Our digital life consists of activities that are organized around tasks and exhibit different user states in the digital contexts around these activities. Previous works have shown that digital activity monitoring can be used to predict entities that users will need to perform digital tasks. There have been methods developed to automatically detect the tasks of a user. However, these studies typically support only specific applications and tasks and relatively little research has been conducted on real-life digital activities. This paper introduces user state modeling and prediction with contextual information captured as entities, recorded from real-world digital user behavior, called entity footprinting; a system that records users’ digital activities on their screens and proactively provides useful entities across application boundaries without requiring explicit query formulation. Our methodology is to detect contextual user states using latent representations of entities occurring in digital activities. Using topic models and recurrent neural networks, the model learns the latent representation of concurrent entities and their sequential relationships. We report a field study in which the digital activities of thirteen people were recorded continuously for 14 days. The model learned from this data is used to 1) predict contextual user states, and 2) predict relevant entities for the detected states. The results show improved user state detection accuracy and entity prediction performance compared to static, heuristic, and basic topic models. Our findings have implications for the design of proactive recommendation systems that can implicitly infer users’ contextual state by monitoring users’ digital activities and proactively recommending the right information at the right time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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