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PETRA Tables of Contents: 0809101112131415

Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments

Fullname:Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments
Editors:Fillia Makedon; Lynne Baillie; Grammati Pantziou; Ilias Maglogiannis
Location:Athens, Greece
Dates:2008-Jul-16 to 2008-Jul-18
Standard No:ISBN: 1-60558-067-8, 978-1-60558-067-8; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: PETRA08
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Context aware healthcare networks
  2. Reasoning systems and machine learning for assistive environments
  3. Tools, infrastructures, architectures and techniques for deploying pervasive applications in assistive environments
  4. Mobile technologies for healthcare information storage, transmission, processing and feedback
  5. Networking technologies for healthcare information storage, transmission, processing, and feedback
  6. Signal and image processing for ambient intelligence and pervasive computing
  7. Usability and HCI issues, multimodal interfaces
  8. Privacy, security, trust and interoperability in assistive environments
  9. Homecare systems
  10. Wearable, ambient and home based health and wellness measurement and monitoring technologies
  11. Posters
  12. Workshops

Context aware healthcare networks

Enabling human status awareness in assistive environments based on advanced sound and motion data classification BIBAKFull-Text 1
  Charalampos Doukas; Ilias Maglogiannis
The paper presents the concept and an initial implementation of a patient status awareness system that may be used for patient activity interpretation and emergency recognition in cases like elder falls and distress speech expressions. The awareness is performed through collecting, analyzing and classifying motion and sound data. The latter are collected through sensors equipped with accelerometers and microphones that are attached on the body of the patients and transmit patient movement and sound data wirelessly to the monitoring unit. Applying Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT) and spectrogram analysis on sounds detection of fall incidents is possible. The classification of the sound and movement data is performed using Support Vector Machines. Evaluation results indicate the high accuracy and the effectiveness of the proposed implementation. The system architecture is open and can be easily enhanced to include patient awareness based on additional context (e.g., physiological data).
Keywords: SVM classification, emergency event detection, movement and sound analysis, patient status awareness
An ontology-driven ambiguous contexts mediation framework for smart healthcare applications BIBAKFull-Text 2
  Nirmalya Roy; Gautham Pallapa; Sajal K. Das
Ubiquitous (or smart) healthcare applications envision sensor rich computing and networking environments that can capture various types of contexts of patients (or inhabitants of the environment), such as their location, activities and vital signs. Such context information is useful in providing health related and wellness management services in an intelligent way so as to promote independent living. However, in reality, both sensed and interpreted contexts may often be ambiguous, leading to fatal decisions if not properly handled. Thus, a significant challenge facing the development of realistic and deployable context-aware services for healthcare applications is the ability to deal with ambiguous contexts to prevent hazardous situations. In this paper, we propose a quality assured ontology-driven context mediation framework, based on efficient context-aware data fusion using resource constrained sensor network. The proposed framework provides a systematic approach based on dynamic Bayesian network to derive context fragments and deal with context ambiguity in a probabilistic manner. It has the ability to represent contexts according to the applications' ontology and easily composable ontological rules to mediate ambiguous contexts. We have also implemented a demonstration of the use of our model using semantic web language. Through simulation, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed framework.
Keywords: Bayesian networks, context-awareness, health monitoring, multi sensor fusion, ontology, semantic web
Issues in data fusion for healthcare monitoring BIBAKFull-Text 3
  Hyun Lee; Kyungseo Park; Byoungyong Lee; Jaesung Choi; Ramez Elmasri
Pervasive healthcare monitoring using body sensors and wireless sensor networks is a rapidly growing area in healthcare monitoring applications. Several issues arise in these systems, such as complex distributed data processing, data fusion, unreliable data communication, and uncertainty of data analysis in order to successfully monitor patients in real time. In this paper, we introduce some of the important issues in healthcare monitoring with focus on software problems such as reliability, network robustness, and context awareness. We describe related works in data filtering, data fusion, and data analysis then we suggest new architecture for handling data cleaning, data fusion, and context and knowledge generation using multi-tiered communication and a triadic hierarchical class analysis approach. The proposed architecture is called "Pervasive Healthcare Architecture" and we discuss how it can be applied to a particular monitoring scenario.
Keywords: context generation, data fusion, pervasive healthcare monitoring system, reliability
Context-aware computing for assistive meeting system BIBAKFull-Text 4
  Peng Dai; Guangyou Xu
Human-centered computing and implicit human computer interaction will be the future computing models, which can be realized in various pervasive computing environments. Thus computer understanding of human actions and intentions becomes the key. Context plays a significant role in the understanding of multi-party human interactions such as meetings. Dynamic context in this paper cannot be sensed through traditional context-aware approaches; instead a probabilistic framework is required to perform online analysis of multi-level context. Therefore this paper presents a Dynamic Context Model to solve the problem of context awareness toward group meeting analysis and services, which includes multimodal analysis of group interaction scenarios and provision of attentive services to the users. According to our concepts, a distributed multimedia processing system has been implemented in the smart meeting room and preliminary experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.
Keywords: assistive meeting system, context-aware computing, dynamic context model, group meeting analysis
Effective collaboration for healthcare by bridging the reality gap across media-physical spaces BIBAKFull-Text 5
  Kei Hoshi; John Waterworth
There are growing needs for communication and collaboration on different managerial and operational levels in healthcare. On e trend th at has been noted in our modern society is the move of nursing care from traditional hospitals to the patient's own home. The aim of this paper is to suggest a conceptual solution for healthcare collaboration and to provide an intersectional approach to go beyond that which was possible today and towards better communication and collaboration tomorrow. First, this paper discusses specific issues in communication and collaboration arising from the reality gap between media-physical spaces, then proposes an overview of a new way to approach problems for which conventional design methods offer no clear solution. The paper is thus mostly a description of a problem area, and a general approach to addressing it. We conclude with a description of future needs for further research on collaborative healthcare.
Keywords: collaboration environment, context, presence, tangibility

Reasoning systems and machine learning for assistive environments

Virtual humans for assisted health care BIBAKFull-Text 6
  Patrick Kenny; Thomas Parsons; Jonathan Gratch; Albert Rizzo
There is a growing need for applications that can dynamically interact with aging populations to gather information, monitor their health care, provide information, or even act as companions. Virtual human agents or virtual characters offer a technology that can enable human users to overcome the confusing interfaces found in current human-computer interactions. These artificially intelligent virtual characters have speech recognition, natural language and vision that will allow human users to interact with their computers in a more natural way. Additionally, sensors may be used to monitor the environment for specific behaviors that can be fused into a virtual human system. As a result, the virtual human may respond to a patient or elderly person in a manner that will have a powerful affect on their living situation. This paper will describe the virtual human technology developed and some current applications that apply the technology to virtual patients for mental health diagnosis and clinician training. Additionally the paper will discuss possible ways in which the virtual humans may be utilized for assisted health care and for the integration of multi-modal input to enhance the virtual human system.
Keywords: advanced 3D modeling and animation technology, applications, emotion and social behavior, experience reports and user studies, game characters, health care, models of personality, multi-user/multi-virtual-agent interaction, verbal and non-verbal expressiveness, virtual humans, virtual patients
Translation and scale-invariant gesture recognition in complex scenes BIBAKFull-Text 7
  Alexandra Stefan; Vassilis Athitsos; Jonathan Alon; Stan Sclaroff
Gestures are a natural means of communication between humans, and also a natural modality for human-computer interaction. Automatic recognition of gestures using computer vision is an important task in many real-world applications, such as sign language recognition, computer games control, virtual reality, intelligent homes, and assistive environments. In order for a gesture recognition system to be robust and deployable in non-laboratory settings, the system needs to be able to operate in complex scenes, with complicated backgrounds and multiple moving and skin-colored objects. In this paper we propose an approach for improving gesture recognition performance in such complex environments. The key idea is to integrate a face detection module into the gesture recognition system, and use the face location and size to make gesture recognition invariant to scale and translation. Our experiments demonstrate the significant advantages of the proposed method over alternative computer vision methods for gesture recognition.
Keywords: DSTW, dynamic space-time warping, gesture recognition
Sensor experiments to facilitate robot use in assistive environments BIBAKFull-Text 8
  Roger Bostelman; James Albus
In this paper, we describe the mobile robot and sensor research and development toward assistive devices ongoing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Through mobility research projects, NIST has been studying advanced sensor navigation technology for indoor mobile robots and a novel Home Lift, Position, and Rehabilitation (HLPR) Chair. This assistive device can provide independent patient mobility for indoor tasks, such as moving to and placing a person on a toilet or bed, and lift assistance for tasks, such as accessing kitchen or other tall shelves. These functionalities are currently out of reach of most wheelchair users. One of the design motivations of the HLPR Chair is to reduce back injury, typically, an important issue in the care of this group. The HLPR Chair is currently being extended to be an autonomous mobility device to assist cognition by route and trajectory planning. Localization sensor technologies are being studied for use in combination with the HLPR Chair. This paper briefly describes a mobile robot (HLPR Chair) and its onboard sensors. We then describe performance measurements of absolute positioning and obstacle detection sensor technologies towards combining them with the mobile robot into a cost effective home or assistive care facility, patient transfer and rehabilitation system.
Keywords: localization sensors, mobility, patient lift/transfer, rehabilitation, robot
Design and evaluation of haptic effects for use in a computer desktop for the physically disabled BIBAKFull-Text 9
  Brian Holbert; Manfred Huber
The human-computer interface remains a mostly visual environment with little or no haptic interaction. While haptics is finding inroads in specialized areas such as surgery, gaming, and robotics, there has been little work to bring haptics to the computer desktop which is largely dominated today by the GUI/mouse relationship. The mouse as an input device, however poses many challenges for users with physical disabilities and we feel that a haptically enhanced interface could have significant impact assisting in target selection, in particular for these users. To address this, this paper presents a study intended to evaluate haptic effects used with a force feedback mouse on a computer desktop and a prediction algorithm designed to focus those effects on the desired target. This paper introduces the proposed framework and presents experimental results from targeting tasks using differing haptic effects with a group of physically disabled users.
Keywords: haptic interface, haptic mouse, target prediction, targeting
A framework for human-robot interaction BIBAKFull-Text 10
  Dimitrios Vogiatzis; Vangelis Karkaletsis
This work recommends an architecture for the dialogue system of robots that serve as guides in art collections. Such robots interact with visitors providing information about the exhibits or the educational programmes of a museum. The interaction takes place in natural language in the form of a dialogue session during which, the robot provides suggestions or explanations about programmes or exhibits; furthermore the robot leads the visitors to the room of the desired exhibit. Past research projects have led us to suggest a cognitive based dialogue architecture that is based on four modules: a reactive, a delibetative, a reflective, and an affective one. The cognitive model, allows great flexibility, comprehensibility, facility to revise certain modules as desired and a high degree of naturalness in dialogue and behaviour with humans. In addition the dialogue system relies on resources such as OWL domain ontologies, user types, user interaction history and a robotic personality.
Keywords: HCI, cognitive architecture, dialogue system

Tools, infrastructures, architectures and techniques for deploying pervasive applications in assistive environments

