Adaptive Systems and Interaction

Established: March 27, 2000

The Adaptive Systems and Interaction group pursues advances in principles of intelligence and interaction and applications of these advances to enhance computational systems and interfaces. Our team includes groups exploring foundations of sensing, learning, and decision making, search & retrieval, and human-computer interaction.























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Green Security Games


October 29, 2015


Milind Tambe


University of Southern California

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November 29, 2010


Andy Wilson and Hrvoje Benko

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Spiritual Computing


September 5, 2006


Craig Warren Smith


University of Washington

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Searching for Privacy


July 21, 2006


Lorrie Faith Cranor


Carnegie Mellon University


Project Premonition

Established: March 2, 2015

Interested in evaluating Project Premonition technologies and data? Sign up here Project Premonition aims to detect pathogens before they cause outbreaks Emerging infectious diseases such as Zika, Ebola, Chikungunya and MERS are dangerous and unpredictable. Public health organizations need data as early as possible to predict disease spread and plan responses. Yet early data is very difficult to obtain, because it must be proactively collected from potential disease sources in the environment. Researchers estimate between…

Windflow: Airplanes As Vast Sensor Network

Established: June 3, 2014

The best available forecasts in the United States—from the federal government’s Winds Aloft program—have been based largely on data from instrumented weather balloons released twice a day, providing forecasts for 176 stations across the United States. Wind Aloft is often not accurate and may cost in time and fuel for a given flight plan. The Windflow project explores the research question could airplanes in flight be employed as a vast sensor network to determine atmospheric…

Dialog and Conversational Systems Research

Established: March 14, 2014

Conversational systems interact with people through language to assist, enable, or entertain. Research at Microsoft spans dialogs that use language exclusively, or in conjunctions with additional modalities like gesture; where language is spoken or in text; and in a variety of settings, such as conversational systems in apps or devices, and situated interactions in the real world. Projects Spoken Language Understanding

Spatial Crowdsourcing

Established: January 28, 2014

We are studying how we can get regular people to do simple tasks at specific locations. An example task is to take a picture of a sign at a certain location. We are interested in who to ask and how much to pay. This is part of a Microsoft Research study about how we can get regular people to do simple tasks at specific locations. This offer is only valid for people…

PreHeat: Controlling Home Heating With Occupancy Prediction

Established: March 2, 2011

Home heating uses more energy than any other residential energy expenditure, making increasing the efficiency of home heating an important goal for saving money and protecting the environment. We have built a home-heating system, PreHeat, that automatically programs your thermostat based on when you are home. PreHeat’s goal is to reduce the amount of time a household’s thermostat needs to be on without compromising the comfort of household members. PreHeat System PreHeat builds a predictive…

Diff-IE Add-on for Internet Explorer

Established: October 4, 2010

Diff-IE tracks changes to pages you visit on the Web and shows you what's changed since the last time you visited. Diff-IE is a prototype Internet Explorer Add-on that: Highlights the changes to a webpage since the last time you visited it. Enables you to view—and compare—previously cached versions of a page. When changes are made obvious, especially the subtle and unexpected ones, you get a whole lot more out of the webpages you visit.…


Established: October 2, 2010

LightSpace combines elements of surface computing and augmented reality research to create a highly interactive space where any surface, and even the space between surfaces, is fully interactive. Our concept transforms the ideas of surface computing into the new realm of spatial computing. Instrumented with multiple depth cameras and projectors, LightSpace is a small room installation designed to explore a variety of interactions and computational strategies related to interactive displays and the space that they…

IntelliDrive – Intelligent Management of Attention in Automotive Environments

Established: January 1, 2009

Driver attention is a valuable commodity in maintaining driving safety. However, with the proliferation of many interactive devices that place demands on the driver's attention while driving, effectively allocating attention with the primary goal of managing driving safety presents substantial challenges. With the promise of having semi-autonomous vehicles on the road in the near future followed by a transition to fully autonomous vehicles, we are entering an exciting period of exploration and understanding how drivers adapt to unpredictable demands…

Microsoft Research blog

Can Robots Have Social Intelligence?

Visiting Eric Horvitz at Microsoft Research headquarters in Redmond, Wash., is a full-service experience. At the building’s first-floor bank of elevators, situated on a busy corridor, a “smart elevator” opens its doors, sensing that you need a ride. When you arrive on the third floor, a cute, humanoid robot makes eye contact, senses your interest in getting assistance, and cheerfully asks, “Do you need directions?” You tell him you’re looking for Eric, and the robot…

April 2014

Microsoft Research Blog

A Touch Mouse’s Tale

How do you take a concept from research to product? In the case of the Microsoft Touch Mouse, it took a collection of prototypes, collaboration between transatlantic teams, and a lot of user testing. It also helps when the research that launched the project won the best-paper award during the Association for Computing Machinery’s 22nd Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. Mouse 2.0: Multi-Touch Meets the Mouse, a joint effort between Microsoft Research Redmond, Microsoft…

