Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Computer Science

Advisor 1

Charles Wallace

Committee Member 1

Chelsea Schelly

Committee Member 2

Robert Pastel


The Food, Energy and Water Conscious (FEWCON) project seeks to understand how food, energy and water (FEW) as independent resources within households are connected. In the main study of the project, intervention messages that link household FEW consumption to equivalent climate consequences are pushed to the households. The goal of the FEWCON study is to determine potential intervention messages that influence household FEW consumption behavior.

A key component of the FEWCON study is a web application named HomeTracker (Household Metabolism Tracker) which collects FEW consumption data within households, then uses this data to select consumption-specific feedback to the homeowners. To collect FEW household data, both manual and automated techniques are integrated into the HomeTracker. The overall feedback system is semi-automated, with protocols established for both HomeTracker and the participants.

The goals of the HomeTracker as a software system arewere to accurately capture FEW data, to be consistent across participants of the FEWCON study, and to minimize the burden on the participants while maintaining integrity of the overall study. The FEWCON team spans six institutions and five collaborators and includes individuals with a wide range of backgrounds: environmental engineering and modeling, climate and ecosystem science, social and behavioral economics policy, and software engineering. With such a diverse team of geographically distributed stakeholders, there were challenges in the decision making process of developing HomeTracker. Through iterative design and attention to the stakeholders, HomeTracker has accomplished its goals.

This report details the research and development process for creating HomeTracker. It begins by introducing the FEWCON project and the associated household study. The HomeTracker development project is then outlined. This is followed with the details regarding the design decisions made throughout the development of HomeTracker. The report concludes by discussing the next steps that should be taken to finalize the HomeTracker for the FEWCON study.