Mixed-Initiative Management of Online Calendars

  • L. Ardissono
  • G. Petrone
  • M. Segnan
  • G. Torta
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 140)


Calendar management has been recognized as a complex, highly personal type of activity, which must take individual preferences and constraints into account in the formulation of satisfactory schedules. Current calendar management services are affected by two limitations: most of them lack any reasoning capabilities and thus cannot help the user in the management of tight schedules, which make the allocation of new tasks particularly challenging. Others are too impositive because they proactively schedule events without involving the user in the decision process.

In order to address such issues, we propose a mixed-initiative approach which enables the user to select the events to be considered, receive safe schedule suggestions from the system and select the preferred ones for revising a calendar. A peculiarity of our system is the fact that, in the suggestion of alternative schedules for an event, it searches for solutions which are very similar to the user’s current schedule, with the aim of limiting changes to her/his daily plans as much as possible. Our calendar management service is based on the exploitation of well-known Temporal Constraint Satisfaction Problems techniques, which guarantee the generation of safe scheduling solutions.


Calendar scheduling mixed-initiative interaction temporal reasoning 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Grimes, A., Brush, A.: Life scheduling to support multiple social roles. In: Proceedings of CHI 2008, Florence, Italy, pp. 821–824. ACM (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berry, P., Gervasio, M., Peintner, B., Yorke-Smith, N.: PTIME: Personalized assistance for calendaring. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems 2, 40:1–40:22 (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ardissono, L., Petrone, G., Torta, G., Segnan, M.: Mixed-initiative scheduling of tasks in user collaboration. In: Proc. of WEBIST 2012 - Eight International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies, Porto, Portugal, pp. 342–351 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Remember The Milk: The best way to manage your tasks. never forget the milk (or anything else) again (2011),
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    Bi101: Resource central - simplified resource management for meeting & event planners (2012),
  7. 7.
    Cultured Code: Things Mac (2011),
  8. 8. Doit anywhere, any time! (2011),
  9. 9.
    Standss: Standss smart schedules for outlook (2012),
  10. 10.
    Senkul, P., Toroslu, I.: An architecture for workflow scheduling under resource allocation constraints. Information Systems 30, 399–422 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wurtz, J.: Constraint-based scheduling in oz. Selected Papers of the Symp. on Operational Research, pp. 218–223 (1996)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eder, J., Pichler, H., Gruber, W., Ninaus, M.: Personal Schedules for Workflow Systems. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Weske, M. (eds.) BPM 2003. LNCS, vol. 2678, pp. 216–231. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tarumi, H., Kida, K., Ishiguro, Y., Yoshifu, K., Asakura, T.: WorkWeb system - multi-workflow management with a multi-agent system. In: Proc. of Int. ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work, New York, NY, pp. 299–308 (1997)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Berry, P., Moffitt, M., Peintner, B., Yorke-Smith, N.: The design of a user-centric scheduling system for multifaceted real-world problems. In: Proc. of ICAPS 2007 Workshop on Moving Planning and Scheduling Systems into the Real World, Providence, RI (2007)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Horvitz, E., Koch, P., Subramani, M.: Mobile Opportunistic Planning: Methods and Models. In: Conati, C., McCoy, K., Paliouras, G. (eds.) UM 2007. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4511, pp. 228–237. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ardissono, L., Bosio, G., Goy, A., Petrone, G., Segnan, M., Torretta, F.: Collaboration support for activity management in a personal cloud. International Journal of Distributed Systems and Technologies 2, 30–43 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ardissono, L., Bosio, G., Goy, A., Petrone, G., Segnan, M.: Integration of cloud services for web collaboration: A user-centered perspective. In: Models for Capitalizing on Web Engineering Advancements: Trends and Discoveries, pp. 1–19. IGI Global (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    van der Aalst, W., Ter Hofstede, A., Kiepuszewski, B., Barros, A.: Conformance checking of service behavior. ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT), Special Issue on Service-oriented Computing 8, art. 13 (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dechter, R., Meiri, I., Pearl, J.: Temporal constraint networks. Artificial Intelligence 49, 61–95 (1991)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Dechter, R.: Constraint networks (survey). In: Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence, 2nd edn. John Wiley & Sons (1992)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Planken, L., de Weerdt, M., van der Krogt, R.: Computing all-pairs shortest paths by leveraging low treewidth. In: Proceedings of the 21st Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling, ICAPS 2011 (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Boerkoel, J., Durfee, E.: A comparison of algorithms for solving the multiagent simple temporal problem. In: Proceedings of the 20th Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling, ICAPS 2010 (2010)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    JaCoP: JaCoP - Java Constraint Programming solver (2011),
  24. 24.
    Hietaniemi, J.: Graph-0.94 (2010),
  25. 25.
    Google: Google Web Toolkit (2010),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Ardissono
    • 1
  • G. Petrone
    • 1
  • M. Segnan
    • 1
  • G. Torta
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly

Personalised recommendations