A User-Centric Evaluation of Smart Home Resolution Approaches for Conflicts Between Routines

Ali Zaidi, Rui Yang, Vinay Koshy, Camille Cobb, Indranil Gupta, Karrie Karahalios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the increasing adoption of smart home devices, users rely on device automation to control their homes. This automation commonly comes in the form of smart home routines, an abstraction available via major vendors. Yet, questions remain about how a system should best handle conflicts in which different routines access the same devices simultaneously. In particular - -among the myriad ways a smart home system could handle conflicts, which of them are currently utilized by existing systems, and which ones result in the highest user satisfaction? We investigate the first question via a survey of existing literature and find a set of conditions, modifications, and system strategies related to handling conflicts. We answer the second question via a scenario-based Mechanical-Turk survey of users interested in owning smart home devices and current smart home device owners (N=197). We find that: (i) there is no context-agnostic strategy that always results in high user satisfaction, and (ii) users' personal values frequently form the basis for shaping their expectations of how routines should execute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 28 2023


  • execution
  • routine
  • smart home
  • user satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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