost of Interruption

    • Eric Horvitz, Paul Koch, Johnson Apacible, November 2004
    • Proceedings of CSCW, Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Chicago, Illinois, November 2004. ACM Press.
    • Interest has been growing in opportunities to build and deploy statistical models that can infer a computer user’s current interruptability from computer activity and relevant contextual information. We describe a system that intermittently asks users to assess their perceived interruptability during a training phase and that builds decision-theoretic models with the ability to predict the cost of interrupting the user. The models are used at run-time to compute the expected cost of interruptions, providing a mediator for incoming notifications, based on a consideration of a user’s current and recent history of computer activity, meeting status, location, time of day, and whether a conversation is detected.
  • Attention and working memory as predictors of intelligence

    • Karl Schweizer and Helfried Moosbrugger, Intelligence, Volume 32, Issue 4, July-August 2004, Pages 329-347
  • Does Animation Attract Online Users’ Attention? The Effects of Flash on Information Search Performance and Perceptions

    • by Weiyin Hong, James Y. L. Thong, Kar Yan Tam, 2004
    • Information Systems Research, Volume: 15, Issue: 1; March 2004
    • Focusing on flash animation, this study examines its effects on online users’ performance and perceptions in both task-relevant and task-irrelevant information search contexts by drawing on the visual search literature and two theories from cognitive psychology.
  • An AR Workbench for Experimenting with Attentive User Interfaces

    • Vinko Novak, Christian Sandor, Gudrun Klinker, 2004
    • Third IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR'04) pp. 284-285
    • The authors present a workbench to build, evaluate and iteratively develop user interfaces using augmented reality, eye tracking, and visual programming. To test their system, they have developed an Attentive User Interface (AUI) for automotive environments, which coordinates its activities based on the context and visual attention of the user.
  • Pieters, Rik and Wedel, Michel (2004)

    • Attention capture and transfer in advertising: brand, pictorial, and text-size effects
    • Journal of Marketing - Periodical - 68 - 2 - April 2004 - 2004; p. 36-50
  • Models of attention in computing and communication: from principles to applications,

    • CACM, 46.3, 52-59., Horvitz E., Kadie C., Paek T., and Hovel D. (2003).
    • Over the last five years, our team at Microsoft Research has explored, within the Attentional User Interface (AUI) project, opportunities for enhancing computing and communications systems by treating human attention as a central construct and organizing principle.
  • Attentive agents

    • Paul P. Maglio, Christopher S. Campbell, Communications of the ACM, Volume 46 , Issue 3 (March 2003)
    • Once only executives and researchers were required to handle large amounts of information. Today, home users are swamped with information from their broadband connections. It seems most of us live in a kind of semi-organized information soup. How long will the simple tool metaphor of direct manipulation graphical user interfaces (GUIs) support our expanding information needs?
  • L’attention. Aspects théoriques

    • by Camus JF. (2003) (editor). Psychologie Française, n°48-1. ,. 2003
    • Special issue on Attention
  • SPECIAL ISSUE: Attentive user interfaces

    • Communications of the ACM, Volume 46 , Issue 3 (March 2003)
  • SUITOR: An Attentive Information System

    • by Paul P. Maglio, Rob Barret, Christopher S. Campbell, and Ted Selker, IBM Almaden Research Center
    • In Intelligent User Interfaces, pages 169--176. ACM Press, 2000.
    • Attentive systems pay attention to what users do so that they can attend to what users need. Such systems track user behavior, model user interests, and anticipate user desires and actions. In this paper, the authors have focused specifically on attentive information systems, which observe user actions with information resources, model user information states, and suggest information that might be helpful to users.
  • Gaze and speech in attentive user interfaces

    • Maglio, P. P., Matlock, T., Campbell, C. S., Zhai, S., & Smith, B. A. (2000).
    • In Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces. Springer-Verlag.
  • Agents that Reduce Work and Information Overload

    • Pattie Maes, Communications of the ACM Volume 37 , Issue 7 (July 1994), Pages: 30 - 40
  • The structuring of organizational attention and the enactment of economic adversity : a reconciliation of theories of failure-induced change and threat-rigidity