Conceptual modeling of service-oriented programmable smart assistive environments BIBAKFull-Text 11
  Yiannis Verginadis; Panagiotis Gouvas; Thanassis Bouras; Gregoris Mentzas
The imperative need of older people to lead a more independent life in their familiar environment can not be addressed only by the vast progress of the information and communication technologies but also modeling efforts are needed that take into serious account these specific needs. In this paper, we describe our approach concerning the conceptual design of a service oriented programmable smart system that integrates assistive environments for the elderly. Specifically, we present the role of the conceptual model emphasizing at its respective meta-model, while we document the design and development of the conceptual model authoring environment for enabling the scenario modeling of the ambient assistive living application domain.
Keywords: ambient assistive living, conceptual model, service oriented programmable environments
Towards an evaluation framework for assistive environments BIBAKFull-Text 12
  Vangelis Metsis; Zhengyi Le; Yu Lei; Fillia Makedon
As the world population is aging, there is an increasing need to support independent living of elderly people. Assistive environments incorporate the latest pervasive and ubiquitous technologies and provide a viable alternative to traditional assistive living. In this paper, we propose an evaluation framework to assess the quality of assistive environments. An assistive environment can be successful only if the potential users are willing to adopt it. The proposed framework identifies a set of attributes that are considered critical to user adoption. Sample metrics, as well as possible approaches to measure them, are also suggested to quantify those attributes. The framework is illustrated using an experimental assistive apartment environment that is being built at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Keywords: assistive environments, assistive living, metrics, pervasive computing
Requirements for implementation of localization into real-world assistive environments BIBAKFull-Text 13
  Eric Becker; Yurong Xu; Heng Huang; Fillia Makedon
Accurate and efficient localization methods in sensor networks are critical to enabling a robust assistive environment where tracking human actions and interactions are needed to predict human behavior and prevent accidents. In this paper we describe an anchor-free localization approach where the sensor motes themselves determine their location without any given starting point or additional hardware. Instead, the location is discovered by allowing sensors to branch out through their connections to each other to establish maps that define their surroundings. We describe a Geographical Distributed Localization (GDL) algorithm which consists of a set of motes that compute local maps based on their hop counts from a special mote called bootstrap. In this paper, we provide a set of requirements for real world conditions, since GDL was developed and tested using the NS2 simulation system using synthetic data. It is now desired to test GDL in a real world assistive environment and generate a set of requirements that are useful in this and other settings. To do this, we chose Tmote Invent wireless sensors and designed ways to transfer the system from simulation to laboratory. Later, we used SunSPOT motes to continue the system. In this paper we report on specific features and requirements discovered that need to be taken into consideration to account for physical limitations of the sensors, when trying to move the system from one environment to another. Also, we provide new directions of research when mapping sensor localization to real-world environments, based on the given resources and the components available.
Keywords: assistive environments, localization, pervasive computing, tracking, wireless sensor networks
Medication intake assessment BIBAKFull-Text 14
  Ilias Sachpazidis; Georgios Sakas
Today, more than 430 million people worldwide are estimated to be suffering at any given time from mental disorders. Surprisingly, there is limited awareness that mental disorders are a major cause of lost healthy years of life. According to the World Health Organisation, Affective Disorders (depression and manic-depression or bipolar disorder), Schizophrenia and related conditions are among the top ten leading causes of disability worldwide. This evidence shows how important it is to respond to the growing global burden of mental illness. Europe is taking a leading role in this field with a number of initiatives aiming to improve the mental well-being and reduce the level of social exclusion and disability amongst the mentally ill. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in our understanding of the biological, psychological and social determinants of mental illness and this has led to the development of many effective medicines. However, we also know that the quality of treatment delivery is of paramount importance. Prescribed medication becomes a truly effective intervention if it is coupled with efficient service delivery. In such circumstances patients have the opportunity to realize their potential and to become functioning and productive members of their communities. Key components of efficient service delivery are timely detection of non-adherence to medication and rapid response by mental health professionals to any signs of impeding relapse.
   In this paper, we are going to describe a home care application for medication adherence monitoring and assessment.
Keywords: entropy, home care, medication adherence, telemedicine
A scalable and self-adapting notification framework for healthcare information systems BIBAKFull-Text 15
  Anthony Okorodudu; Leonidas Fegaras; David Levine
There has been a great interest in publish/subscribe systems in recent years. This interest, coupled with the pervasiveness of lightweight electronic devices, such as cellular phones and PDAs, have opened a new arena in publish/subscribe networks. Currently, many broker overlay networks are static and never change in structure. Often, a network overlay structure is predefined or manually manipulated. We present a dynamic broker network in the context of disseminating critical labs and patient information in a Healthcare Information System (HIS). Our work builds upon previous network optimization research on ad-hoc publish/subscribe networks. Our framework utilizes user-defined heuristic cost functions to satisfy QoS constraints. We also address certain reliability issues by providing a scheduling algorithm to selectively retransmit information.
Keywords: healthcare information systems, publish/subscribe networks

Mobile technologies for healthcare information storage, transmission, processing and feedback

PINE-guided cache replacement policy for location-dependent data in mobile environment BIBAKFull-Text 16
  Mary Magdalene Janef; R. Parameswaran; R. Nadarajan; Maytham Safar
Caching frequently accessed items on the mobile client is an important technique to enhance data availability and to improve data access time. Cache replacement policies are used to find a suitable subset of items for eviction from the cache due to limited cache size. The existing policies rely on Euclidean space and consider Euclidean distance as an important parameter for eviction. However, in practice the position and movement of objects are constrained to spatial networks where the important distance measure is the network distance. In this paper we propose a cache replacement policy, which considers the network density, network distance and probability of access as important factors for eviction. We make use of an already proven technique called Progressive incremental network expansion to compute the network distance more efficiently. A series of simulation experiments have been conducted to evaluate the performance of the policy. Results indicate that the proposed cache replacement scheme performs significantly better than the existing policies FAR and PAID and WPRRP.
Keywords: cache replacement, location dependent information services, mobile computing
A performance monitoring method for wireless sensor networks BIBAKFull-Text 17
  Thomas Lindh; Ibrahim Orhan; António Gonga
This paper presents a monitoring method and its implementation as a light-weight end-to-end performance meter for quality-demanding applications in wireless sensor networks. The use of performance feedback information for control and management is also considered. The method is evaluated in a wireless sensor network testbed for healthcare applications.
Keywords: measurements, monitoring, performance meter, wireless sensor networks
Wireless patient monitoring for the e-inclusion of chronic patients and elderly people BIBAKFull-Text 18
  Konstantinos Perakis; Maria Haritou; Radovan Stojanovic; Bogdan Asanin; Dimitris Koutsouris
e-Health has clearly started to become an important issue for implementation, operational deployment of services and a promising market for industry. The need for concentration of the information society technologies on the future so-called convergence generation has been specifically noted since FP6. The scope of this paper is to present an ambient, home based health and wellness measurement and monitoring architecture, especially targeting the elderly and chronic patients, aiming to facilitate their social inclusion (e-inclusion) by providing the means of easy follow-up from their home environment. The proposed paper presents a one-button functional, wireless monitoring system capable of acquiring 3 leads of ECG, pulse oxymetry and temperature measurements, and transmitting them over ZigBee to a computing device, which in turn is responsible for the transmission of the signal to a consultation unit. The authors envisage the development of a lightweight unobtrusive, belt-like wearable device that would enable patients to be monitored daily and at the same time allow them to perform their regular daily activities.
Keywords: Bluetooth, ECG, ZigBee, monitoring, pulse oxymetry, temperature, wireless
Power efficient multi-band contextual activity monitoring for assistive environments BIBAKFull-Text 19
  A. L. Praveen Aroul; Achutan Manohar; Dinesh Bhatia; Leonardo Estevez
The advancement in technology for patient monitoring and smart living environments is making a huge impact on providing health care for the elderly and needy population. An energy efficient context aware system for sensing and reporting events based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) is presented in this paper. It is demonstrated that it is possible to build and deploy power efficient systems with an extended battery life by exploiting the recent technological innovations and properly using the architectural framework for supporting WSNs. The system evolves with highly localized computations aided by the contextual information which helps in detecting events and alerting the care provider for only the positive events.
Keywords: RFID, ZigBee, battery life, contextual sensing, low power RF, remote monitoring, tele-medicine, wireless sensor network
Simplifying home health monitoring by incorporating a cell phone in a weight scale BIBAKFull-Text 20
  Thomas G. Zimmerman; Keng-hao Chang
The overweight under-exercised aging baby-boom generation is creating an epidemic of chronic diseases that is placing a tremendous burden on the health care system. Frequent monitoring and contact between a patient and health care professional can help the patient control their diet, get more exercise and increase medication compliance. These factors produce dramatic improvements in patient health and well being. We present a home health system to manage heart disease that monitors patient weight and symptoms and support verbal communication between patient and health care professionals. The system embeds a cell phone, electronics and a large battery inside a weight scale to simplify installation and use, leverage cell phone cost-performance and speed up prototype development.
Keywords: cell phone, chronic disease management, embedded system, home health monitoring, wireless

Networking technologies for healthcare information storage, transmission, processing, and feedback

