My wide ranging set of research interests can be summed up as investigating human-algorithm interaction: how do people interact with computational systems at scales from small and personal to societal and global. I’m most interested in where we need to develop new ways of thinking to account for the dizzying variety of human experience within digital architectures to build systems that are humane and supportive.


Completed Grants

Research Themes and Selected Publications

(Full List of Publications)

Continuous digital ethnography and use driven design

Entangled ethnography develops ways to use continuous, realtime data to develop understanding of use and behaviour. In order to make sure inferences are valid, it includes contextual enquiry techniques to ground truth data against lived experience. We are also creating tools for exploring and annotating the data, in collaboration with machine learning, and supporting designers in asking questions of existing and yet to be collected data.

This is primarily through the Chatty Factories. Overall, the project aims to develop a vision for next generation manufacturing based on use driven design: creating realtime links from products in the wild back through designers directly into the factory, so that products can be rapidly redesigned based on the way they are really used.

  • Murray-Rust, D., Gorkovenko, K., Burnett, D., & Richards, D. (2019). Entangled Ethnography: Towards a Collective Future Understanding. Proceedings of the Halfway to the Future Symposium 2019, 1–10. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Gorkovenko, K., Burnett, D. J., Thorp, J. K., Richards, D., & Murray-Rust, D. (2020). Exploring The Future of Data-Driven Product Design. Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Gorkovenko, K., Burnett, D., Thorp, J., Richards, D., & Murray-Rust, D. (2019). Supporting Real-Time Contextual Inquiry Through Sensor Data. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry (EPIC2019).
  • Burnett, D., Thorp, J., Richards, D., Gorkovenko, K., & Murray-Rust, D. (2019). Digital Twins as a Resource for Design Research. Proceedings of the 8th ACM International Symposium on Pervasive Displays, 1–2. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Burnap, P., Branson, D., Murray-Rust, D., Preston, J., Richards, D., Burnett, D., … Thorp, J. (2019). Chatty Factories: A Vision for the Future of Product Design and Manufacture with IoT. Living in the IoT: PETRAS/IET Conference 2019.

Prototyping with Emerging infrastructures

New computational systems are springing up around us, shaping society as they go. I’m interested in how we can bring design to bear in this space, offering open experiences that foster critical engagement based on a developed understanding of these technologies. This started with work on GeoCoin, prototyping interactions around geolocated currencies. My main work now is on GeoPact - a system of intelligent objects that interact with location based smart contracts using long range IoT radios (LoRa) (Funded through B-IoT, IoT-Tram and BLING - BLockchain IN Government)

  • Tallyn, E., Revans, J., Morgan, E., Fisken, K., & Murray-Rust, D. (2021). Enacting the Last Mile: Experiences of Smart Contracts in Courier Deliveries. Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Tallyn, E., Revans, J., Morgan, E., & Murray-Rust, D. (2020). GeoPact: Engaging Publics in Location-Aware Smart Contracts through Technological Assemblies. Designing Interactive Systems 2020 Conference, 799–811. ACM.
  • Tallyn, E., Alcala, E., & Murray-Rust, D. (2018). Location Verification and Smart Contracts. HCI for Blockchain Workshop, CHI2018.
  • Nissen, B., Pschetz, L., Murray-Rust, D., Mehrpouya, H., Oosthuizen, S., & Speed, C. (2018). GeoCoin: Supporting Ideation and Collaborative Design with Location-Based Smart Contracts. Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.

Humane Data Interaction

Driven in part by understanding the social within social machines, I have been concerned with aspects of the ways in which people interact with data that have to do with privacy, identity and autonomy. This means opening up areas around humane data interaction – how we can live as humans within an increasingly algorithmically mediated society. Key themes are pro social deception, identity, wayfaring and personal data.

