University of Oulu

Niels van Berkel, Chu Luo, Theodoros Anagnostopoulos, Denzil Ferreira, Jorge Goncalves, Simo Hosio, and Vassilis Kostakos. 2016. A Systematic Assessment of Smartphone Usage Gaps. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4711-4721. DOI:

A systematic assessment of smartphone usage gaps

Saved in:
Author: van Berkel, Niels1; Luo, Chu1; Anagnostopoulos, Theodoros1;
Organizations: 1Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2016
Publish Date: 2019-01-23


Researchers who analyse smartphone usage logs often make the assumption that users who lock and unlock their phone for brief periods of time (e.g., less than a minute) are continuing the same "session" of interaction. However, this assumption is not empirically validated, and in fact different studies apply different arbitrary thresholds in their analysis. To validate this assumption, we conducted a field study where we collected user-labelled activity data through ESM and sensor logging. Our results indicate that for the majority of instances where users return to their smartphone, i.e., unlock their device, they in fact begin a new session as opposed to continuing a previous one. Our findings suggest that the commonly used approach of ignoring brief standby periods is not reliable, but optimisation is possible. We therefore propose various metrics related to usage sessions and evaluate various machine learning approaches to classify gaps in usage.

see all

ISBN: 978-1-4503-3362-7
Pages: 4711 - 4721
DOI: 10.1145/2858036.2858348
Host publication: CHI '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Conference: ACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work is partially funded by the Academy of Finland (Grants 276786-AWARE, 285062-iCYCLE, 286386-CPDSS, 285459-iSCIENCE), and the European Commission (Grants PCIG11-GA-2012-322138 and 645706-GRAGE).
EU Grant Number: (322138) URBANMOB - Modelling Urban Mobility in City-Scale Ubiquitous Systems
(645706) GRAGE - Grey and green in Europe: elderly living in urban areas
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 276786
Detailed Information: 276786 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
285062 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
286386 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
285459 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. 2016. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16),