Physiological Computing

Full paper submission deadline: 1 April 2015
Publication date: October 2015

Computer seeks submissions for the October 2015 special issue on challenges and applications in physiological computing.

Physiological computing—using human physiological data as system inputs in real time — makes it possible to create dynamic user-state representations so that software can respond dynamically and context-specifically to changes in actual human user states. Various paradigms for human–computer interaction fall under this general system rubric: brain–computer interfaces, affective computing, adaptive automation, and health informatics, among others.

Systems like these offer a number of advantages. For example, they can

  • enhance interaction possibilities, particularly during eyes-busy or hands-busy applications;
  • allow for implicit control and/or response mechanisms, such as automatic tagging of media content without explicit gesturing; and
  • promote desirable psychological states and mitigate undesirable ones, with benefits ranging from better performance to greater overall health.

Emerging research themes for physiological computing systems include sensor development; real-time signal processing in the field; inference processing (for example, between psychological states and objective measures); data classification methods; and interface/interaction design.

Recent advances in physiological sensor technology and machine learning have sparked increased development of such systems in a variety of fields and also spurred exploration of new paradigms such as human–computer symbiosis, which posits a deep mutual understanding between humans and the computers that exploit their implicit physiological signals (see G. Jacucci et al., “Symbiotic Interaction: A Critical Definition and Comparison to Other Human–Computer Paradigms,” Proc. 3rd Int’l Workshop Symbiotic Interaction, Springer, 2014, pp. 3–20).

This special issue aims to report on current tools, challenges, and applications of physiological computing, providing readers a broad but detailed understanding of how this area has developed and where it is going next. Topics of interest include but are not limited to

  • New human–computer paradigms enabled by physiological computing — for example, symbiosis;
  • Sensor design, including smart clothing, embedded sensors, and contact-free monitoring;
  • Technological challenges, such as inferring states from measures in the real world and real-time classification;
  • Interaction issues, including system accuracy, application acceptance, and interface design; and
  • Potential applications — for example, mental workload monitoring, media tagging, adaptive gaming, and robotics.

Only technical articles describing previously unpublished, original, state-of-the-art research, and not currently under review by a conference or a journal will be considered. Updates to ongoing research efforts are welcome, as long as the content is at least 30 percent different from published manuscripts, the new document cites the authors' previous work, and the authors provide the editors with a description of how the new document differs. Articles should be understandable to a broad audience of computer science and engineering professionals, avoiding a focus on theory, mathematics, jargon, and abstract concepts. All manuscripts are subject to peer review on both technical merit and relevance to Computer's readership. Accepted papers will be professionally edited for content and style.

The guest editors for this special issue are

Paper submissions are due 1 April 2015. For author guidelines and information, visit

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