Publication statistics

Pub. period:1994-2008
Pub. count:26
Number of co-authors:40


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Yatin Chawathe:
Sunny Consolvo:
Jeffrey Hightower:



Productive colleagues

Bill N. Schilit's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

James A. Landay:91
Catherine C. Marsh..:55
Jennifer Mankoff:45

Upcoming Courses

go to course
Get Your First Job as a UX or Interaction Designer
go to course
Information Visualization: Getting Dashboards Right
90% booked. Starts in 5 days

Featured chapter

Marc Hassenzahl explains the fascinating concept of User Experience and Experience Design. Commentaries by Don Norman, Eric Reiss, Mark Blythe, and Whitney Hess

User Experience and Experience Design !


Our Latest Books

The Glossary of Human Computer Interaction
by Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam
start reading
The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities. 2nd Edition
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
start reading
Gamification at Work: Designing Engaging Business Software
by Janaki Mythily Kumar and Mario Herger
start reading
The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
start reading
The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.
by Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam
start reading

Bill N. Schilit

Picture of Bill N. Schilit.
Update pic
Personal Homepage:

Current place of employment:
Google Research

Bill's area of research is ubiquitous computing at the intersection of information retrieval, access, and mobility. For more information on projects and papers, see


Publications by Bill N. Schilit (bibliography)

 what's this?
Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N. and Kolak, Okan (2008): Exploring a digital library through key ideas. In: JCDL08 Proceedings of the 8th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2008. pp. 177-186.

Key Ideas is a technique for exploring digital libraries by navigating passages that repeat across multiple books. From these popular passages emerge quotations that authors have copied from book to book because they capture an idea particularly well: Jefferson on liberty; Stanton on women's rights; and Gibson on cyberpunk. We augment Popular Passages by extracting key terms from the surrounding context and computing sets of related key terms. We then create an interaction model where readers fluidly explore the library by viewing popular quotations on a particular key term, and follow links to quotations on related key terms. In this paper we describe our vision and motivation for Key Ideas, present an implementation running over a massive, real-world digital library consisting of over a million scanned books, and describe some of the technical and design challenges. The principal contribution of this paper is the interaction model and prototype system for browsing digital libraries of books using key terms extracted from the aggregate context of popularly quoted passages.

© All rights reserved Schilit and Kolak and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Kolak, Okan and Schilit, Bill N. (2008): Generating links by mining quotations. In: Proceedings of the Nineteenth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia 2008. pp. 117-126.

Scanning books, magazines, and newspapers has become a widespread activity because people believe that much of the worlds information still resides off-line. In general after works are scanned they are indexed for search and processed to add links. This paper describes a new approach to automatically add links by mining popularly quoted passages. Our technique connects elements that are semantically rich, so strong relations are made. Moreover, link targets point within a work, facilitating navigation. This paper makes three contributions. We describe a scalable algorithm for mining repeated word sequences from extremely large text corpora. Second, we present techniques that filter and rank the repeated sequences for quotations. Third, we present a new user interface for navigating across and within works in the collection using quotation links. Our system has been run on a digital library of over 1 million books and has been used by thousands of people.

© All rights reserved Kolak and Schilit and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Yang, Jeonghwa, Schilit, Bill N. and McDonald, David W. (2008): Activity Recognition for the Digital Home. In IEEE Computer, 41 (4) pp. 102-104.

Edit | Del

Torrey, Cristen, McDonald, David W., Schilit, Bill N. and Bly, Sara A. (2007): How-To Pages: Informal Systems of Expertise Sharing. In: Proceedings of the Tenth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2007. pp. 391-410.

The How-To has recently emerged as a genre of online content that describes how something is done. This study focuses on computer and electronics hobbyists and their use of How-Tos -- how hobbyists use existing knowledge to solve technical challenges, how they document their new knowledge for one another, and how they exchange help and feedback. Our analysis describes How-To knowledge sharing as a fully decentralized expertise-location system in which the How-To functions as both a broadcast of the author's expertise and a personal portfolio.

© All rights reserved Torrey et al. and/or Springer

Edit | Del

Newman, Mark W., Smith, Trevor F. and Schilit, Bill N. (2006): Recipes for Digital Living. In IEEE Computer, 39 (2) pp. 104-106.

