This project brought together several disparate research traditions to develop approaches to the domestic infrastructure that enable a much more user-centred approach to its management and use at all levels. Our iterative interdisciplinary research investigation was structured around four closely related research themes:
User oriented manifestations that convey the nature of the infrastructure in terms of its internal architecture, its configuration in the home and that present key features of management, measurement and modelling that will be developed in partnership with household inhabitants. These allow users to both make sense of the infrastructure and to interact with key elements of it. They exploit a range of alternative interactive technologies including personal mobile devices carried by inhabitants and shared situated screens and physical artefacts built into the environment.
User driven management approaches that allow inhabitants to express their intent to the surrounding digital infrastructure through the expression of policies. Work explored the development of both implicit policy setting based on understanding the sensed actions of users and explicit policy setting approaches where the inhabitant directly conveys intent to the infrastructure.
User motivated measurement and monitoring was deployed and provided one of the key resources to drive the project. This work focused on dynamic approaches to capturing and describing the nature of the infrastructure based on the establishment of a network measurement plane for the domestic network that captures information and statistics of use to inhabitants and external experts.
User focused computational models of the infrastructure were elaborated to allow reasoning about key features of the infrastructure (e.g. the extent to which they are preserved), exploration of the consequences of users actions and the relationship to their intentions, and presentation of models of user behaviour and infrastructure to the people modelled.
These closely linked themes allowed us to exploit highly iterative prototype development in the home to inform longer term infrastructure construction and overall formal modelling approaches.