July 2011

Microsoft Research Blog

UIST Showcases Novel Interfaces

By Janie Chang, Writer, Microsoft Research Hallway conversations at UIST 2010 can sound like planning discussions for science-fiction-movie special effects, buzzing with terms such as “wearable computing,” “augmented reality,” and “smart rooms.” UIST, the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM’s) Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, brings together researchers and practitioners of new user interfaces. Taking place in New York City from Oct. 3 to 6, the event features presentations and demos that cover topics…

October 2010

Microsoft Research Blog

CHI ’09: Computing with a Human Touch

By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Historically, Microsoft Research has had a big footprint during CHI, the annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction—and this year’s 27th gathering is no exception. More than 12 percent of the papers accepted for this year’s conference—25 of the 204 to be presented to more than 2,000 attendees from 43 countries April 4-9 at…

March 2009

Microsoft Research Blog

Is Your Group Seeking Information? SearchTogether!

By Rob Knies That long-awaited vacation is almost here—just you, your spouse, and your teenage son, all eager to embark on a leisurely adventure to sunny climes for some much-needed R&R. But your planning has not kept pace with your anticipation. There is work to be done: hotels to book, flights to schedule, activities to consider. You need to research and collaborate to reach a decision. Time is growing short, though. How will it all…

June 2008

Microsoft Research Blog

Go Fishing for Ink with InkSeine

Ken Hinckley always thought that searching for information on his computer was like going on a fishing expedition. Every so often, he’d even catch whatever it was he wanted. Hinckley, a senior researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group at Microsoft Research Redmond, has been netting better results than usual lately. And now he’s angling to share the secret to his success with Tablet PC users everywhere. That secret is InkSeine, an innovative new…

February 2008

Microsoft Research Blog

CHI 2007: A Matter of Perspiration and Inspiration

By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research The research and academic community is rife with conferences. Just about any subject or discipline you can name has its own annual gathering, where the learned and the innovative come together to discuss their work, review the work of others, and connect with friends and colleagues. Few conferences, however, are more eagerly anticipated than CHI, the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems hosted each year by the…

April 2007

Microsoft Research Blog

Four from Microsoft Research Named ACM Fellows

By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research On Jan. 8, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) announced that it had recognized 41 of its members for their contributions to “the practical and theoretical aspects of computing and information technology.” Four of these new ACM fellows are from Microsoft Research: Susan Dumais, Albert Greenberg, Jim Larus, and Harry Shum. The latest ACM fellows were cited for making “significant advances that are having lasting effects on the…

February 2007

Microsoft Research Blog

OMM: Mantra for Mobile Devices

By Rob Knies, Managing Editor, Microsoft Research Eric Horvitz is sitting at his desk in his Redmond, Wash., office, discussing Microsoft Outlook Mobile Manager 2.0 (OMM), a just-released, downloadable add-in for Microsoft Outlook, when something on his computer monitor catches his eye. The new application has flagged as urgent an incoming e-mail from somebody wanting to join the discussion. Moments later, she calls in, gratefully. OMM has made its latest convert. OMM brings the power…

July 2005

Microsoft Research Blog

Susan Dumais: Changing the Way People Search for Information, Through Algorithms and User Interfaces

Senior Microsoft Corp. Researcher Susan Dumais predicts that in 10 years, we will look back on today’s search interfaces and recognize them as a simple and limited way to interact with information. After all, she explains, a 5-inch-long rectangle with a long list of text results beneath it doesn’t do much to help people make sense of the billions upon billions of unorganized bits of data in the world. Dumais sees plenty of room for…

April 2005

Microsoft Research Blog

Find Your Lost Data

By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research The more data you have, the more you know The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why have data? Microsoft Researchers have an answer for this old, slightly twisted riddle. They’ve put together a nifty interface that will find all the data on your PC that you need, be it email, documents, tablet notes or spreadsheets. You can find…

November 2004

Microsoft Research Blog

How Much is Your Time Worth?

By Suzanne Ross, Writer, Microsoft Research How would you feel if a co-worker barged into your office every few minutes to blurt out updates about their life or project? You might tell them that you are busy, but the damage has been done. You’ve been interrupted, and getting back on task might be difficult. Eric Horvitz and his team in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group have been working for a number of years on…

November 2004

Microsoft Research Blog

Zooming in on Small Displays

By Suzanne Ross Bigger used to be better, but smaller is suddenly superior. The only problem with small versus big in high-tech gadgets is that our eyes weren’t designed to peer at small screens on mobile phones. Even if we are under forty. Eric Horvitz, the research manager for the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group, knew that as small devices such as cell phones and PDAs became an essential part of our lives, we’d want…

October 2004

Microsoft Research Blog

All the News That’s Fit to Read

By Suzanne Ross People read stories to find out what happens next. That’s easy enough in a book, but if the story is about real life, and it’s online in the news media, it’s harder to find out what happens next. There’s just too much information out there. An Internet search will show you everything on a subject, regardless of whether it’s redundant information or a new twist. Then you have to filter the stories…

October 2004

Microsoft Research Blog