Hazard monitoring for visually impaired people enabled by wireless sensor networking technology BIBAKFull-Text 21
  Aristides Mpitziopoulos; Charalampos Konstantopoulos; Damianos Gavalas; Grammati Pantziou
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) has been identified as a promising technology for supporting assistive environments. This article introduces PROTECT, a system that employs autonomous software objects referred to as Mobile Agents (MAs) able of locating and informing visually impaired persons for potential risks. PROTECT utilizes a 3-tier architecture where the first tier comprises a Base Station (BS), the second tier mobile sinks (carried by blinds on their sticks) and the third tier stationary sensor nodes. This WSN is deployed in an urban environment. In the event of an alarm issued by a sensor node, the BS launches a number of MAs supplied with a near-optimal itineraries that visit the nodes in the alarm's surrounding area and notify visually impaired people for potential hazards in their proximity. In the event of communication problems (e.g. failure of some sensor nodes) PROTECT modifies the itineraries of the MAs to bypass the problematic areas avoiding disruption of the data collection process from working sensors. Simulation results confirm the high effectiveness of our proposed scheme in WSNs used in assistive environments and its performance gain over alternative approaches in data fusion tasks.
Keywords: assistive environments, hazard monitoring, healthcare, itineraries, itinerary design, mobile agents, wireless sensor networks
PLASMA: personalized, location aware services over mobile architectures BIBAKFull-Text 22
  Charalampos Z. Patrikakis; Athanasios S. Voulodimos; Ioannis G. Nikolakopoulos
In this paper, we describe a platform that aims to provide a service framework that can be deployed over mobile devices (smart phones, PDAs, PocketPCs) offering personalized, context aware (with emphasis on location awareness) services. The services, instead of being offered in the traditional way, are based on an open architecture, which allows the user to design, test, deploy and share service modules. The framework allows for personalized deployment of services that can be customized as regards the level of privacy of personal information and accuracy of offered data.
Keywords: context awareness, location based services, mobile computing, personalization, privacy
A pervasive architectural framework for providing remote medical treatment BIBAKFull-Text 23
  D. Vassis; P. Belsis; C. Skourlas; G. Pantziou
The proliferation of mobile devices has led to their integration into a huge number of assistive environments where they perform a key role. Pervasive environments, built over wireless infrastructures, introduce new possibilities in the healthcare sector realizing the anytime-anywhere access to medical information paradigm. Towards this direction pervasive technology can be deployed in assistive environments, such as home monitoring for elderly or patients. In this paper we describe a policy based architecture that utilizes software agents and wireless sensor technologies to enable remote monitoring of patients and elderly people. We also discuss the technical challenges which directed the decisions with respect to the design of our software prototype architecture. These decisions mainly focus on providing continuous feedback of the patient's condition, while transferring encrypted versions of the necessary medical information in accordance with the increased security and privacy requirements. The presented prototype implementation utilizes advanced network management technologies and software agent engineering in order to operate effectively, to achieve interoperability through the different modules and in order to comply with the imposed (by the legislative framework) increased security and privacy requirements.
Keywords: medical information systems, pervasive environments
Feasibility study of a joint e-health mobile high-speed and wireless sensor system BIBAKFull-Text 24
  Dimitris Komnakos; Demosthenes Vouyioukas; Ilias Maglogiannis; Philip Constantinou
The present paper studies the prospective and the performance of a forthcoming high-speed third-generation (3.5G) networking technology, called Enhanced Uplink, in collaboration with the well known wireless sensor technology, for delivering electronic health (e-health) pervasive applications. The performance of the sensor network along with the 3.5G network is a critical factor for successful development of e-health services perceived by end-users. In this paper, we propose a methodology for performance assessment based on the joint uplink transmission of voice, realtime video, biological data, such us electrocardiogram, vital signals and heart sounds. Various scenarios were concerned for homecare patient applications in terms of real-time and non-realtime in random locations, where no other system but 3.5G is available. The accomplishment of quality of service (QoS) was explored through the delay and the jitter of the networks' parameters, attributing the joint network system for best performance in the context of the desired e-health services.
Keywords: e-health, enhanced uplink, healthcare, telemedicine
A wireless sensor network architecture and its application in an assistive environment BIBAKFull-Text 25
  Eric Becker; Yurong Xu; Steven Ledford; Fillia Makedon
Today's assistive environments place pervasive technologies in the patient's living area in order to provide therapeutic or assistive type of human monitoring [13]. One type of pervasive technology commonly used is using wireless sensor motes, which can be deployed in an indoor environment.
   In this paper, we propose a system architecture for placing a wireless sensor network (WSN) in a home; sensor nodes are placed into different private rooms where people are intended to live. Using photocells sensors in the nodes, our system can detect the movement of people inside of the rooms. Our system also includes a web-based interface which is used to visualize the data flow in our system in real-time. We call such a WSN implementation Assistive Home Monitoring, or AtHoM.
   This paper studies how we can combine the WSNs architecture with a WWW application to create a system that can visualize the data remotely by reacting to the sensors deployed in the environment. This paper describes an architecture to integrate the Web with Wireless Sensor Networks for an assistive environment and how it was implemented in the context of experiments. We provide a detailed description of the architecture of the AtHoM system we designed by basing our experiments on a real-world apartment, the Heracleia Apartment., that exists inside our laboratory, the Human Centered Computing Lab. We describe two different experiments implemented within the Heracleia apartment. The aim of these experiments is to validate localization algorithms and all related measurements.
   From the first experiment and the two subsequent applications we implemented in our apartment test bed, we found that the integration of WWW and WSNs can make the sharing of data collected by WSNs easier for people to access and visualize.
Keywords: assistive environment, web applet, web sensor networks, wireless sensor networks
Distinct value estimation on peer-to-peer networks BIBAKFull-Text 26
  Zubin Joseph; Gautam Das; Leonidas Fegaras
Peer-to-Peer networks have become very popular on the Internet, with millions of peers all over the world sharing large volumes of data. In the assistive healthcare sector, it is likely that P2P networks will develop that interconnect and allow the controlled sharing of patient databases of various hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories. However, the sheer scale of these networks has made it difficult to gather statistics that could be used for building new features. In this paper, we present a technique to obtain estimations of the number of distinct values matching a query on the network. We evaluate the technique experimentally and provide a set of results that demonstrate its effectiveness, as well as its flexibility in supporting a variety of queries and applications.
Keywords: assistive healthcare, peer-to-peer networks

Signal and image processing for ambient intelligence and pervasive computing

Preserving visual information in low resolution images during navigation of visually impaired BIBAKFull-Text 27
  D. Dakopoulos; N. Bourbakis
This paper presents several important issues related with the preservation and analysis of important image information needed by a visually impaired individual for safe navigation in an indoor environment. The image information is provided to a visually impaired individual, via a 2D Vibration Array (VA), which is part of the Tyflos navigation system and is attached on the individual's abdomen. The system is also consisted of two micro-cameras (hidden in a pair of dark glasses), headphone, microphone and a portable computer. The cameras capture video from the 3D surrounding environment and after stereo vision processing 3D representations are created. These representations are projected on the VA whose 4x4 vibration elements vibrate in various levels corresponding to the distances of the surrounding objects. During this projection appropriate high-to-low resolution algorithms are used in order to make the image mapping onto the VA.
Keywords: blinds' navigation, high-to-low resolution, low resolution 3d representations, mobility assistant, wearable system
Using robust audio and video processing technologies to alleviate the elderly cognitive decline BIBAKFull-Text 28
  Vasileios Mylonakis; John Soldatos; Aristodemos Pnevmatikakis; Lazaros Polymenakos; Alex Sorin; Hagai Aronowitz
We are recently witnessing a growing interest for pervasive context-aware products and services for elderly users. This is largely due to falling fertility and rising longevity phenomena, as well as due to the proliferation of the aging population all over the world. In this paper we present a number of leading edge audio and video processing technologies, which can be exploited to build robust ambient assisted living applications for elderly groups. In particular, we discuss application requirements aiming at alleviating the cognitive decline of elderly users and present audio and video processing components that can essentially fulfill these requirements. We emphasize on technologies such as automatic speech recognition, speaker identification, face detection, person tracking, face identification, and demonstrate how mature versions of these technologies can be appropriately customized to give a significant boost to AAL applications for senior citizens. The challenges, solutions and ideas within this paper are part of the EU project HERMES, which aims at providing an integrated approach to cognitive care, based on assistive technology that reduces age-related decline of cognitive capabilities.
Keywords: 3D tracking, automatic speech, speaker and face recognition
Extracting spatiotemporal human activity patterns in assisted living using a home sensor network BIBAKFull-Text 29
  Dimitrios Lymberopoulos; Athanasios Bamis; Andreas Savvides
This paper presents an automated methodology for extracting the spatiotemporal activity model of a person using a wireless sensor network deployed inside a home. The sensor network is modeled as a source of spatiotemporal symbols whose output is triggered by the monitored person's motion over space and time. Using this stream of symbols, we formulate the problem of human activity modeling as a spatiotemporal pattern-matching problem on top of the sequence of symbolic information the sensor network produces and solve it using an exhaustive search algorithm. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is demonstrated on a real 30-day dataset extracted from an ongoing deployment of a sensor network inside a home monitoring an elder. Our algorithm examines the person's data over these 30 days and automatically extracts the person's daily pattern.
Keywords: human activity model, spatiotemporal activity patterns
Nearest neighbor search methods for handshape recognition BIBAKFull-Text 30
  Michalis Potamias; Vassilis Athitsos
Gestures are an important modality for human-machine communication, and robust gesture recognition can be an important component of intelligent homes and assistive environments in general. An important aspect of gestures is handshape. Handshapes can hold important information about the meaning of a gesture, for example in sign languages, or about the intent of an action, for example in manipulative gestures or in virtual reality interfaces. At the same time, recognizing handshape can be a very challenging task, because the same handshape can look very different in different images, depending on the 3D orientation of the hand and the viewpoint of the camera. In this paper we examine a database approach for handshape classification, whereby a large database of tens of thousands of images is used to represent the wide variability of handshape appearance. Efficient and accurate indexing methods are important in such a database approach, to ensure that the system can match every incoming image to the large number of database images at interactive times. In this paper we examine the use of embedding-based and hash table-based indexing methods for handshape recognition, and we experimentally compare these two approaches on the task of recognizing 20 handshapes commonly used in American Sign Language (ASL).
Keywords: BoostMap, DBH, distance-based hashing, embeddings, gesture recognition, hand pose estimation, hash-based indexing
Continuous camera-based monitoring for assistive environments BIBAFull-Text 31
  Guanling Chen; Prabhu Govindaswamy; Nan Li; Jie Wang
Camera-based monitoring is a valuable tool for assistive environments to meet the important needs of those who may have physical or cognitive impairment. It is, however, particularly difficult to continuously monitor a moving subject in a large facility where many cameras are deployed. In this paper, we propose Sensor-Integrated Camera Surveillance (SICS) to address this problem. SICS uses wearable wireless sensors to locate moving subjects and automatically selects the camera covering the subject, allowing human operators to focus only on one screen to monitor an individual.
   To improve flexibility and reduce cost, SICS connects distributed cameras through a self-organizing wireless mesh network. To reduce bandwidth consumption, SICS leverages onboard image processing on the camera for selective transmission. To enable automated reasoning, SICS uses a knowledge base for efficient rule specification and execution. Through empirical evaluation, we found that the automatic camera handoff enabled by SICS was effective for continuous camera-based monitoring. We provide quantitative performance evaluation results in this paper and discuss potential extension to the SICS infrastructure.
Monitoring human behavior in an assistive environment using multiple views BIBAKFull-Text 32
  Dimitrios Kosmopoulos; Panagiota Antonakaki; Konstandinos Valasoulis; Dimitrios Katsoulas
This paper presents our approach in understanding the behavior of humans moving on a plane using multiple cameras. This approach is appropriate for monitoring people in an assistive environment for the purpose of issuing alerts in cases of abnormal behavior. We perform camera registration based on homography estimation and we extract position on 2D projection map. We use the output of multiple classifiers to model and extract abnormal behaviour from both the target trajectory and the target short term activity (i.e., walking, running, abrupt motion etc). The proposed approach is verified experimentally in an indoor environment. The experiments are performed with a single moving target, however the method can be generalised to multiple moving targets, which may occlude each other, due to the use of multiple cameras.
Keywords: behavior monitoring, hidden Markov model, homography, optical flow

