Participatory Design for Interactive Persuasive Gambling Awareness: Enabling Gambler-Centered Innovation 

In this project, we will conduct participatory design (PD) sessions with gamblers using our EROGamb platform and retrieved gambling behaviour data to build templates and interactive multimedia messages for conscious and responsible gambling. PD stages of immersion, prototyping, trialling and refining will be followed in order to reach consensus. The need for this project stems from the results of recent interviews we conducted with gamblers who saw responsible gambling messages sent by their gambling sites as “superficial”, “trivializing addiction” and “oblivious to their personal and social context”.

The project is funded by the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) in the USA and the direct costs of the project are $44850 with NCRG contribution of $34488

The project is led by Prof. Raian Ali and the investigation team include Dr Emily Arden-Close, Dr Elvira Bolat and Prof. Keith Phalp. The project is supported by Responsible Gambling research at Kindred, William Hill and by StreetScene Rehab Centre.


Software-Assisted Self-monitoring and Peer Surveillance to Combat Digital Addiction [SSCoDA]

Together with Zayed University in the UAE, we are working on a new project designing future software tools to assist in combatting the problematic use of technology and to promote healthier and more conscious and self-controlled usage styles.

The project is funded by the RIF Scheme of Zayed University. The direct cost of the project is around £26K and will cover the recruitment of research assistants, travel and outreach programme.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with SPACE Life Phone Balance, with whom we have an established partnership.

The project is co-led by Prof Mohamed Basel Almourad from Zayed University and Prof Raian Ali from Bournemouth University.

The title of the project is Software-Assisted Self-monitoring and Peer Surveillance to Combat Digital Addiction [SSCoDA]

The projects will assess the efficiency of various forms of software-supported self-monitoring and peer surveillance for aiding people declaring “addictive” usage styles and seeking help in regulating it.


Empowering Responsible Online Gambling with Predictive, Real-time, Persuasive and Interactive Intervention (EROGamb)

EROGamb Logo

In this project, we will design software and research facilities which retrieve the gambling history of subscribed gamblers and help them visualise this in various forms to inform their decisions on their gambling behaviour. It will also implement various software-assisted behaviour change mechanisms to try and reduce problem gambling. To this end, it will enable gamblers to establish plans to manage their gambling and enforce these plans through different persuasive techniques including goal setting and self-monitoring. We will also analyse historical gambling data and responses to performance feedback and complement that with qualitative research to derive gambling profiles and behavioural patterns. This will help an informed decision on which goals and plans to recommend to a particular subscribed gambler and predict their acceptance level.

We will also organise a national workshop involving responsible gambling representatives from a wide range of gambling operators and charities as well as gambling experts aiming to produce a manifesto for a policy change in relation to online gambling and the necessity of offering software facilities to enable a more informed decisions of gamblers via the gambling site or third party applications networking with it.

EROGamb’s  investigation team include Dr. Raian Ali (project lead, Engineering of Social Informatics), Dr. John McAlaney (Cyber and Social Psychology), Prof. Keith Phalp (Software Engineering) and Dr. Marcin Budka (Data Analytics). The project will be conducted through a close collaboration with GambleAware and a range of charities and responsible gambling offices in the UK.

EROGamb is part of our Digital Addiction initiative meant to enable a healthier and well-informed usage of technology.

The overall cost of the project is £118,136 and it is match-funded by  GambleAware and Bournemouth University.


SOCIAD (Social Adaptation:When Software Gives Users a Voice)

Adaptation is a desirable feature of software systems to respond autonomously to changes so that human time and effort are minimized. The ultimate goal is that users get their dynamic requirements met correctly and efficiently. Adaptation is triggered and guided by certain drivers such as context changes and quality assessment of its execution. Traditional adaptive systems engineering assumes a system ability to monitor adaptation triggers autonomously. This assumption, however, is not always possible due to limitation of technology and also to the lack of infrastructure needed to do that in certain uses of the system. SOCIAD advocates that users quality feedback at runtime empower software adaptation.

This project is supported by a European FP7 Marie Curie CIG grant awarded to Dr. Raian Ali at Bournemouth University. The project team includes Prof. Keith Phalp and Assoc. Prof. Jacqui Taylor and a number of PhD students partially funded by this grant.


