First Workshop on Computing within Limits
June 15-16, Irvine, CA, USA

About LIMITS 2015

LIMITS 2015 aims to foster discussion on the impact of present or future ecological, material, energetic, and/or societal limits on computing. These topics are seldom discussed in contemporary computing research. The medium-term aim of the workshop is to foster concrete research, potentially of an interdisciplinary nature, that innovates on technologies, techniques, and contexts for computing within fundamental limits. A longer-term goal is to build a community around relevant topics and research, with LIMITS 2015 constituting the inaugural meeting. A goal of this community is to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits and/or scarcity.


Bonnie Nardi, UC Irvine,
Daniel Pargman, KTH Royal Institute of Technology,
Teresa Cerratto Pargman, Stockholm University,
Don Patterson, UC Irvine,
Barath Raghavan, ICSI,
Debra Richardson, UC Irvine,
Bill Tomlinson, UC Irvine,

Program and Papers

Monday, June 15

Time Activity
9:00 Welcome
9:30 Group Introductions
10:30 Break
11:00 Paper Session 1
Deviant and Guilt-Ridden: Computing Within Psychological Limits
Bran Knowles (Lancaster University) and Elina Eriksson (KTH)
Information systems for the age of consequences
M. Six Silberman (UC Irvine)
Collapse (and Other Futures) Software Engineering
Birgit Penzenstadler, Ankita Raturi, Debra J. Richardson, M. Six Silberman, and Bill Tomlinson (UC Irvine)
12:00 Paper Session 2
Computing Efficiency, Sufficiency, and Self-sufficiency: A Model for Sustainability?
Lorenz M. Hilty (University of Zurich)
Limits and Sustainable Interaction Design: Obsolescence in a Future of Collapse and Resource Scarcity
Christian Remy and Elaine M. Huang (University of Zurich)
What to do with all these bits?
Richard P. Donovan (UC Irvine)
1:00 Lunch
2:00 Paper Session 3
Preliminary Thoughts on a Taxonomy of Value for Sustainable Computing
Kentaro Toyama (University of Michigan)
Energy-Agility: A New Grid-centric Metric for Evaluating System Performance
Supreeth Subramanya, Zain Mustafa, David Irwin, and Prashant Shenoy (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Abstraction, Indirection, and Sevareid’s Law: Towards Benign Computing
Barath Raghavan (ICSI)
3:00 Breakout session 1: Creating fictional abstracts
4:00 Breakout session 2: How did you arrive at LIMITS?
4:30 Leave for Arboretum

Tuesday, June 16

Time Activity
9:00 Paper Session 4
Understanding Limits From a Social Ecological Perspective
Teresa Cerratto Pargman and Somya Joshi (Stockholm University)
Foster the "mores", counter the "limits"
Xinning Gui and Bonnie Nardi (UC Irvine)
Toward a Computational Immigration Assistant
Bill Tomlinson (UC Irvine)
10:00 Paper Session 5
Computing within Limits and ICTD
Jay Chen (NYU)
Haitian Resiliency: A Case Study in Intermittent Infrastructure
Donald J. Patterson (UC Irvine)
Cacophony: Building a Resilient Internet of Things
John H. Brock and Donald J. Patterson (UC Irvine)
11:00 Break
11:30 Breakout session 3: What makes LIMITS different?
12:15 Breakout session 4: How do we talk about this in public?
1:00 Lunch
2:00 Paper Session 6
Inequality and Limits
Bonnie Nardi (UC Irvine)
Understanding the Limits of Competitive Processes
Henry Lieberman and Christopher Fry (MIT)
On the Limits of Limits
Daniel Pargman (KTH)
3:00 Breakout session 5: What constitutes good LIMITS research?
4:00 Workshop summary
5:00 Closing remarks

Wednesday, June 17

Please consider joining an informal gathering on Wednesday if you plan to be around Irvine. We will use the ``Hoffice'' methodology (which you can read about here and here) of having 45 minute work sessions followed by short breaks with social activities. During each work session you can choose to work by yourself (for example answering e-mail) or engage others in discussions of projects, proposals, or ideas that the workshop raised or that you develop during the day.

The gathering is planned from 9 am to 5 pm but the flexible format allows you to arrive late or leave early. The local organisers will provide us with suitable premises for the gathering but we need to know how many will come. Please send an e-mail to with the topic ``LIMITS Hoffice'' if you are interested in participating.

Travel and Local Information

Date: June 15-16, 2015

Location: Newkirk Alumni Center on the campus of UC Irvine in Irvine, CA; this is building 450 on the campus map. NOTE: This building is NOT the same as the Newkirk Center (which is in a different part of campus).

450 Alumni Court
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-1225

The arboretum is nearby and we plan to walk there for dinner on Monday.

Please contact Bonnie Nardi to discuss travel arrangements at