Usability and HCI issues, multimodal interfaces

Towards iTV accessibility: the MPEG-21 case BIBAKFull-Text 33
  Evangelos Vlachogiannis; Damianos Gavalas; Christos Anagnostopoulos; George E. Tsekouras
In this paper, the accessibility of the interactive television is being discussed seen as a primary factor for its satisfactory adoption and commercial success. This is a presentation of work undertaken in the context of a research project aiming at delivering iTV services to disabled children. The project approaches this objective through the utilization of the upcoming MPEG-21 ISO standard. Based on that, iTV accessibility is faced through metadata and adaptation. This work approaches the accessibility of iTV in a wider manner contrary to previous studies that focus mostly onto the users with low vision. Such a case study is being presented accompanied with a discussion of relevant architectures, technologies and faced design issues.
Keywords: MPEG-21, SMIL, XSLT, accessibility, human computer interaction, iTV, metadata, pervasive environments, usability
Objective comparison of speech enhancement algorithms under real world conditions BIBAKFull-Text 34
  Stavros Ntalampiras; Todor Ganchev; Ilyas Potamitis; Nikos Fakotakis
Over the past decades the problem of one channel, speech enhancement has been addressed by a great deal of researchers. In this work selected methods belonging to a variety of categories are applied to denoise speech signals corrupted by non-stationary urban noise. The performance of spectral subtraction, signal subspace, model-based and Kalman filtering approaches is evaluated. Several objective measures which are designed to predict human listening tests are employed in order to reach accurate conclusions. Two series of experiments were carried out while multiband spectral subtraction along with a short-time spectral amplitude (STSA) estimator based on the minimization of the mean square error (MSE) of the log-spectra are shown to outperform the rest of the algorithms.
Keywords: Kalman filtering, model-based enhancement, signal subspace, spectral subtraction, speech enhancement
CAMILE: Controlling AmI Lights Easily BIBAKFull-Text 35
  Dimitris Grammenos; Sokratis Kartakis; Ilia Adami; Constantine Stephanidis
Ambient Intelligent (AmI) environments bring a number of interoperating computing-embedded devices into our everyday life. The related usage scenarios get more complex when users with disabilities and elderly are taken into consideration. This paper presents an interactive application for intuitively controlling multiple sources of light in AmI environments, built so that it can be used by anyone, the young, the elderly, people with visual disabilities, and people with hand-motor disabilities alike. In order to accommodate such a wide range of users, we developed three different modes of interaction: (a) touch-screen-based for sighted users with no motor impairments; (b) remote controlled operation in combination with speech for visually impaired users or tele-operation by sighted users; and (c) scanning (both manual and automated) for motor-impaired users. In the paper, first we describe the design decisions taken and their rationale. Then, we present the user interface that was developed. Following that, we discuss the outcomes of a user-based evaluation in which people with disabilities also participated, suggesting potential interface improvements stemming from the evaluation results. Finally, we provide our conclusions and insight on future R&D work in this area.
Keywords: ambient intelligence, interface design, light controllers, touch screen interfaces, visual disability
Human evaluation of the LOGOS' spoken dialogue system BIBAKFull-Text 36
  Alexandros Lazaridis; Theodoros Kostoulas; Iosif Mporas; Todor Ganchev; Nikos Katsaounos; Stavros Ntalampiras; Nikos Fakotakis
In this work, the evaluation of the LOGOS' spoken dialogue system is presented. The system offers user-friendly access to information, entertainment devices and white good appliances. Short description of the LOGOS system's architecture is given. The user interface of the system is based on remote control device, PC keyboard and spoken language. In this paper we focus on the speech interface and the spoken dialogue management. A group of 15 members, aged 23 to 35, were used, in order to evaluate the usability and the degree of acceptance of the LOGOS' spoken dialogue system from real users. The users were given taskcards, which constructed the scenarios implemented for the home devices' control and the SMS messaging services.
Keywords: dialogue, human evaluation, multimodal dialogue system, smart home, speech interaction, spoken dialogue system
A multimodal communication with a haptic glove: on the fusion of speech and deixis over a raised line drawing BIBAKFull-Text 37
  Francisco Oliveira; Francis Quek
Mathematics instruction and discourse typically involve two modes of communication: speech and graphical presentation. For the communication to remain situated, dynamic synchrony must be maintained between the speech and dynamic focus in the graphics. In normals, vision is used for two purposes: access to graphical material and awareness of embodied behavior. This embodiment awareness keeps communication situated with visual material and speech. Our goal is to assist blind students in the access to such instruction/communication. We employ the typical approach of sensory replacement for the missing visual sense. Haptic fingertip reading can replace visual material. For the embodied portion of the communication, we want to make the blind student aware of the deictic gestures performed by the teacher over the graphic in conjunction with speech. We propose the use of haptic gloves paired with computer vision based tracking to help blind students maintain reading focus on a raised line representation of a graphical presentation to which the instructor points while speaking. In this initial phase of our research, we conducted three experiments that show that: 1) The gloves convey sense of direction; 2) The gloves do not interfere in fingertip reading; 3) A person can navigate with the help of this system while listening to a story; 4) It is possible to fuse the information received from both modes. We discuss these findings in this paper.
Keywords: awareness, embodiment, gesture, multimodal, sensory replacement

Privacy, security, trust and interoperability in assistive environments

A holistic anonymity framework for web services BIBAKFull-Text 38
  Spyridon Papastergiou; Giorgos Valvis; Despina Polemi
Security and Interoperability has been considered as the main requirements for e/m-business services. Technologies such as XML-security and WS-security were acknowledged as the most appropriate solutions to meet these requirements and Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs), the most appropriate framework design. Anonymity has become lately an additional requirement for various e/m-business services (e.g. e/m-ordering, e/m-ticketing) enabling the execution of unlikable, untraceable and unobservable interactions and enhancing the privacy of these services This paper proposes a holistic SOA meeting the security, interoperability and anonymity requirements.
Keywords: connection anonymity, hidden web services, service oriented architecture (SOA), web services (WS)
Providing location privacy in assisted living environments BIBAKFull-Text 39
  Yi Ouyang; Yurong Xu; Zhengyi Le; Guanling Chen; Fillia Makedon
While pervasive technology becomes more widely used in assisted living environments, it becomes more important to preserve the privacy of patients being monitored. Location data of patients can be collected through sensors for behavior patterns analysis, and they can also be shared among researchers for further research for early disease diagnosis. However, sharing location information also introduces privacy concerns. A series of consecutive location samples can be considered as a trajectory of a single person, and this may leak private information if obtained by malicious users. In this paper, this problem is discussed and a location randomization algorithm is proposed to protect users' location privacy. We defined privacy metrics according to location privacy and proposed a method using dynamic mix zones to confound trajectories of two or more persons.
Keywords: algorithms, location privacy, sensor networks
Enhance the interoperability of the library search systems with zSAPN BIBAKFull-Text 40
  Michalis Sfakakis; Sarantos Kapidakis
The wide adoption of the Z39.50 protocol from the Libraries exposes their abilities to participate in a distributed environment. In spite of the specification of a unified global access mechanism from the Z39.50 protocol, unsupported Access Points result to query failures and/or inconsistent answers. A challenge to this issue is to substitute an unsupported Access Point with others, so that the most similar semantics to the original Access Point can be obtained. In this paper we present the zSAPN (Z39.50 Semantic Access Point Network), a system which enhance the interoperability of the library search systems, by exploiting the semantics from the Bib-1 Access Point official specification of the Z39.50 information retrieval protocol. zSAPN substitutes each unsupported Access Point with a set of other supported ones, whose appropriate combination would either broaden or narrow the initial semantics, according to the user's choice.
Keywords: Z39.50, interoperability, semantic access point substitution
Mobile device protection from loss and capture BIBAKFull-Text 41
  Zhengyi Le; Yi Ouyang; Yurong Xu; Fillia Makedon
Mobile devices play a critical role in assistive environments. How to authenticate and secure communications among them has become more important especially against loss and capture of the devices. In this paper, we present an approach to protect signing keys of mobile devices based on mediated RSA introduced by Dan Boneh and others. The important property of our scheme is transparent self-resilience. In other words, in case a device is lost or captured and at the risk of being compromised and impersonated, our scheme can disable the device instantly and the replacement will be transparent to other users. In this way, if an attacker captures a mobile device, he has limited time to use it because it will become soon invalid. If he wants to break our scheme, he must compromise the device and its mediator simultaneously.
Keywords: assistive environment, authentication, digital signature, forward security, mobile device
Maximum supported network coverage area and cost evaluation of key pre-distribution schemes BIBAFull-Text 42
  Yuan Xue; Helmut Jürgensen
Sensor nodes are low-cost computing devices combining wireless transmitters with specialized sensors, such as temperature, humidity, light, motion, speed, acoustic, chemical and seismic sensors. Sensor nodes are typically deployed in great density over a large geographical area. After deployment, these nodes organize themselves into an ad hoc network to gather the required information from the target environment.
   A variety of key pre-distribution schemes have been proposed for establishing secure communication in sensor networks. Key pre-distribution schemes bootstrap secret information in each sensor node to enable secure link establishment after deployment. The secure link establishment probabilistically depends on whether two neighboring nodes share some common secret information preloaded before deployment.
   In this paper, we address key pre-distribution schemes from system aspects: the estimation of maximum supported network coverage area, which memory size to choose and how many nodes to deploy in a target area. Since the unit cost of a sensor node and network density determine the total cost of a sensor network, we believe the analysis of the relationship between memory space, network density and security can benefit the realistic deployment of cost-aware sensor networks.
   We come to the conclusion that the security performance of key pre-distribution schemes is determined by the cost of the network. The schemes of Eschenhauer et al. and Du et al. can improve the network resilience to node capture or increase the maximum supported network coverage area either by increasing memory space or by increasing network density. On the other hand, in the scheme of Camtepe et al., increasing memory space requires increasing the network density at the same time to improve the security. The scheme of Chan et al. is perfectly resistant to node capture and the maximum supported network coverage area is determined by the memory space only. Contrary to intuition, the scheme of Chan et al. is most efficient when it reduces to preload N -1 keys in each node in the network of N nodes.

Homecare systems

The future of homecare systems in the context of the ubiquitous web and its related mobile technologies BIBAKFull-Text 43
  Carl Taylor; Lubna Dajani
This paper is a call for the technological provision of homecare to be seen in the wider context of the development of the Internet, and the connected benefits that it brings to the elderly citizen. Recent discussions on the Ubiquitous Web at MobileMonday New York [6] considered the social, technical and economic effects that the Ubiquitous Web will bring about. This paper highlights those effects relevant to in-home care. The imminent convergence of Web 2.0 technologies with personal health monitoring, affordable broadband fixed and mobile communications, and distributed data storage has the capability to deliver vast improvements to the in-home care environment. The advent of tools such as life logging, voice-based search and low-cost sensory monitoring enrich this convergence, and can generate significant social improvements for the elderly.
   The aging world population is increasingly living in dense urban conurbations, which bring the benefit of plentiful wired and wireless broadband communication technology. Tomorrow's elderly citizens will be familiar with distributed family groups, and will use digital communication technologies to ensure their everyday inclusiveness and with their families and social tribes.
   This paper presents the enabling technologies that will bear on the assistive home care environment and assesses their convergence. It concludes with the recommendation that home care technologies should not be developed in isolation, but that they should be developed in the realistic expectation of cost-effective wide-area broadband networks and web-based care services.
   Future designers of such care services should use web, mobile and broadband technologies to balance reliance between local and network devices, such that elderly citizens have ubiquity of support services where ever they may be, rather than becoming bound to their homes or health centers.
Keywords: ZigBee, broadband, home care, interactive voice recognition, internet, life logging, mobile, near field communications, personal area network, sensors, software, software as a service, ubiquitous web
Towards personalised home care systems BIBAKFull-Text 44
  Feng Wang; Kenneth J. Turner
Home care is increasingly seen as a promising alternative to traditional care services. Programming home care systems remains a significant challenge considering the potentially large scale of deployment, the differences between individual care needs, and the progressive nature of ageing. In this paper, we present ongoing work on programming home care systems to support personalisation, adaptability over time, and dependability. A policy-based approach is used to build such systems. We present the technical details of our approach, including a policy language for home care and the corresponding system architecture. Policy examples are used to illustrate how the approach supports personalisation of home care services.
Keywords: home care, personalisation, pervasive computing, policy-based management
An integrated approach to supporting interaction evolution in home care systems BIBAKFull-Text 45
  Tony McBryan; Marilyn R. McGee-Lennon; Phil Gray
There are many sources of change within the domain of home care. People have changing needs, beliefs, and preferences regarding their care plan and how they might want to interact with existing and emerging home care technologies. The devices and services available to the user are likely to change over time depending on a person's capabilities or location within the home and the current devices and services available. The resulting interaction methods can therefore also change in accordance with the room location, available devices or displays, or preferred modalities. Home care systems therefore need to offer configuration possibilities that support this change. Computer systems offer methods and tools to support configuration in the short term, but do not provide mechanisms for supporting configuration over both short and long term. This paper presents an approach that addresses this issue in the home care domain by integrating methods for interaction requirements engineering with system support for turning those requirements into a working configuration. Both the methods and system support are designed to address a gradual process of change -- 'interaction evolution' in home care. We present the key features of our approach using a home care scenario and consider our progress to date in implementing and validating the approach.
Keywords: ageing population, context-aware, dynamic system, evaluation criteria, evolution, home care system, interaction, requirements engineering, user preferences
A medical diagnostic and treatment advice system for the provision of home care BIBAKFull-Text 46
  V. Koufi; F. Malamateniou; G. Vassilacopoulos
Healthcare is an increasingly collaborative enterprise, involving broad range of healthcare services provided by many individuals and organizations. Apart from the provision of healthcare services to patients during hospitalization, the ability to assist people who have healthcare needs at their homes (e.g. the elderly) has become an increasingly critical issue. Home care may involve, among others, provision of medical advice as well as detection and handling of critical situations. Provision of such personalized medical care services to patients requires readily access to integrated healthcare services ubiquitously. Although Grid technology can support the integration of healthcare services across settings of care and among providers of care, it doesn't make it available at the point of care (i.e. at a patient's home) which is often an environment with poor network and IT infrastructure. The integration of mobile and wireless devices with Grid technology can provide ubiquitous and pervasive access to Grid services. This paper presents MASPortal, a Grid portal application for the assistance of people who are in need of home care. MASPortal is designed for use with wireless Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and provides remote access to an automated medical diagnostic and treatment advice system via an adaptive and easy to use interface. In particular, it facilitates collection of information from several sources in order to compose the context of the patient needing assistance. Given this context and a medical knowledge base, the patient's medical condition is assessed and medical advice is provided or in the case of an emergency the relevant healthcare processes are triggered. MASPortal has been implemented with a multi-layered security infrastructure in order to ensure secure access to healthcare processes and sensitive patient data.
Keywords: access control, grid database services, healthcare process, homecare, knowledge base, medical advice, pervasive access, wireless client

