2010 Poster Sessions : Life-browsing with a Lifetime of Email (Live Demo at http://prpl.stanford.edu/dunbar)

Student Name : Sudheendra Hangal
Advisor : Monica Lam
Research Areas: Computer Systems
Our email archives often silently capture our actions and thoughts, virtually every day, as they come up in our communication. Email can therefore be viewed as a convenient form of life-logging that provides millions of users an excellent source of material to remember and reflect upon their lives. We present Dunbar, a system that lets users easily and rapidly browse long-term email archives. We have incorporated a collection of data mining techniques, including text mining and organization of content by groups. We have also developed novel presentation and interaction techniques, such as using an on-screen jog dial to quickly scan through a sequence of messages, automatic hyperlinking between significant terms in messages, a date-aware diary area for clipping terms into, and a 3-D image wall for browsing email attachments. In addition the user can browse web links in messages, as they appear now, and in some cases, as the pages appeared in the past, when the message was exchanged. User studies in which we asked users to write a brief summary of what they did in one year of their lives with the help of Dunbar show that they enjoyed the task, recalling several events they had forgotten, and that Dunbar's user interface elements are much more usable that conventional email clients for the purposes of life-browsing..