  • Rooksby, J., Morrison, A., & Murray-Rust, D. (2019). Student Perspectives on Digital Phenotyping: The Acceptability of Using Smartphone Data to Assess Mental Health. Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery.
  • van Kleek, M., Murray-Rust, D., Guy, A., O’Hara, K., & Shadbolt, N. (2016). Computationally Mediated Pro-Social Deception. Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction 2016, 552–563. ACM.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Tarte, S., Hartswood, M., & Green, O. (2015). On Wayfaring in Social Machines. WWW ’15 Companion Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, 1143–1148. ACM.
  • Kleek, M. V., Smith, D. A., Shadbolt, N. R., Murray-Rust, D., & Guy, A. (2015). Self Curation, Social Partitioning, Escaping from Prejudice and Harassment: The Many Dimensions of Lying Online. WWW 2015 Companion, 371–372.
  • Murray-Rust, D., O’Hara, K., Oswald, M., Van Kleek, M., & Shadbolt, N. (2015). Privacy by Obfuscation with Personal Data Management Architectures: Possibilities and Constraints. Web Science 2015.
  • Murray-Rust, D., van Kleek, M., Dragan, L., & Shadbolt, N. (2014). Social Palimpsests - Clouding the Lens of the Personal Panopticon. In K. O’Hara, C. Nguyen, & P. Haynes (Eds.), Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2014 (pp. 75–97). Netherlands: IOS Press.

Engineering Social Machines

From Wikipedia to Facebook, social machines have become integral to our daily lives. Digital networked technology now routinely enables coordination of collective action, releasing the power of decentralised hybrid human-machine problem-solving at scale. Supported through the SociaM Project, summed up in The Theory and Practice of Social Machines. Within this, I’ve been working on using Process Calculus to create open interactions on the web.

  • Papapanagiotou, P., Davoust, A., Murray-Rust, D., Manataki, A., van Kleek, M., Shadbolt, N., & Robertson, D. (2018). Social Machines for All. 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, 1208–1212.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Davoust, A., Papapanagiotou, P., Manataki, A., van Kleek, M., Shadbolt, N., & Robertson, D. (2018). Towards Executable Representations of Social Machines. In P. Chapman, G. Stapleton, A. Moktefi, S. Perez-Kriz, & F. Bellucci (Eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference (pp. 765–769). SpringerLink.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Papapanagiotou, P., & Robertson, D. (2016). Softening Electronic Institutions to Support Natural Interaction. Human Computation, 2.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Scekic, O., Truong, H.-L., Robertson, D., & Dustdar, S. (2014). A Collaboration Model for Community-Based Software Development with Social Machines. Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing (CollaborateCom), 2014 International Conference On, 84–93. United States: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • Robertson, D., Moreau, L., Murray-Rust, D., & O’Hara, K. (2014). An Open System for Social Computation. In K. O’Hara, C. Nguyen, & P. Haynes (Eds.), DEF YEARBOOK 2014 - Social Networks and Social Machines, Surveillance and Empowerment.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & Robertson, D. (2014). LSCitter: Building Social Machines by Augmenting Existing Social Networks with Interaction Models. Proceedings of the Companion Publication of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web Companion, 875–880. ACM.

Understanding Mathematical practice

I have a longstanding interest in the ways that digital tools can support mathematical practice, starting with developing a declarative, semantic model of mathematics that can be used both for display and calculation. Through the SociaM project, I became interested in the Social Machines of Mathematics, developing formal structures for modelling online collaboration.

  • Corneli, J., Martin, U., Murray-Rust, D., Nesin, G. R., & Pease, A. (2019). Argumentation Theory for Mathematical Argument. Argumentation, 1–42.
  • Lane, L., Martin, U., Murray-Rust, D., Pease, A., & Tanswell, F. (2018). Journeys in Mathematical Landscapes: Genius or Craft? In Mathematics Education in the Digital Era. Proof Technology in Mathematics Research and Teaching. Springer.
  • Corneli, J., Martin, U., Murray-Rust, D., Pease, A., Puzio, R., & Nesin, G. R. (2017). Modelling the Way Mathematics Is Actually Done. 2017 International Workshop on Functional Art, Music, Modelling and Design (FARM 2017), 10–19. ACM.
  • Corneli, J., Martin, U., Murray-Rust, D., & Pease, A. (2017). Towards Mathematical AI via a Model of the Content and Process of Mathematical Question and Answer Dialogues. In H. Geuvers, M. England, O. Hasan, F. Rabe, & O. Teschke (Eds.), Intelligent Computer Mathematics 10th International Conference, CICM 2017 (pp. 132–146). Springer, Cham.