Wearable, ambient and home based health and wellness measurement and monitoring technologies

Locomotion monitoring using body sensor networks BIBAKFull-Text 47
  Jaime Barnes; Roozbeh Jafari
Research indicates that various disorders in aging ranging from mild cognitive impairment to dementia and Alzheimer's could be diagnosed early based on the study of locomotion. Sensor platforms integrated into clothing provide the possibility of reliable locomotion monitoring. In this work, we describe a system using inexpensive, off-the-shelf inertial sensors to analyze locomotion. We present our measurements for coordination and consistency and discuss the preliminary results of our efforts to establish a baseline for these measurements for normal adult locomotion.
Keywords: body sensor networks, gait analysis, locomotion monitoring
A wearable wireless platform for fall and mobility monitoring BIBAKFull-Text 48
  Pepijn van de Ven; Alan Bourke; John Nelson; Gearóid Ó. Laighin
In this paper a new wearable wireless fall and mobility monitoring platform is presented. The platform was developed as part of a European Commission funded project called CAA-LYX. The fall and mobility sensor is based on the use of a tri-axial accelerometer. With the accelerometer, impacts are recorded and together with mobility data, also obtained from the accelerometers, fall events are identified. Fall event data, but also raw accelerometer signals, can be conveyed to a mobile phone or PC using a Bluetooth connection. In laboratory based fall trials with young healthy subjects a PC was used to store all data coming from the fall and mobility sensors. A mobile phone was used in an experiment with elderly people performing normal activities of daily living, where only the user status was conveyed to a server and raw accelerometer data were stored locally. With the phone, the whole system is wearable and can relay alarms to a care taker wherever the user may be. During the experiments, in which a total of 165 simulated ADL, 264 simulated falls and 833 hours of real ADL were collected, the fall and mobility sensor demonstrated its ability to accurately identify fall events.
Keywords: fall sensing, mobility monitoring, wireless communications
Towards precision monitoring of elders for providing assistive services BIBAKFull-Text 49
  Athanasios Bamis; Dimitrios Lymberopoulos; Thiago Teixeira; Andreas Savvides
The in-house monitoring of elders using intelligent sensors is a very desirable service that has the potential of increasing autonomy and independence while minimizing the risks of living alone. Because of this promise, the efforts of building such systems have been spanning for decades, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Driven by the recent technology advances in many of the required components, in this paper we present a scalable framework for detailed behavior interpretation of elders. We report on our early deployment experiences and present our current progress in three main components: sensors, middleware and behavior interpretation mechanisms that aim to make effective monitoring and assistive services a reality.
Keywords: assisted living, human activity monitoring, sensor networks
Analyzing motoric and physiological data in describing upper extremity movement in the aged BIBAKFull-Text 50
  Gaurav N. Pradhan; Navzer Engineer; Mihai Nadin; Balakrishnan Prabhakaran
Cognitive functions, motoric expression, and changes in physiology are often studied separately, with little attention to the relationships, or correlations, among these entities. In this study, we implement an integrated approach by combining motion capture (action) and EMG (physiological) parameters as synchronized data streams resulting from the action and associated physiological data. Our experiments were designed to measure the preparatory movement capabilities of the upper extremities. In particular, measurement of changes in preparatory activity during the aging process are of interest to us, as the attempt is to develop means to compensate for loss of adaptive capabilities that aging entails. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to quantify preparation phases (timing and intensity). We measured motion capture and EMG parameters when subjects raised their arms without constraint (condition one) and raised their arms while holding a ball (second condition). Furthermore, on comparing aging and young participants, we confirmed that with aging the temporal relationships between actual movement and the preceding EMG signal change.
Keywords: electromyogram, factor analysis, feature extraction, integration analysis, motion capture, multivariate analysis of variance


Application of a telemedicine system for the needs of prehospital emergency medicine at the area of Thrace-Greece BIBAKFull-Text 51
  Athanasios Kessatis; Chrissoula J. Stathi; Elisseos C. Mavratzotis; Sofia P. Papanastasiou
The present study presents the development of a complete service of prehospital emergency medicine (PEM). This service aims to introduce a system which will include:
   Immediate localization of NCEM ambulances and their guidance to patient's point.
   Patient's follow up during the transportation to the hospital via transmission of biomedical signals to NCEM and to the Emergency Department (ED) of the hospital. The above described system consists of three entities that interact:
  • 1. Vehicles of NCEM (ambulances)
  • 2. The NCEM operating room of Thrace
  • 3. The hospital that accepts the patients. This system also is divided into two
  • A) Vehicle control subsystem. This subsystem works using the GIS. GIS requires
        three basic technological units: Telematic units on the vehicles which are
        GPS, PDA device, GSM/GPRS systems. An operating center which will use
        digital maps of the district of Thrace and proper software for the
        communication with the vehicles. A geographic data base able for
        continuously updates data transmitted from the vehicles.
  • B) Biomedical signal transmission subsystem. This subsystem requires the
        following technological support:
  • Telemedicine units on the vehicles (device for monitoring clinical data and a
       laptop or tablet PC).
  • Control and signal operation center with a server PC which be the NCEM's
       operating room in Thrace.
  • The ED at the hospital with a PC.
    Keywords: GSM/GPRS systems, prehospital emergency medicine, telematic
  • Interactive doctor-patient system of the pain relief cabinet: General Hospital of Komotini-Greece BIBAKFull-Text 52
      Elisseos C. Mavratzotis; Chrissoula J. Stathi; Sofia P. Papanastasiou
    Palliative care in Greece and concretely at the area of Rodopi, has three main restrictions:
  • There is no direct communication between the patient and the doctor.
  • Care-giving is totally based on a patient's relatives.
  • There is no organized structure to support (visit-educate-advise) a patient's
       environment. The interactive Doctor-Patient system of the pain relief cabinet is composed of two entities:
  • 1. Pain relief cabinet
  • 2. Patient's home. Three times per day the patient or the caregiver completes on a personal digital assistant (PDA) a simple numerical pain scale and answers to some simple (close type) questions about other symptoms. The doctors of the cabinet receive the data for each patient via the "General Packet Radio Service" (GPRS) technology. This system will provide daily and continuously information about a patients' condition. Also the doctor will be able to interfere to a patients' medication. The goals of the project are:
  • More effective pain management
  • In-time help for the patient's symptoms
  • Proper medication use
  • Capability of patient removal from the hospital's district
  • Evaluation of the caregiver's burden
  • Statistical analyses of the saved data and future research on pain relief and
       application of cost-effective solutions.
    Keywords: interactive doctor-patient system, pain management, palliative care, proper medication use
  • Identification technologies to support Alzheimer contexts BIBAKFull-Text 53
      J. Bravo; R. Hervás; R. Gallego; G. Casero; M. Vergara; T. Carmona; C. Fuentes; D. Gachet; S. Nava; G. Chavira; V. Villarreal
    Alzheimer's disease makes great demands on care by assistants, due to the fact that they cannot distract their attention from patients while they are at the same time managing records. For that reason, technologies to complement this process need to be adapted. In this work we present a proposal to adapt identification technologies: Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communications (NFC), focusing especially on the last one. We fuse both technologies and apply them to an Alzheimer's day center. Patients are tagged with two kinds of labels: 13.56Mhz.Mifare for NFC and UHF for RFID. With the first one we tag the context, which means patients, devices (displays, exercise books, etc) and places. With a simple interaction, which involves touching tags with mobile phones, it is possible to manage the information easily. Moreover, with RFID, we localize each patient by the simple act of their passing by an antenna placed in the doors.
    Keywords: NFC, mobile and ubiquitous computing, natural interaction
    Wireless sensor networks supporting context-aware reasoning in assisted living BIBAKFull-Text 54
      Alessandra Mileo; Davide Merico; Roberto Bisiani
    The large increase in aging population implies that automatic home monitoring will represent a major challenge for the near future. In this paper we describe an "intelligent" home environment in which modern Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) technologies allow constant monitoring of a patient in a context-aware setting. Data collected and manipulated by the WSN support reasoning aimed at understanding the evolution of patient's health state and home environment, even when a limited number of unobtrusive, heterogeneous sensors is available.
    Keywords: ambient intelligence, assisted living, context-awareness, wireless sensor networks
    Keyframe detection in visual lifelogs BIBAKFull-Text 55
      Michael Blighe; Aiden Doherty; Alan F. Smeaton; Noel E. O'Connor
    The SenseCam is a wearable camera that passively captures images. Therefore, it requires no conscious effort by a user in taking a photo. A Visual Diary from such a source could prove to be a valuable tool in assisting the elderly, individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, or other traumas. One issue with Visual Lifelogs is the large volume of image data generated. In previous work, we segmented a day's worth of images into more manageable segments, i.e. into distinct events or activities. However, each event could still consist of 80-100 images, thus, in this paper we propose a novel approach to selecting the key images within an event using a combination of MPEG-7 and Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features.
    Keywords: health management, keyframe selection, visual diary


