Data-driven modelling and probabilistic analysis of interactive software usage

Andrei, O. and Calder, M. (2018) Data-driven modelling and probabilistic analysis of interactive software usage. Journal of Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming, 100, pp. 195-214. (doi:10.1016/j.jlamp.2018.07.003)

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Abstract

This paper answers the research question: how can we model and understand the ways in which users actually interact with software, given that usage styles vary from user to user, and even from use to use for an individual user. Our first contribution is to introduce two new probabilistic, admixture models, inferred from sets of logged user traces, which include observed and latent states. The models encapsulate the temporal and stochastic aspects of usage, the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of users, and the temporal aspects of the time interval over which the data was collected (e.g. one day, one month, etc.). A key concept is activity patterns, which encapsulate common observed temporal behaviours shared across a set of logged user traces. Each activity pattern is a discrete-time Markov chain in which observed variables label the states; latent states specify the activity patterns. The second contribution is how we use parametrised, probabilistic, temporal logic properties to reason about hypothesised behaviours within an activity pattern, and between activity patterns. Different combinations of inferred model and hypothesised property afford a rich set of techniques for understanding software usage. The third contribution is a demonstration of the models and temporal logic properties by application to user traces from a software application that has been used by tens of thousands of users worldwide.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Calder, Professor Muffy and Andrei, Dr Oana
Authors: Andrei, O., and Calder, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Journal of Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2352-2208
ISSN (Online):2352-2208
Published Online:11 July 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming 100:195-214
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
566711A population approach to ubicomp system designMatthew ChalmersEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/J007617/1COM - COMPUTING SCIENCE
679481Science of sensor systems software (SSSS)Muffy CalderEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N007565/1COM - COMPUTING SCIENCE