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Agent-Assisted Task Management that Reduces Email Overload

Andrew Faulring, Brad A. Myers, Ken Mohnkern, Bradley Schmerl, Aaron Steinfeld, John Zimmerman, Asim Smailagic, Jeffery Hansen and Daniel Siewiorek
Conference Paper, Carnegie Mellon University, International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI), pp. 61-70, February, 2010

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Abstract

RADAR is a multiagent system with a mixed-initiative user interface designed to help office workers cope with email overload. RADAR agents observe experts to learn models of their strategies and then use the models to assist other people who are working on similar tasks. The agents’ assis- tance helps a person to transition from the normal email- centric workflow to a more efficient task-centric workflow. The Email Classifier learns to identify tasks contained with- in emails and then inspects new emails for similar tasks. A novel task-management user interface displays the found tasks in a to-do list, which has integrated support for per- forming the tasks. The Multitask Coordination Assistant learns a model of the order in which experts perform tasks and then suggests a schedule to other people who are work- ing on similar tasks. A novel Progress Bar displays the sug- gested schedule of incomplete tasks as well as the com- pleted tasks. A large evaluation demonstrated that novice users confronted with an email overload test performed significantly better (a 37% better overall score with a factor of four fewer errors) when assisted by the RADAR agents.

BibTeX Reference
@conference{Faulring-2010-10399,
title = {Agent-Assisted Task Management that Reduces Email Overload},
author = {Andrew Faulring and Brad A. Myers and Ken Mohnkern and Bradley Schmerl and Aaron Steinfeld and John Zimmerman and Asim Smailagic and Jeffery Hansen and Daniel Siewiorek},
booktitle = {International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI)},
notes = {Honorable Mention Award in the Best Paper Contest},
school = {Robotics Institute , Carnegie Mellon University},
month = {February},
year = {2010},
pages = {61-70},
address = {Pittsburgh, PA},
}
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