    Enhanced individualized learning environment BIBAKFull-Text 56
      Gheorghe Scutaru; Elena Cocorada; Mariela Pavalache; Anna Marina Scapolla; Massimo Mustica; Dominic Kristaly
    This paper presents the main outputs, and their pedagogical fundaments, of the Socrates/Minerva project Individualized Learning Enhanced by Virtual Reality IDENTITY 229930-CP-1-2006-1-RO-MINERVA-M. The overall project objective is to produce a high level quality learning environment in an academic European network ensuring an open access to improved educational resources, as well as to the best practices. The main project outputs, short described in this article, are: The Enhanced Individualized Learning Environment (EILE) and The VR-Learning Resources Centre (VR-LRC).
    Keywords: individualized learning, remote experiments, virtual reality
    A lean online approach to human factors research BIBAKFull-Text 57
      Kenneth Treharne; Darius Pfitzner; Richard Leibbrandt; David Powers
    Arranging sufficient research participation within time and resource constraints is seldom an easy feat. Often, such constraints are a detriment to thorough empirical evaluation of human-computer interfaces. Our objective is to develop the means to test and construct human models which when applied to interface and system development, result in efficient human computer interactions. We report an online platform for experiment delivery to diverse locations with an emphasis on alternative non-monetary rewards for participation. Such a platform meets research goals within constraints as it necessitates a simple web server and web programming. Also addressed are the omnipotent issues of ethics, privacy and data integrity that arise in similar proposals.
    Keywords: participation reward, web delivery
    A pervasive wiki application based on VoiceXML BIBAKFull-Text 58
      Constantinos Kolias; Vassilis Kolias; Ioannis Anagnostopoulos; Georgios Kambourakis; Eleftherios Kayafas
    In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of an audio wiki application accessible via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the Internet for educational purposes. The application exploits mature World Wide Web Consortium standards such as VoiceXML, Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) and Speech Recognition Grammar Specification (SRGS). The purpose of such an application is to assist visually impaired, technologically uneducated, and underprivileged people in accessing information originally intended to be accessed visually via a Personal Computer. Users may access wiki content via wired or mobile phones, or via a Personal Computer using a Web Browser or a Voice over IP service. This feature promotes pervasiveness to educational material to an extremely large population, i.e. those who simply own a telephone line.
    Keywords: VoiceXML, audio information system, information system, wiki
    Collaborative e-learning environments enhanced by wiki technologies BIBAKFull-Text 59
      Ioannis Giannoukos; Ioanna Lykourentzou; Giorgos Mpardis; Vassilis Nikolopoulos; Vassili Loumos; Eleftherios Kayafas
    E-learning environments have met rapid technological advancements in the previous years. Nevertheless, current e-learning techniques do not adequately support student interaction and collaboration, resulting in decreased student progress and motivation. In this paper, a blended technique combining collaborative forums and wiki technologies is proposed. Through collaborative forums, students discuss course related topics assigned by the tutors to produce new educational material. This material is then stored in the wiki platform for further use. The proposed technique was applied on an e-learning course provided by the National Technical University of Athens and its effectiveness was evaluated using student activity data and questionnaire analysis. Results showed that the technique adequately supported teamwork, increasing student motivation and progress while simultaneously producing satisfactory level educational material.
    Keywords: collaborative learning, e-learning, wikis
    PETA: a pedagogical embodied teaching agent BIBAKFull-Text 60
      David Powers; Richard Leibbrandt; Martin Luerssen; Trent Lewis; Mike Lawson
    We describe a hybrid real and virtual system that monitors and teaches children in an everyday classroom environment without requiring any special virtual reality set ups or any knowledge that there is a computer involved. This system is truly pervasive in that it interacts with a child who is playing with normal physical toys using speech. A simulated virtual head provides a focus and the opportunity for microphonological language teaching, whilst a simulated world allows the teacher to demonstrate using her set of blocks -- much as a teacher might demonstrate at the front of the class. However this system allows individual students, or pairs of students, to interact with the task in a computer-free way and receive feedback from PETA, the Teaching Head, as if from their own private tutor.
    Keywords: affect-awareness, call, embodied conversational agents, human-computer interfaces, second language teaching
    Portal-type applications for web campus BIBAKFull-Text 61
      Massimo Mustica; Gabriela Moraru; Costin Grigorescu; Dominic Mircea Kristaly
    In this paper, we describe a system platform developed for e-Learning purpose. The platform was developed within the Leonardo da Vinci project, VetTrend. The system of applications is constructed around a central portal (uPortal) and permits access of a large type of users. Courses could be developed and integrated inside the platform by the teachers. The students will be able to view this courses and communicate each other, or with the teachers, using the integrated software tools. The main purpose of this system is to gather the information together and to facilitate the users' communication.
    Keywords: communication, e-learning, platform, portal
    Simulation-based UMTS e-learning software BIBAKFull-Text 62
      Florin Sandu; Szilárd Cserey; Titus Constantin Balan; Mihai Romanca
    This paper describes a soft-switch-based mobile network simulator developed for the purpose of e-Learning. The main goal of this simulation-based e-Learning software is to show and illustrate the behavior of the specific mobile communications network elements. The case studies presented are oriented on UMTS 3GPP's Release 4 network architecture.
    Keywords: 3G mobile telecom, 3GPP release 4, UMTS, discrete event simulation systems, protocol monitors and emulators, virtual network adapters
    A learning resources centre for simulation and remote experimentation in electronics BIBAKFull-Text 63
      Andrea Bagnasco; Paolo Buschiazzo; Domenico Ponta; Marina Scapolla
    Laboratory activities are essential components of engineering education and professional practices. Nowadays, simulation-based laboratory and Internet-controlled remote laboratories are available in many educational institutions: this new scenario offers the potential for a deeper integration of practice with traditional lectures, and for a much wider and more efficient use of laboratories. Furthermore, it opens the road for the integration of laboratories into distance learning activities. In the paper, after a review of the current offer of both simulated and remote experiments, we present our approach to treat them as standard learning objects and to store them in a repository that has been developed on purpose. Last, we propose an integrated environment for an efficient exploitation of the experiments packaged as learning objects.
    Keywords: learning objects, remote laboratory, virtual laboratory
    Newsletter engine application BIBAKFull-Text 64
      Sorin-Aurel Moraru; Catalin Bujdei; Lothar Krupka; Ion Truican; Costin Grigorescu
    In this paper, we present a newsletter engine application, with which newsletters can be created and sent to different subscribers. The application permits to users to create or delete newsletter articles, to select a visual template of the newsletter's layout and to send the newsletters to its subscribers.
    Keywords: article, communication, marketing, newsletter, templates
    Web 2.0 technologies in web application development BIBAKFull-Text 65
      Dominic Mircea Kristaly; Francisc Sisak; Ion Truican; Sorin-Aurel Moraru; Florin Sandu
    The World Wide Web today has been flooded with many new web-oriented applications that changed the role of the user, from spectator to actor. The websites / web-applications became friendlier, more stylish, with many new useful features and a high level of interactivity. New web-programming techniques were developed on the existing HTTP protocol, the old ones were reinterpreted, to offer to the user exciting, new experiences.
       The most complex web applications, in terms of programming challenges, are content management systems. A Content management system, thanks to its modularity and scalability, permits a rapid development of complex, but very easy to maintain and manage web-oriented applications (websites). The existing content management systems, however, are somewhat limited when it comes to the graphical interface with the user. Also, they impose restrictions and a creative developer must use all sorts of tricks to achieve his vision.
       This paper is set to present the architecture for a web-based content management system that uses the new concepts and techniques introduced by WEB 2.0.
    Keywords: AJAX, Butterfly, CMS, web, website
    Predictable interactive control of experiments in a service-based remote laboratory BIBAFull-Text 66
      Andreas Rasche; Frank Feinbube; Peter Tröger; Bernhard Rabe; Andreas Polze
    Remote and virtual laboratories are commonly used in electronic engineering and computer science to provide hands-on experience for students. Web services have lately emerged as a standardized interfaces to remote laboratory experiments and simulators. One drawback of direct Web service interfaces to experiments is that the connected hardware could be damaged due to missed deadlines of the remotely executed control applications.
       Within this paper, we suggest an architecture for predictable and interactive control of remote laboratory experiments accessed over Web service protocols. We present this concept as an extension of our existing Distributed Control Lab infrastructure. Using our architecture, students can conduct complex control experiments on physical experiments remotely without harming hardware installations.
    LabVIEW-based remote and mobile access to real and emulated experiments in electronics BIBAKFull-Text 67
      Florin Sandu; Paul Nicolae; Eleftherios Kayafas; Sorin Aurel Moraru
    In the frame of the E.U. "Leonardo da Vinci" project it was accomplished the research and development of several solutions for the distance (and mobile) access to remote reconfigurable laboratory work-benches for e-Learning within electrical engineering education. The authors implemented session-based step-by-step- / auto-mated- (synchronous or asynchronous) test & measurement sequences with remote access -- fixed (to rich content) or mobile (with content-to-terminal adaptation), oriented on equipment (with instrument virtualization) or on application with a high degree of visualization (ranging from web-cam monitoring to "hyper-schematics"). The hardware, netware and software developed (in co-design based on Hewlett-Packard "Measurement Subsystems Architecture") is ranging from proprietary solutions to highest degrees of standardized interfacing (mainly IEEE 488.2 "GPIB"), SCPI instrumentation control, dedicated drivers or Interchange-able Virtual Instruments, IVI, and "Measurement Studios" software. From the industrial informatics point of view, the present paper is oriented on case studies based on National Instruments LabVIEW suite.
    Keywords: LabVIEW, e-learning, electrical engineering, remote experiment, simulation, test & measurement, virtual instrument
    Remote interfaces for monitoring, administration and tracking errors for industrial devices BIBAKFull-Text 68
      Ion Truican; Stefan Dan; Dominic Mircea Kristaly; Catalin Bujdei; Georgiana Popa
    The aim of this paper is to get the best benefits between a private implementation and an open source solution to be able to have that application, which can manage through interfaces complex systems remotely by monitoring, administrating and tracking errors related to industrial devices. By using open source developed solution such as phpBB forum, it is easier to focus on topics those must be discussed or tracking the existing errors and leave away the part related to implementation or how to do that. It is also taken in consideration custom applications, where is possible to implement all requirements and give the possibility to end user to monitor and administrate devices. For instance Java Server Pages -- JSP and Java Server Faces -- JSF combined with Servlet offer a complete solution that could be customized and improved later on in respect to all future requirements need it by changing technologies. To have data persistency, database servers will be used to keep track of modifications performed by user against devices and to be able to have history about reported errors to develop a solution which should fix wrong or unpredicted behavior of devices.
       By using applications those are running over the Internet, for remote connection, security is an important aspect which should be taken in consideration.
    Keywords: administration, monitor, remote interfaces, secure communication, tracking error
    A remote laboratory environment for blended learning BIBAKFull-Text 69
      Fernando Coito; Luís Brito Palma
    In this paper, a remote laboratory environment for blended learning is described. The main contributions are: a) the architecture proposed that facilitates the student-centered learning; b) an environment that improves the student's learning process; c) the set of experiments available that can be easily incorporated in an e-learning platform. The Labview platform was used on the server, a data acquisition board (NI-USB-6009) interfaces with the real setups, and the clients access remotely using a web-browser. The practice showed that the proposed remote laboratory can be used, not only for local experiments in a laboratory, but also for e-teaching and e-learning activities using a remote laboratory.
    Keywords: blended learning, control theory, e-learning, e-teaching, experimentation, remote laboratories
    Language teaching in a mixed reality games environment BIBAKFull-Text 70
      David M. W. Powers; Richard Leibbrandt; Darius Pfitzner; Martin Luerssen; Trent Lewis; Arman Abrahamyan; Kate Stevens
