SUGILITE: Creating multimodal smartphone automation by demonstration

Toby Jia Jun Li, Amos Azaria, Brad A. Myers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

122 Scopus citations


SUGILITE is a new programming-by-demonstration (PBD) system that enables users to create automation on smartphones. SUGILITE uses Android's accessibility API to support automating arbitrary tasks in any Android app (or even across multiple apps). When the user gives verbal commands that SUGILITE does not know how to execute, the user can demonstrate by directly manipulating the regular apps' user interface. By leveraging the verbal instructions, the demonstrated procedures, and the apps' UI hierarchy structures, SUGILITE can automatically generalize the script from the recorded actions, so SUGILITE learns how to perform tasks with different variations and parameters from a single demonstration. Extensive error handling and context checking support forking the script when new situations are encountered, and provide robustness if the apps change their user interface. Our lab study suggests that users with little or no programming knowledge can successfully automate smartphone tasks using SUGILITE. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
StatePublished - 2 May 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • End-user development
  • Programming by demonstration
  • Smartphone automation


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