Art, science and embodied algorithms

I’m interested in the areas between art, science and design. This includes how artistic work can give rise to scientific research and how we understand increasingly animate systems. Through the development of Lichtsuchende, we are exploring how embodied algorithms develop into robot imaginaries. In the emerging Experiential AI research them, we are exploring and how creative practice can shape the way publics and computer scientists understand artificial intelligence.

  • Hemment, D., Aylett, R., Belle, V., Murray-Rust, D., Luger, E., Hillston, J., … Broz, F. (2019). Experiential AI. AI Matters, 5, 25–31.
  • Hemment, D., Belle, V., Aylett, R., Murray-Rust, D., Pschetz, L., & Broz, F. (2019). Toward Fairness, Morality and Transparency in Artificial Intelligence through Experiential AI. Leonardo, 52.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & von Jungenfeld, R. (2017, March). Thinking through Robotic Imaginaries.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & von Jungenfeld, R. (2015). Lichtsuchende : Exploring the Emergence of a Cybernetic Society. In C. Johnson, A. Carballal, & J. Correia (Eds.), Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design, 4th International Conference, EvoMUSART 2015 (LNCS 9027) (Vol. 1, pp. 161–174). Springer International Publishing.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & von Jungenfeld, R. (2015). Lichtsuchende: A Society of Cybernetic, Phototropic Sunflowers. Creativity and Cognition 2015. ACM.
  • Perelló, J., Murray-Rust, D., Nowak, A., & Bishop, S. R. (2012). Linking Science and Arts: Intimate Science, Shared Spaces and Living Experiments. European Physical Journal - Special Topics, 214, 597–634.
  • Murray-Rust, D., & von Jungenfeld, R. (2012). Thawing Colours: Dangling from the Fuzzy End of Interfaces. In D. Ramduny-Ellis, A. Dix, & S. Gill (Eds.), Physicality 2012 - Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Physicality (pp. 33–37). British Informatics Society Limited. (missing reference)

Data Manifestation

‘How does data give rise to experiences? How does data science become the basis for communicative work?’. I’m investigating these questions through a combination of reasearch and teaching. I’m collaborating with Benjamin Bach to understand how to make and use Data Comics to communicate about data. I’m collaborating with Bettina Nissen on WallVis to explore the possibilities of a dynamic, modular data physicalisation system.

  • Bach, B., Wang, Z., Farinella, M., Murray-Rust, D., & Henry Riche, N. (2018). Design Patterns for Data Comics. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). ACM.
  • Wang, Z., Wang, S., Farinella, M., Murray-Rust, D., Henry Riche, N., & Bach, B. (2019). Comparing Effectiveness and Engagement of Data Comics and Infographics. Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.
  • Wang, Z., Sundin, L., Murray-Rust, D., & Bach, B. (2020). Cheat Sheets for Data Visualization Techniques. CHI ’20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 144. ACM.

Algorithms and Music

My PhD was in artificial intelligence and music - creating a system of musical agents that could be improvisational partners.

  • Murray-Rust, D., & Smaill, A. (2011). Towards a Model of Musical Interaction and Communication. Artificial Intelligence, 175, 1697–1721.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Smaill, A., & Edwards, M. (2006). MAMA: An Architecture for Interactive Musical Agents. In G. Brewka, S. Coraeschi, A. Perini, & P. Traverso (Eds.), ECAI 2006, PROCEEDINGS (pp. 36–40). I O S PRESS.
  • Murray-Rust, D., Smaill, A., & Maya, M. C. (2005). VirtuaLatin - Towards a Musical Multi-Agent System. In H. Selvaraj, B. Verma, & A. DeCarvalho (Eds.), ICCIMA 2005: Sixth International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Multimedia Applications, Proceedings (pp. 17–22). United States: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

(Full List of Publications)