Edit | Del

LaMarca, Anthony, Chawathe, Yatin, Consolvo, Sunny, Hightower, Jeffrey, Smith, Ian E., Scott, James, Sohn, Timothy, Howard, James, Hughes, Jeff, Potter, Fred, Tabert, Jason, Powledge, Pauline, Borriello, Gaetano and Schilit, Bill N. (2005): Place Lab: Device Positioning Using Radio Beacons in the Wild. In: Gellersen, Hans-Werner, Want, Roy and Schmidt, Albrecht (eds.) PERVASIVE 2005 - Pervasive Computing, Third International Conference May 8-13, 2005, Munich, Germany. pp. 116-133.

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N. and Sengupta, Uttam (2004): Device Ensembles. In IEEE Computer, 37 (12) pp. 56-64.

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N. (2003): Mega-Utilities Drive Invisible Technologies. In IEEE Computer, 36 (2) pp. 97-99.

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N., Hong, Jason I. and Gruteser, Marco (2003): Wireless Location Privacy Protection. In IEEE Computer, 36 (12) pp. 135-137.

Edit | Del

Trevor, Jonathan, Hilbert, David M. and Schilit, Bill N. (2002): Issues in Personalizing Shared Ubiquitous Devices. In: Borriello, Gaetano and Holmquist, Lars Erik (eds.) UbiComp 2002 Ubiquitous Computing - 4th International Conference September 29 - October 1, 2002, Gteborg, Sweden. pp. 56-72.

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N., Trevor, Jonathan, Hilbert, David M. and Koh, Tzu Khiau (2002): Web Interaction Using Very Small Internet Devices. In IEEE Computer, 35 (10) pp. 37-45.

Edit | Del

Trevor, Jonathan, Hilbert, David M., Schilit, Bill N. and Koh, Tzu Khiau (2001): From desktop to phonetop: a UI for web interaction on very small devices. In: Marks, Joe and Mynatt, Elizabeth D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 14th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology November 11 - 14, 2001, Orlando, Florida. pp. 121-130.

While it is generally accepted that new Internet terminals should leverage the installed base of Web content and services, the differences between desktop computers and very small devices makes this challenging. Indeed, the browser interaction model has evolved on desktop computers having a unique combination of user interface (large display, keyboard, pointing device), hardware, and networking capabilities. In contrast, Internet enabled cell phones, typically with 3-10 lines of text, sacrifice usability as Web terminals in favor of portability and other functions. Based on our earlier experiences building and using a Web browser for small devices we propose a new UI that splits apart the integrated activities of link following and reading into separate modes: navigating to; and acting on web content. This interaction technique for very small devices is both simpler for navigating and allows users to do more than just read. The M-Links system incorporates modal browsing interaction and addresses a number of associated problems. We have built our system with an emphasis on simplicity and user extensibility and describe the design, implementation and evolution of the user interface.

© All rights reserved Trevor et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Marshall, Catherine C., Price, Morgan N., Golovchinsky, Gene and Schilit, Bill N. (2001): Designing E-Books for Legal Research. In: JCDL01: Proceedings of the 1st ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2001. pp. 41-48.

In this paper we report the findings from a field study of legal research in a first-tier law school and on the resulting redesign of XLibris, a next-generation e-book. We first characterize a work setting in which we expected an e-book to be a useful interface for reading and otherwise using a mix of physical and digital library materials, and explore what kinds of reading-related functionality would bring value to this setting. We do this by describing important aspects of legal research in a heterogeneous information environment, including mobility, reading, annotation, link following and writing practices, and their general implications for design. We then discuss how our work with a user community and an evolving e-book prototype allowed us to examine tandem issues of usability and utility, and to redesign an existing e-book user interface to suit the needs of law students. The study caused us to move away from the notion of a stand-alone reading device and toward the concept of a document laptop, a platform that would provide wireless access to information resources, as well as support a fuller spectrum of reading-related activities.

© All rights reserved Marshall et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Want, Roy and Schilit, Bill N. (2001): Guest Editors' Introduction: Expanding the Horizons of Location-Aware Computing. In IEEE Computer, 34 (8) pp. 31-34.

