Workshop on Reviewable and Auditable Pervasive Systems  (WRAPS)

UbiComp 2021  ·  Virtual  ·  25th September  ·  16:00 - 20:00 CEST  ·  Contact

Emerging technologies (e.g. IoT, AR/VR, AI/ML, etc.) are increasingly being deployed in new and innovative ways – be it in our homes, vehicles, or public spaces. Such technolgies have the potential to bring a wide range of benefits, blending advanced functionality with the physical environment. However, they also have the potential to drive real-world consequences through decisions, interactions, or actuations, and there is a real risk that their use can lead to harms, such as physical injuries, financial loss, or even death. These concerns appear ever-more prevalent, as a growing sense of distrust has led to calls for more transparency and accountability surrounding the development and use of emerging technologies.

A range of things can—and often do—go wrong, be they technical failure, user error, or otherwise. As such, means for the ability to review, understand and act upon the inner workings of how these systems are built/developed and used are crucial to being able to determine the cause of failures, prevent re-occurrences, and/or to identify parties at fault. Yet, despite the wider landscape of societal and legal pressures for record keeping and increased accountability (e.g. GDPR and CCPA), implementing transparency measures face a range of challenges.

This calls for different thinking into how we can better understand (interpret) the emerging technologies that pervade our world. As such, this workshop aims to explore new ideas into the nascent topic, collating some of the outstanding challenges and potential solutions to implementing more meaningful transparency throughout pervasive systems. We look to bring together experts from a range of disciplines, including those of technical, legal, and design-oriented backgrounds.

This workshop is organised by the Compliant and Accountable Systems Group (University of Cambridge) and the Realising Accountable Intelligent Systems (RAInS) project.

Zoom link:


The workshop will take place between 07:00-11:00 PDT / 10:00-14:00 EDT / 16:00-20:00 CEST / 23:00-03:00 JST

Time (CEST) Title Author
16:00-16:05 Introduction Workshop chairs
16:05-17:00 Keynote Jenn Wortman Vaughan
17:00-17:15 Break
17:15-17:45 Identifying Roles, Requirements and Responsibilities in Trustworthy AI Systems Iain Barclay and Will Abramson
17:45-18:15 Particles of a Whole: Design Patterns for Transparent and Auditable AI-Systems Judith Faßbender
18:15-18:45 Data portability as a tool for audit Zoe Zwiebelmann and Tristan Henderson
18:45-19:00 Break
19:00-19:50 Group Discussion
19:50-20:00 Closing Workshop Chairs

Submission Details

This workshop will bring together a range of perspectives into how we can better audit and understand the complex, sociotechnical systems that increasingly pervade our world.

From tools for data capture and retrieval, technical/ethical/legal challenges, and early ideas on concepts of relevance – we are calling for submissions that help further our understanding of how pervasive systems can be built to be reviewable and auditable, helping to bring about more transparent, trustworthy, and accountable technologies.

We invite papers of varying length from 2 to 6 pages (excluding refs) using the ACM sigconf template. Submissions can be made via PCS at

Accepted papers will be published in the UbiComp/ISWC 2021 adjunct proceedings, which will be included in the ACM Digital Library. All submissions will be peer reviewed, and should be properly anonymised.

Some suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Tools, techniques, and frameworks to assist in providing greater transparency & oversight over the workings of pervasive systems
  • Methods for explaining & understanding systems/models
  • Methods for fostering trust & transparency in pervasive systems
  • The usability of audit data
  • Performance implications of capturing audit data
  • Privacy, security and data protection implications of auditability mechanisms
  • Vocabularies and frameworks for modelling relevant information to support auditability & explainability
  • Data aggregation and consolidation
  • Legal considerations relating to record keeping & auditing mechanisms
  • Access controls & data sharing regimes
  • Audit log verification methods

Important Dates

  • Paper submission - June 15 (Extended to June 22)
  • Notifications - July 15
  • Camera Ready Due - July 23
  • Workshop date - 25th September, time TBA


    Chris Norval  (University of Cambridge)

    Chris is a Research Fellow within the Compliant and Accountable Systems group within the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. His research involves exploring how technology can better align with regulatory and societal calls for transparency and accountability. As part of this, much of his work has advocated for techniques, and identified the challenges, toward making complex systems more understandable and usable for a broad range of stakeholders. Chris was Student Volunteer Co-Chair at the 2019 UbiComp/ISWC conference.

    Richard Cloete  (University of Cambridge)

    Richard is a Research Fellow within the Compliant and Accountable Systems group within the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. His research lies at the intersection of technology and law, with a particular focus on methods and processes that work to make emerging technologies safer, more transparent, and accountable.

    Milan Markovic  (University of Aberdeen)

    Milan is a Research Fellow in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen, UK. His research focuses on enhancing transparency and accountability in complex socio-technical systems through intelligent processes based on provenance data models and semantic web technologies. His recent experience includes work on transparency models and IoT solutions for food supply chains, smart cities and autonomous systems.

    Iman Naja  (University of Aberdeen)

    Iman is a Research Fellow in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen, UK. Her current research focuses on using provenance and Semantic Web technologies to explore how to realise accountable and transparent intelligent systems.

    Kristin B Cornelius  (UCLA)

    Kristin received her PhD from the University of Los Angeles, California and is a visiting researcher affiliated with the Compliant and Accountable Systems group at the University of Cambridge. She investigates the transition of paper documents to digital documents, including the consequences of users' interpretations of electronic Terms of Service agreements that have become commonplace across the internet.

Program Committee

  • Jatinder Singh (University of Cambridge)
  • Tristan Henderson (University of St Andrews)
  • Wei Pang (Heriot Watt University)
  • Niko Tsakalakis (University of Southampton)