    • by Ocasio, William, Working paper (Sloan School of Management); 3577-93.
    • This paper presents a theoretical examination of how organizational attention structures enact economic adversity. The theory explicitly links the cognitive psychology that underlies risk-seeking behavior and threat-rigidity with the social groupings and cultural logic that structure thinking and decisionmaking in organizations.
  • The Development of Visual Attention in Infancy

    • John Colombo, Annual Review of Psychology Vol. 52: 337-367 (Volume publication date February 2001)
  • Towards an Attention-Based View of the Firm

    • Ocasio, W. (1997); Strategic Management Journal 18: 187-206.
  • Sharon Gifford (1997)

    • Limited attention and the role of the venture capitalist
    • Journal of Business Venturing; Volume 12, Issue 6 , November 1997, Pages 459-482
    • The analysis of this research deals with the incentives of the VC who has limited attention to be allocated between improving current ventures and evaluating new ventures for possible funding.

Journals and magazines


Organisations and people collapse

Organisations and people


  • --- information systems
  • Eric Horvitz

    • Senior Researcher and Research Area Manager at Microsoft Research Adaptive Systems & Interaction Group
  • Paul Maglio

    • researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center
  • Gloria Mark

    • Multi-tasking among multiple collaborations
  • Bernardo A. Huberman

    • social attention
  • --- psychology
  • Edward L. Palmer

    • Research in Children's Television
  • Arien Mack

    • Perception, cognition, and attention
  • Jack Mostow

    • Research focus: Helping kids learn to read, by getting computers to listen to them read aloud
  • Dr. George W. Dorry

    • Attention & Behavior Center
    • He provides assessment, diagnostic, treatment planning, &/or treatment of personal, family, work, or school issues associated with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, Mood Disorders, Learning Disorders, and related conditions.
  • Elaine Fox
  • --- management (and attention economy)
  • Thomas H. Davenport
  • John C. Beck,
  • William Ocasio

    • organizational attention
  • Michael H. Goldhaber
  • --- learning
  • David R. Shanks

    • attention and learning
  • --- media study
  • Daniel Anderson

    • He studies children and television including children's interactions during TV viewing and the impact on cognitive development and education.
  • --- Other
  • Linda Stone

    • Continuous Partial Attention

Organisations & labs


  • AttentionTrust

    • a non profit organization dedicated to promoting the basic rights of attention data (i.e. any records reflecting what they have paid attention to).

Models of attention collapse

Models of attention

Starting Points

Central Capacity Theory (resource limitation)

  • Kahneman

    • In this conception, all mental processes gather their resources from a common energy source.
    • As a consequence, people have a limited capacity of attention that they can allocate to different tasks (this is a zero sum game).
  • Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and Effort. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Attention and arousal

  • Eysenck, M. (1982). Attention and Arousal. NY: Springer-Verlag.

Attention in Learning

  • Trabasso, T. & Bower, G. (1968). Attention in Learning.

Project and Systems collapse

Project and Systems

see also: Attention and perception (information design, profiling, eye-tracking, ...)



  • AttentionScape (Thomas Davenport)

    • It assesses how people and organizations allocate their attention
  • StatusWriter

    • Microsoft research prototype.
    • StatusWriter? lets you easily understand what you have been working on in the past few days. This semi-interactive mockup shows off highlighting and item correspondence cues.


  • 37signals
  • Attent with Serios

    • Attent with Serios is an enterprise productivity application inspired by multiplayer online games. It tackles the problem of information overload in corporate email using psychological and economic principles from successful games. Attent creates a synthetic economy with a currency (Serios) that enables users to attach value to an outgoing email to signal importance. It gives recipients the ability to prioritize messages and a reserve of currency that they can use to signal importance of their messages to others. Attent also provides a variety of tools that enable everyone to track and analyze communication patterns and information exchanges in the enterprise.

Standards and formats

  • Attention.XML

    • Attention.XML is an open standard, built on open source (see XOXOSampleCode) that helps you keep track of what you've read, what you're spending time on, and what you should be paying attention to.
  • APML

    • Attention Profiling Markup Language
    • AMPL is an open standard that encapsulates a summary of your interests - accross devices and profiles - in a simple portable way.
    • APML will allow users to export and use their own personal Attention Profile in much the same way that OPML allows them to export their reading lists from Feed Readers.The idea is to boil down all forms of Attention Data – including Browser History, OPML, Attention.XML, Email etc – to a portable file format containing a description of ranked user interests.

Other References collapse

Other References

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