Digital Addiction: Engineering Addiction-Aware Software

This project adds to cutting-edge research on the emerging phenomenon of Digital Addiction (DA). We defined DA from Software Development perspective, as “the compulsive use of certain software-mediated operations to reach a certain requirement. This includes the case when the use itself is compulsive and also the case when the user cannot switch to other available alternatives to reach the same requirements without a good reason.”

The DA problem is currently articulated in a way that makes the solution entirely belong to other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology and health care. We advocate that software engineering should take part of the problem by designing software which is addiction-aware and help addicts to handle their compulsive and impulsive use of the technology.

Approach: We address DA by involving users in contributing relevant knowledge which then helps to diagnose the reasons for DA and evolve the software accordingly. The expected outcomes are techniques that enable a participatory approach to identify and specify loci in the software and the context of use which lead to addiction. Additionally, the collected dataset should support us in defining measures and patterns of use which characterizes and lead to DA, e.g. length of uninterrupted use, time of day, etc. We will design a social computing platform which utilizes Web 2.0 technology and leverage on two major pillars in order to obtain knowledge on DA from the users perspective and also treat DA.

The project is done collaboratively with Streetscene Addiction Recovery and involves one match-funded PhD, a number of BSc and MSc students’ projects and an outreach programme.

Recently Finished Projects

Foundations for Inter-Disciplinary Research on Digital Addiction

This project will enable an interdisciplinary research on Digital Addiction. It will enable an exchange of visits, seminars and joint research amongst a consortium of eight partners. The topics to be explored include:

  • Software-based behaviour change towards healthier usage style.
  • The socio-cultural effect in perceiving DA and its treatment.
  • Morality and accountability in the cyber-behaviours of addicts
  • Safe internet and vulnerability of digital addicts
  • Software development for “addiction-free” software and the balance and trade-off between different business and health-related requirements.

The investigation team includes colleagues from UK (Bournemouth University, University of Birmingham, University of Leeds, Streetscene Addiction Recovery),  Greece: (Greek Saferinternet Helpline, University of Athens) and United Arab Emirates (Khalifa University, National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC)).  This project was funded by the Fusion Investment Fund of Bournemouth University and coordinated by Dr. Raian Ali.

BUUU: Bournemouth-Utrecht Network on Empowering Software Production by Gamification and Crowdsourcing

BUUU is a network between colleagues in the Computing Departments in Bournemouth University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands . We address the enhancement of software production, maintenance and evolution, via involving end-users to communicate their feedback on the quality of software while using it at runtime. Such crowdsourcing of software evaluation would need to motivate users to actively participate. Hence, we will investigate the use of Gamification to increase users motivation to provide feedback and sustain that willingness. The project is funded by the Fusion Investment Fund of Bournemouth University and coordinated by Dr. Raian Ali.

BBB: Bournemouth-Birmingham-Brasilia Network on Socially-Adaptive Cloud

 This project creates a community of interest which involves the computing groups of Bournemouth University, University of Brasilia, and University of Birmingham. The three groups are focused on Software Engineering research and this project involves exchange visits and the establishment of joint work. BBB co-operatively initiates a timely thread of research on Socially-Adaptive Cloud SaaS. We are investigating core engineering foundations required to enable end-users to formulate Software-as-a-Service adaptation decisions at runtime. This focuses on the collection of users feedback about the quality of SaaS which could be used by the SaaS to adapt autonomously. BBB is funded by the Fusion Investment Fund of Bournemouth University and coordinated by Dr. Raian Ali.

VolaComp: Software Engineering for Volatile Compliance

 VolaComp (Software Engineering for Volatile Compliance) creates a community of interest which involves 3 software engineering groups from: UniversitatPolitecnica de Valencia Spain, Simula research laboratory, Norway and Bournemouth University, UK. VolaComp focuses on ensuring software systems compliance with the dynamic changes in the socio-technical environment of a system including regulations, social norms, and business and IT contexts. The project is funded by the Fusion Investment Fund of Bournemouth University and coordinated by Dr. Raian Ali.