    How do you develop a game that is provably educational, that is engaging from pre-school to adult, and that independently targets different language ability and world experience/maturity?
       Our purpose is to teach students of German or English as a Second Language in the same way that a baby learns a First Language. Children acquire language automatically without overt teaching, without conjugating verbs, looking up dictionaries or taking complex classes in syntax and morphology. They acquire through being immersed in an environment in which they have to learn to communicate in the language in order to achieve a variety of social and personal goals.
       In this project we provide a mixed environment with real toys for the learner to play with, and a simulated environment and a simulated teacher/caregiver to interact with. Whilst young children may be happy building towers and bridges out of wooden blocks, older children and adults cannot be expected to find motivating goals from the same tasks as a baby tackles as s/he simultaneously learns about the world and his/her language, culture and society.
       This paper explores the methodology we are developing to independently control for degree of language knowledge and degree of world experience.
    Keywords: call, embodied conversational agents, exploratory learning, games, human-computer interfaces, mixed reality environment, multi-modal communication, puzzles, second language teaching, serious games
    The design of open source educational games for secondary schools BIBAKFull-Text 71
      V. Daloukas; V. Dai; E. Alikanioti; S. Sirmakessis
    Moodle is online open source software aiming at course management. This paper is focusing on the game module which has been created using php language and consisting of eight available games, which are "Crossword", "Hangman", "Snakes and Ladders", "Cryptex", "Millionaire", "The hidden picture", "Sudoku" and "Book with questions". Their data derive from question banks and dictionaries or pictionaries, created by their users, both teachers and students. The particular game module has already been translated into 6 languages.
       The rationale behind their design is to create an interactive environment for learning various subjects. The writers feel that since learners are accustomed and attracted to gaming as well as they are able to gain immediate feedback on their performance, they should be easily engaged in them. Moreover, the games' interface is simple for the teachers, thus abolishing fear of application.
    Keywords: Moodle, education, games
    Usability and education of games through combined assessment methods BIBAKFull-Text 72
      Spyridon Papaloukas; Michalis Xenos
    In this paper we use evaluation methods that are mainly used in software so as to assess the usability of a video game. More specifically we examine the strategy game "Civilization IV" as well as the tutorial of the game. The study is using during the process of the experiment original evaluation methods as well as combined and the final results are of great interest. It is worth mentioning that we have used a strategy game which is not merely educational and evaluated to what extend it may contribute to the learning process.
    Keywords: assessment methods, computer games, education, evaluation, games, learning process, usability, videogames
    The trial of Galileo BIBAKFull-Text 73
      George Kontellis
    In this paper we present the way Computer Games can be used in the classroom. What is the need of using Computer games during teachers courses?. What are the goals that we hope to achieve? These answers are discussed here. Moreover the making of a Computer game 'The trial of Galileo' used for educational purposes is presented.
    Keywords: Aristotle, Galileo, Newton's laws, computer games, education, free fall, mechanics, modified games, physics
    Complete, cinematic and expressive presentation in computer game BIBAKFull-Text 74
      Mavrogeorgi Nikoletta; Yannis Christodoulou
    Nowadays, computer games entertain millions of computer users. They support incredible 3D graphics that attract players. However, cinematic presentation in computer games is missing. There are technologies and rules for camerawork and lighting that are not exploited by game engines. In this paper, we demonstrate some problems that computer games suffer from, at the presentation level, and we examine a new research project, called ANSWER, as a potential solution to those problems. ANSWER attempts to cover the expressive needs of film directors and game animators, by providing a set of tools that will allow the description of a game or a film at the artistic level and during its production phase.
    Keywords: DirectorNotation, answer, computer games, entertainment
    A pervasive network architecture featuring intelligent energy management of households BIBAKFull-Text 75
      Spyridon Tompros; Nikolaos Mouratidis; Michael Caragiozidis; Halid Hrasnica; Anastasius Gavras
    As the problem of energy generation and use becomes apparent, technologies for optimal energy management and rational use gain importance. The present work illustrates an architecture that focuses on energy saving at households, a sector accounting for the 42% of global energy consumption in the European Union. The main part of the architecture is provided by an optimized residential gateway, which bears appropriate home network interfaces and service logic to allow users perform personalized, pervasive programming of the energy consumption of home devices, such as white goods, home communication equipment and audiovisual equipment by enabling real time monitoring of energy consumption in both active and stand-by modes.
    Keywords: energy management, personalization, pervasive computing, residential gateway
    Online application for simulating intelligent support for medicine intake BIBAKFull-Text 76
      Mark Hoogendoorn; Michel C. A. Klein; Borre Mosch
    In this paper, we present two contributions around an intelligent ambient system to assist people in adherence to medication prescription. First, we describe a computational model for monitoring medicine intake based on activities of a person, which is an extension of earlier work. Second, we present a web-based application that allows evaluating the benefits of such a model in an intelligent ambient system. We use this application to show the feasibility of an intelligent system for medicine intake support by comparing situations with and without intelligent support.
    Keywords: RTMEMS, intelligent medication assistance, simulation
    Wireless connected home with integrated secure healthcare services for elderly people BIBAKFull-Text 77
      Ross Velentzas; Andy Marsh; Geyong Min
    During the last decade, the size of elderly population has shown remarkable growth, especially in the developed countries of Europe. Main reason for this phenomenon is the improvement of the conditions of daily life at home and work, assisted by the socio-economic progression, best quality private living environments and the enormous development in medicine and biomedical technologies that extended the average age of life beyond 70. In future, further improvement and wider expansion of these principles around the globe will intensify this "population aging" phenomenon, which according to recent surveys by the year 2020 will contribute to reaching the record number of 1 billion people over 60 years on Earth. This paper presents a home architecture that could be utilized to integrate healthcare devices and services as well as identifying solutions for their secure communication within the home environment. This work is supported by the INHOME Project EU IST-045061/STP, http://www.ist-inhome.eu.
    Keywords: elderly, health, home network, security, system architecture
    Optimize databases for health monitoring systems BIBAKFull-Text 78
      Catalin Bujdei; Sorin-Aurel Moraru; Stefan Dan
    In this paper, we will study and describe the methods which could be used for optimizing the database and achieving the best performances. The optimizing possibilities was considered for the case of systems which user wireless sensor networks (WSN) inside the systems dedicated for monitoring the health status of the patients. Also, this kind of optimizations could be implemented and for other type of similar systems. The system was created also as an extension at Leonardo da Vinci project, VetTrend.
    Keywords: MsSQL, SQL, index, optimize performances, tuning
    Intelligent services for assisting independent living of elderly people at home BIBAKFull-Text 79
      Dimitrios Vergados; Alevizos Alevizos; Anargiros Mariolis; Michael Caragiozidis
    For more than a decade it has been observed that due to the continuously augmenting elderly population, medical expenditures for home health care were exponentially raising every year. Healthcare organizations worldwide are being encouraged to find more efficient methods of providing high-quality care with cost savings. Elderly people who live alone may fear of being unable to obtain help if they are injured or ill. For many families, the specter of such an event can dominate decisions about living arrangements. During the last decades, this fear has generated an industry marketing house automations, alarm-and-notification systems as well as assistive technologies and interventions aiming in the easier and more efficient control of the living environment as well as to the provision of specialized home-care services. In the current paper, the most important aspects of the INHOME project architecture for improving the quality of life of elderly people at home is presented, which is mainly targeted in ameliorating the ways of providing intelligent services for assisting independent living of elderly people at home.
    Keywords: assisted living at home, elderly people, health, healthcare services
    Wireless tilt mouse: providing mouse-type access for computer users with spinal cord injuries or disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 80
      Ferrol R. Blackmon; Michael Weeks
    Interaction with computers (e.g. those with Internet browsers and graphic user interfaces, etc.) nowadays almost requires some form of cursor control, like a mouse provides. However, the traditional mouse is not always the best alternative for all users. To provide a better option for users with spinal cord injuries or severe disabilities an inexpensive wireless head tilt mouse has been constructed to provide easy access to the regular functions of a computer mouse.
    Keywords: assistive interfaces, human-computer interaction
    Enabling NFC technology to support activities in an Alzheimer's day center BIBAKFull-Text 81
      J. Bravo; R. Hervás; R. Gallego; G. Casero; M. Vergara; T. Carmona; C. Fuentes; S. W. Nava; G. Chavira; V. Villarreal
    Alzheimer's patients need a large amount of varied types of attention by carers, due to the disorders of memory and orientation they present. Knowledge about the particular state of each individual day-care patient is sometimes deficient, however, as assistants have no time to supervise patients' records because they do not wish to have their attention distracted from care. In this work we present a proposal to solve this problem. A complement to support the information management routine by adapting Near Field Communication Technology is offered here... By means of touching tags with mobile phones, day center assistants carry out this management. This is done via tags placed throughout the context, which means on patients, places, devices and applications. With this simple interaction, some aspects of the routine in this kind of context, such as information about the patient's basic status, orientation, door security, therapy and other activities can be dealt with. In addition, this proposal concludes with an information-filtering process whose purpose is to achieve an easy interaction method with mobile phones and provide recommendations to assistants and family. Finally, our process offers appropriate information to physicians.
    Keywords: NFC, mobile and ubiquitous computing, natural interaction
    ECG signal recording, processing and transmission using a mobile phone BIBAKFull-Text 82
      Georgios Giannakakis; Ivan Buliev
    Telemedicine is being rapidly developed. In isolated places, i.e. islands, mountains or ships, where access to medical services is time-consuming or infeasible, it can prove life-saving. Powerful programming languages such as C++ and Java are supported by the modern mobile phones, which gives a possibility for easy developing of useful telemedicine applications. In this paper we present an approach for distant simultaneous monitoring of several ECG signals. The individual channel signals are packed through modulation into a complex sound signal, which is further recorded by a mobile phone. The phone is interfaced to the measuring device through a modified hands-free accessory. JAVA applications allow storing the signals in multimedia files and their transmitting to a second mobile phone via MMS or other means. A real-time ECG monitoring is also possible. The feasibility of the signal processing algorithms is confirmed through simulations in MATLAB.
    Keywords: ECG monitoring, JAVA, health, mobile phones, telemedicine
    Aiding speech-impaired people using Nintendo DS game console BIBAKFull-Text 83
      Mohammad Shirali-Shahreza
    By rapid growth of technology in recent years, many services are provided for disabled people. Using wireless devices such as mobile phones in healthcare is a new idea which is gained attracted by some developers in recent years. On the other hand, nowadays game consoles are not only for playing games, but also have more functions such as using for education.
       Considering the above mentioned facts, this paper proposes a method to aid speech-impaired children using Nintendo DS Game console. This method helps the speech-impaired children which are not capable of using sign language well to communicate with others until they learn sign language well. Because the Nintendo DS is the most popular and best selling handheld game console, this method can cover a wide range of users. Also this method can encourage the children to repeat the spoken words and learns them to read some words.
    Keywords: Nintendo DS, game console, health, healthcare, sign-language, speech-impaired people
    Multi-modal health and activity monitoring framework for elderly people at home BIBAKFull-Text 84
      Jérémie Leguay; Bertrand Ravera; Mario Lopez-Ramos; Vincent Gay; Eric Robert