Edit | Del

Marshall, Catherine C., Price, Morgan N., Golovchinsky, Gene and Schilit, Bill N. (1999): Introducing a Digital Library Reading Appliance into a Reading Group. In: DL99: Proceedings of the 4th ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries 1999. pp. 77-84.

Edit | Del

Golovchinsky, Gene, Price, Morgan N. and Schilit, Bill N. (1999): From Reading to Retrieval: Freeform Ink Annotations as Queries. In: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval 1999. pp. 19-25.

Edit | Del

Marshall, Catherine C., Price, Morgan N., Golovchinsky, Gene and Schilit, Bill N. (1999): Collaborating over Portable Reading Appliances. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 3 (1) . http://

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N., Price, Morgan N., Golovchinsky, Gene, Tanaka, Kei and Marshall, Catherine C. (1999): As We May Read: The Reading Appliance Revolution. In IEEE Computer, 32 (1) pp. 65-73.

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N., Golovchinsky, Gene and Price, Morgan N. (1998): Beyond Paper: Supporting Active Reading with Free Form Digital Ink Annotations. In: Karat, Clare-Marie, Lund, Arnold, Coutaz, Jolle and Karat, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 98 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 18-23, 1998, Los Angeles, California. pp. 249-256.

Reading frequently involves not just looking at words on a page, but also underlining, highlighting and commenting, either on the text or in a separate notebook. This combination of reading with critical thinking and learning is called active reading [2]. To explore the premise that computation can enhance active reading we have built the XLibris "active reading machine." XLibris uses a commercial high-resolution pen tablet display along with a paper-like user interface to support the key affordances of paper for active reading: the reader can hold a scanned image of a page in his lap and mark on it with digital ink. To go beyond paper, XLibris monitors the free-form ink annotations made while reading, and uses these to organize and to search for information. Readers can review, sort and filter clippings of their annotated text in a "Reader's Notebook." XLibris also searches for material related to the annotated text, and displays links to similar documents unobtrusively in the margin. XLibris demonstrates that computers can help active readers organize and find information while retaining many of the advantages of reading on paper.

© All rights reserved Schilit et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Davis, Richard, Lin, James, Brotherton, Jason, Landay, James A., Price, Morgan N. and Schilit, Bill N. (1998): A Framework for Sharing Handwritten Notes. In: Mynatt, Elizabeth D. and Jacob, Robert J. K. (eds.) Proceedings of the 11th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology November 01 - 04, 1998, San Francisco, California, United States. pp. 119-120.

NotePals is an ink-based, collaborative note taking application that runs on personal digital assistants (PDAs). Meeting participants write notes in their own handwriting on a PDA. These notes are shared with other participants by synchronizing later with a shared note repository that can be viewed using a desktop-based web browser. NotePals is distinguished by its lightweight process, interface, and hardware. This demonstration illustrates the design of two different NotePals clients and our web-based note browser.

© All rights reserved Davis et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Price, Morgan N., Golovchinsky, Gene and Schilit, Bill N. (1998): Linking by Inking: Trailblazing in a Paper-Like Hypertext. In: Hypertext 98 - Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia June 20-24, 1998, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. pp. 30-39.

"Linking by inking" is a new interface for reader-directed link construction that bridges reading and browsing activities. We are developing linking by inking in XLibris, a hypertext system based on the paper document metaphor. Readers use a pen computer to annotate page images with free-form ink, much as they would on paper, and the computer constructs hypertext links based on the ink marks. This paper proposes two kinds of reader-directed links: automatic and manual. Automatic links are created in response to readers' annotations. The system extracts the text near free-form ink marks, uses these terms to construct queries, executes queries against a collection of documents, and unobtrusively displays links to related documents in the margin or as "further reading lists." We also present a design for manual (ad hoc) linking: circling an ink symbol generates a multi-way link to other instances of the same symbol.

© All rights reserved Price et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N., Price, Morgan N. and Golovchinsky, Gene (1998): Digital Library Information Appliances. In: DL98: Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries 1998. pp. 217-226.

