Time Manager (Emma)

Time Manager (Emma) is a personalized calendar management assistant that handles email meeting requests, reserves venues, and schedules events. It learns user preferences unobtrusively over time by observing user decisions with respect to scheduling options. The system interfaces with commercial enterprise calendaring platforms and operates seamlessly with users who do not have Time Manager.


Time Manager (also known as Emma) is a personalized calendar management tool that assists a user in scheduling meetings and organizing events, drawing on learned models of user preferences to provide solutions that are tailored to an individual. Time Manager does this by integrating commercially available calendaring tools and user-interface technology with state-of-the-art algorithms for scheduling, negotiation, and preference learning.

Within Time Manager, users can specify meeting requests through either a forms-based or restricted natural language interface. Time Manager suggests possible options to the user, drawing on its model of current constraints and user preferences to produce solutions that are likely to suit a particular situation. With Time Manager’s interactive graphical interface, the user visualizes and manipulates current and potential schedules in a natural and intuitive manner. Information about preferences (the user’s and others) can be displayed to help the user make appropriate scheduling decisions.

Time Manager’s personalization builds on a number of learning capabilities. In particular, Time Manager learns

  • your preferences for days, times, and locations for meetings
  • how to work with other users’ preferences
  • how to resolve over-constrained problems

Learning occurs unobtrusively in the system, drawing on implicit feedback from user actions in response to choices presented by the underlying scheduling module in the system. Additionally, users can provide explicit feedback to improve the learning, in the form of ratings or rankings for scheduling options.

Time Manager uses two off-the-shelf services, LDAP (OpenLDAP) and JMS messaging (ActiveMQ message server). These services facilitate message passing between Emma clients, email address resolution and calendar look-up.



  • Compatible with Windows XP platform
  • Java 1.5 or above
  • Access to a Google or Zimbra calendar account



  • Currently only integrated with Google and Zimbra calendars
  • Recurring meetings are currently not working properly