    This paper presents a multi-modal health and activity monitoring framework that enables abnormal event detection and long term evaluation of the health of elderly people at home. We describe its integration with the ESTIA [1] Residential Gateway and detail the demonstration scenario we developed involving different kinds of sensing modules.
    Keywords: activity monitoring, service oriented architectures, wireless sensor networks
    Power control schemes in wireless sensor networks for homecare e-health applications BIBAKFull-Text 85
      Nikolaos A. Pantazis; Dimitrios D. Vergados; Nikolaos I. Miridakis; Dimitrios J. Vergados
    Power control is an important research topic for ad-hoc Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). In today's sophisticated and competitive wireless environment, the control of the energy consumption in a WSN for homecare e-health makes it possible to guarantee basic levels of system performance, such as connectivity, throughput, delay, QoS and survivability in the presence of both mobility-immobility and a large number of sensor nodes. Recent advances in sensor fabrication technology, low-power digital and analogue electronics, and low-power wireless communication systems have made it possible to develop low-cost, robust and survivable WSNs to support activities such as assisted living and ambient intelligence (Aml). A large variety of approaches for intelligent energy-efficient schemes have been simulated over different performance metrics. In this paper, various decision support schemes are proposed evaluating the selection of different network infrastructures in terms of routing optimization and signal strength selection.
    Keywords: homecare e-health, low-energy consumption, power control, wireless sensor networks
    Pervasive behavior tracking for cognitive assistance BIBAKFull-Text 86
      Sylvain Giroux; Jérémy Bauchet; Hélène Pigot; Dany Lussier-Desrochers; Yves Lachappelle
    The current and prospective situation of cognitively impaired people entails great human, social, and economical costs. Smart homes can help to maintain in place cognitively impaired people, to improve their autonomy, and accordingly to alleviate the burden put on informal and professional caregivers. The research performed at DOMUS lab aims at turning the whole home into a cognitive prosthetic, especially by providing cognitive assistance. In this process, behavior tracking is a fundamental piece. After sketching the infrastructure, two cognitive assistants are used to illustrate how activity recognition can help to address four kinds of cognitive deficits (initiation, attention, planning, and memory). An experimentation of one of these assistant involving people with intellectual deficiencies is finally shortly described.
    Keywords: activity recognition, cognitive deficits, experimentation, pervasive computing, smart homes, tangible user interfaces
    Detection of multiple human location and direction by integrating different kinds of sensors BIBAKFull-Text 87
      Tsuyoshi Shinno; Kazunori Hashizume; Junichi Tajima; Shigeo Kaneda; Hirohide Haga
    As ubiquitous services become available, information on human location and direction have so important that many detection methods have been proposed. However, a lot of them generate electromagnetic waves or light rays. They are unsuited for use in detection of children's location because parents are wary of health damage caused by radiated electromagnetic waves. The accuracy of a lot of methods which doesn't generate electromagnetic waves is not always high indoors. In this paper, we propose a detection method of indoor multiple human location and direction by using a stereovision camera and direction detection sensors. With a stereovision camera, it is possible to detect human location with high accuracy, but individuals cannot be identified. Direction detection sensors make it possible to identify an individual wearing them. By integrating these sensing devices based on direction information, detection of location and direction become possible with high accuracy. Moreover, with this method it is possible to identify an individual. We built a prototype and conducted an evaluation experiment. We conducted the experiment in a room divided by a ferroconcrete wall. We conducted a total of 10 experiments, changing the number of subjects. The experimental evaluation result shows the average error of location was 0.11[m] and the average error of direction was 0.39[rad]. The success rate of identifying an individual was 90[%].
    Keywords: contextual awareness, individual identification, location tracking, ubiquitous computing
    Detecting mastication by using microwave Doppler sensor BIBAKFull-Text 88
      Saeko Tanigawa; Hideaki Nishihara; Shigeo Kaneda; Hirohide Haga
    A method of detecting mastication by using a microwave Doppler sensor is proposed in this article. For solitary elderly people, it is important to check whether they have taken meals regularly for health care reasons. In this article, a method for detecting whether meals have been taken regularly that implements privacy protection and offers hands-free operation is proposed. We have adopted a couple of microwave Doppler sensor. Microwave Doppler sensor detects a moving object from the difference between the sent frequency and the received frequency. The up-and-down motion of the jaw is detected by this sensor. A person's mastication is known to have constant periodicity. [1] Based on the above assumption, mastication is detected from the periodicity of the up-and-down motion of the jaw in this article. A person often moves the body and face in addition to the jaw during the act of mastication. Therefore, it is necessary to extract the signal caused by the movement of the jaw from the Doppler signal obtained by the sensors. Concretely, only the signal caused by the up-and-down motion of the jaw is extracted from the Doppler signal by using the Wavelet transformation, and the periodicity is detected by using the auto-correlation function. And mastication is distinguished from other movement. In the results of an experiment using two micro wave Doppler sensors of 10.5GHz, the accuracy was from 70 to 90%.
    Keywords: detecting mastication, ubiquitous computing
    Automatic sign language recognition: vision based feature extraction and probabilistic recognition scheme from multiple cues BIBAKFull-Text 89
      George Caridakis; Olga Diamanti; Kostas Karpouzis; Petros Maragos
    This work focuses on two of the research problems comprising automatic sign language recognition, namely robust computer vision techniques for consistent hand detection and tracking, while preserving the hand shape contour which is useful for extraction of features related to the handshape and a novel classification scheme incorporating Self-organizing maps, Markov chains and Hidden Markov Models. Geodesic Active Contours enhanced with skin color and motion information are employed for the hand detection and the extraction of the hand silhouette, while features extracted describe hand trajectory, region and shape. Extracted features are used as input to separate classifiers, forming a robust and adaptive architecture whose main contribution is the optimal utilization of the neighboring characteristic of the SOM during the decoding stage of the Markov chain, representing the sign class.
    Keywords: Markov models, feature extraction, geodesic active contour models, gesture recognition, hidden Markov models, image segmentation, optical flow, self-organizing maps, sign language recognition
    Bimodal person-dependent emotion recognition comparison of feature level and decision level information fusion BIBAKFull-Text 90
      Muharram Mansoorizadeh; Nasrollah M. Charkari
    Modern HCI systems tend to build a new channel of human-computer interaction in which the human emotion is understandable by computers. Since Humans depict emotional behavior in combination of various modalities (e.g. facial expression, speech articulations); The HCI should reliably perceive emotional information from multiple channels. The goal of the paper is to propose an approach for combining emotion related information from speech and facial expression. Two fusion approaches (feature level and decision level) are presented and compared with experimental results. Results show that the decision level fusion performs better than the other systems.
    Keywords: bimodal emotion recognition, information fusion
    An ambient agent model for automated mindreading by identifying and monitoring representation relations BIBAKFull-Text 91
      Alexei Sharpanskykh; Jan Treur
    In this paper an ambient agent model is presented for automated mindreading based on monitoring a human's interaction with his or her environment. Within this agent model, a cognitive model for the human is assumed to be available. Monitoring foci on a human's interaction with the environment are determined from this cognitive model by automatically deriving representation relations for cognitive states expressed by temporal predicate logical specifications. From these temporal expressions the events are derived that are to be monitored, and from the monitoring information on these events the representation expressions are verified automatically.
    Keywords: ambient agent model, mindreading, monitoring, representation relation, theory of mind, verification
    Model-based ambient analysis of human task execution BIBAKFull-Text 92
      Fiemke Both; Mark Hoogendoorn; Jan Treur
    One of the challenges for ambient intelligent agents to support a human in demanding tasks, is to find out and be aware of what the human is exactly doing, and how much progress is made. Of course, in principle it would be possible to interact with the human to discover what this human is doing, but this communication can potentially slow down or even endanger task performance. In this paper an ambient agent model is presented that is able to obtain such an awareness of the human's progress in task execution by performing model-based analysis using available workflow models and available observation information. The design of the model is based on a component-based generic ambient agent model. Simulation experiments for a case study are discussed, and evaluated by automated formal verification.
    Keywords: ambient agent, awareness, model-based reasoning, task progress, workflow model
    Estimating emotion regulation capabilities BIBAKFull-Text 93
      Tibor Bosse; Frank P. J. de Lange
    To improve the performance and wellbeing of humans in complex human-computer interaction settings, ambient (or pervasive) systems need the capability to recognize the emotions of humans, but also the ability to reason about their emotion regulation processes. To this end, this paper introduces a computational model to estimate and reason about emotion regulation. The model has been implemented and tested using the high-level modeling language LEADSTO. A first evaluation indicates that the model is successful in estimating a person's emotion regulation dynamics, and is robust to different parameter settings.
    Keywords: BDI, emotion regulation, simulation, theory of mind
    Using physical activity for user behavior analysis BIBAKFull-Text 94
      Gerald Bieber; Christian Peter
    Physical activity is one important aspect in user behavior analysis. Abnormal movement behavior might be an indicator for an inappropriate lifestyle, insufficient social inclusion, or generally disadvantageous life conditions which might call for medical treatment. Assistive technologies can make use of information on the physical activity of e.g. residents of a nursing home or elderly patients living alone at home. In this paper, we present a mobile technology for identifying movement behavior in everyday life. A three-dimensional acceleration sensor is used to determine physical activity by domain specific feature extraction. By use of data mining techniques and a feature set extracted from everyday usage data, we achieve a high quality and robust classification of physical activity. This can be used for further user behavior analysis. Especially non-linear features like step-detection, horizontal and vertical acceleration as well as spectral analysis proved to be very powerful. A proof-of concept prototype is described which shows the applicability of the developed technologies in everyday life.
    Keywords: acceleration sensor, feature extraction, mobile assistance, pattern recognition, physical activity monitoring
    Energy saving of TV by face detection BIBAKFull-Text 95
      Ryo Ariizumi; Shigeo Kaneda; Hirohide Haga
    A major part of electric power is supplied by thermal power stations, which emit carbon dioxide (CO2) while generating electricity. Today, since we consume a lot of electricity, we are threatened by environmental problems including global warming. One of the key points for solving these problems is developing energy-saving appliances. Televisions, which are widely used in the home, can achieve energy savings by reducing the brightness of the screen. However, unless a user adjusts it, the TV maintains the same brightness. Furthermore, we tend to watch TV while doing other activities such as using a computer or reading a book. This means that when we do something else, we often do not look at the TV. In this article, an energy-saving TV system based on the recognition of users' faces is proposed. This system recognizes the face direction of the TV user and when the user is not looking at the TV, the system will reduce the brightness automatically. On the other hand, when the system detects users' attention to the TV, the brightness will increase. To develop the prototype of this system, the face detection program OpenCV is used. A hand-made signal transmitter and signal receiver were also used to change the brightness of the TV. As a result of an experiment with the prototype system, we could confirm a 30% reduction of the TV's watt-hours.
    Keywords: TV, electric consumption, energy saving, environmental problem, face detection
    Human computer interface by EOG tracking BIBAKFull-Text 96
      B. Estrany; P. Fuster; A. Garcia; Y. Luo
    In this paper we present a human computer interface system that explores the ability of human interacting with machine. The interaction uses a new channel different from the traditional one: the electrical signal produced by the dipole generated by the human eye. This signal is called the EOG signal (Electrooculography).
       In order to build such a system, we developed a set of hardware and software that allowed us to evaluate the technical aspects that influence the acquisition and digitization of these signals. The key technical problems have been solved. The system can perform the human-computer interaction with satisfactory results.
    Keywords: EOG (electrooculography), eye movement tracking, human-computer interaction