Although digital libraries are intended to support education and knowledge work, current digital library interfaces are narrowly focused on retrieval. Furthermore, they are designed for desktop computers with keyboards, mice, and high-speed network connections. Desktop computers fail to support many key aspects of knowledge work, including active reading, free form ink annotation, fluid movement among document activities, and physical mobility. This paper proposes portable computers specialized for knowledge work, or digital library information appliances, as a new platform for accessing digital libraries. We present a number of ways that knowledge work can be augmented and transformed by the use of such appliances. These insights are based on our implementation of two research prototype systems: XLibris, an "active reading machine," and TeleWeb, a mobile World Wide Web browser.

© All rights reserved Schilit et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Wilcox, Lynn D., Schilit, Bill N. and Sawhney, Nitin (1997): Dynomite: A Dynamically Organized Ink and Audio Notebook. In: Pemberton, Steven (ed.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 97 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference March 22-27, 1997, Atlanta, Georgia. pp. 186-193.

Dynomite is a portable electronic notebook for the capture and retrieval of handwritten and audio notes. The goal of Dynomite is to merge the organization, search, and data acquisition capabilities of a computer with the benefits of a paper-based notebook. Dynomite provides novel solutions in four key problem areas. First, Dynomite uses a casual, low cognitive overhead interface. Second, for content indexing of notes, Dynomite uses ink properties and keywords. Third, to assist organization, Dynomite's properties and keywords define views, presenting a subset of the notebook content that dynamically changes as users add new information. Finally, to augment handwritten notes with audio on devices with limited storage, Dynomite continuously records audio, but only permanently stores those parts highlighted by the user.

© All rights reserved Wilcox et al. and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Mankoff, Jennifer and Schilit, Bill N. (1997): Supporting Knowledge Workers Beyond the Desktop with Palplates. In: Pemberton, Steven (ed.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 97 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference March 22-27, 1997, Atlanta, Georgia. pp. 550-551.

Palplates are a collection of touch-screen terminals placed around the office enabling human-computer interactions at the point of need. Supporting a community of mobile authenticated workers with a small number of stationary devices is an alternative to providing each person with a portable wireless computer. In contrast to the PC's desktop metaphor, Palplates use a place metaphor that reflect the actual rooms, corridors, and buildings that are part of the office place. Users interact graphically with applications supported by a geographic database. The user interface is generated dynamically based on the user's identity, the point-of-access, and the changing collection of physical office equipment, electronic documents and applications present at any given location.

© All rights reserved Mankoff and Schilit and/or ACM Press

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N., Adams, Norman I. and Want, Roy (1994): Context-Aware Computing Applications. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications December, 1994, Santa Cruz, CA, USA. .

This paper describes software that examines and reacts to an individual's changing context. Such software can promote and mediate people's interactions with devices, computers, and other people, and it can help navigate unfamiliar places. We believe that a limited amount of information covering a person's proximate environment is most important for this form of computing since the interesting part of the world around us is what we can see, hear, and touch. In this paper we define context-aware computing, and describe four categories of context-aware applications: proximate selection, automatic contextual reconfiguration, contextual information and commands, and context-triggered actions. Instances of these application types have been prototyped on the PARCTAB, a wireless, palm-sized compute

© All rights reserved Schilit et al. and/or IEEE Computer Society

Edit | Del

Schilit, Bill N. and Theimer, Marvin M. (1994): Disseminating active map information to mobile hosts. In IEEE Network, 8 (5) pp. 22-32.

Mobile computing di ers from desk-top computing because of the dynamic nature of system state: as users move, the sets of stationary and mobile objects they control and the types of information they wish to access change. Navigating a mobile environment can be aided by active maps that describe the location and characteristics of objects within some region as they change over time. We describe an active map service that keeps clients informed of changes in their environment. The primary issue driving our design is the question of scale: an active map service must be able to handle updates and queries over suciently large regions of space to satisfy clients' interests and must be able to handle peak loads that can occur when everyone in a region is moving around, for example, to attend a meeting. Our solution detects sets of clients that wish to receive the same active map information and then dynamically assigns multicast groups to them. To guarantee clients that they and their communication links will not be overloaded the active map provides guaranteed limits on bandwidth use.

© All rights reserved Schilit and Theimer and/or IEEE Communications Society

 Cited in the following chapter:

: [Not yet published]

 Cited in the following chapter:

: [Not yet published]

Add publication
Show list on your website

Join our community and advance:




Join our community!

Page Information

Page maintainer: The Editorial Team