Theoretical foundations for user-controlled forgetting in scrutable long term user models

Debjanee Barua*, Judy Kay, Bob Kummerfeld, Cecile Paris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging technologies are making it feasible for people to capture large amounts of personal information that can support important aspects of their lives. When that information is stored in a persistent storage so that it can drive personalisation, it is called a user model. There has been little exploration of systematic approaches to enable people to gain control over such user models using forgetting mechanisms. This paper first presents reasons why such forgetting mechanisms are desirable. Then it analyses core forms of human forgetting as the basis for a theoretical model of forgetting in user models. Our key contribution is to establish theoretical foundations for the design of mechanisms and interfaces for forgetting in stores of personal information, with the goal of user control of these mechanisms, so that we can enable people to achieve a new form of control over their personal information and its use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOzCHI 2011
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450310901
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2011 - Canberra, ACT, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 20112 Dec 2011


Other23rd Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2011
CityCanberra, ACT


  • pervasive and ubiquitous computing
  • personal information stores and its use
  • long term user model
  • scrutability and user control
  • intelligent user interface
  • mechanisms of forgetting

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