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PETRA Tables of Contents: 0809101112131415

Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments

Fullname:Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments
Editors:Margrit Betke; Ilias Maglogiannis; Grammati Pantziou
Location:Crete, Greece
Dates:2011-May-25 to 2011-May-27
Standard No:ISBN: 1-4501-0772-9, 978-1-4501-0772-7; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: PETRA11
Links:Conference Website
Summary:The PETRA Conference brings together different types of technology to address an important social and healthcare issue: as the world's population ages, there is a growing interest in solutions for the in-home care of the elderly as well as for the care of people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other disabilities or traumas. PETRA (which means "stone" in Greek) reflects the needs of the domestic environment, or "Oikos" as it was known in ancient Greece, but from a technological perspective. People's living environments are particularly important in an increasingly crowded and complex world where the need for inclusiveness and connectivity with the rest of the world is key. PETRA addresses the fact that, as people grow older; they will increasingly rely on technology to be able to stay in their homes.
  1. PETRA 2011-05-25 Volume 9
    1. Usability and HCI issues, multimodal interfaces
    2. Cognitive systems and pattern analysis tools for assistive environments
    3. Tools, infrastructures, architectures and techniques for deploying pervasive applications in assistive environments I
    4. Tools, infrastructures, architectures and techniques for deploying pervasive applications in assistive environments II
    5. Signal and image processing for ambient intelligence and pervasive computing
    6. Pervasive systems for the aging society
    7. Internet and networking technologies for pervasive health
    8. Data modeling and information management for pervasive assistive environments
    9. Workshop on affect and behaviour related assistance in support for the elderly
    10. Workshop on Alzheimer's Disease -- computer-assisted early diagnosis and the use of augmentative alternative communication (AAC) for families and patients
    11. Workshop on privacy and security in pervasive environments
    12. Workshop on robotics in assistive environments
    13. HAPPY AGEING (AAL-2008-1-113) project overview: solutions for independent living and technology acceptance

PETRA 2011-05-25 Volume 9

Usability and HCI issues, multimodal interfaces

Setting the table for the blind BIBAFull-Text 1
  Mechmet Chiousemoglou; Helmut Jürgensen
We report on research concerning the rendering of tables for blind individuals with an emphasis on exploring the potential of a new planar haptic device in combination with sound.
Menu controller: making existing software more accessible for people with motor impairments BIBAFull-Text 2
  Isaac Paquette; Christopher Kwan; Margrit Betke
Menu Controller was developed to make existing software more accessible for people with severe motor impairments, especially individuals who use mouse-replacement input systems. Windows applications have menus that are difficult to access by users with limited muscle control, due to the size and placement of the menu entries. The goal of Menu Controller is to take these entries and generate customizable user interfaces that can be catered to the individual user. Menu Controller accomplishes this by harvesting existing menu items without needing to change any existing code in these applications and then by displaying them to the user in an external toolbar that is more easily accessible to people with impairments. The initial challenge in developing Menu Controller was to find a method for harvesting and re-displaying menu items by using the Windows API. The rest of the work involved exploring an appropriate way for displaying the harvested menu entries. We ultimately chose an approach based on a two-level sliding toolbar. Experiments with a user with severe motor impairments, who used the Camera Mouse as a mouse-replacement input system, showed that this approach was indeed promising. The experiments also exposed areas that need further research and development. We suggest that Menu Controller provides a valuable contribution towards making everyday software more accessible to people with disabilities.
LinkLights: a modular, user adaptable system to support rehabilitation practices BIBAFull-Text 3
  Erik Grönvall; Gunnar Kramp
The project described in this paper aims to provide assistive tools to support elderly people affected by vestibular dysfunction (i.e. a form of balance disorder leading to dizziness and nausea) in their home-based rehabilitation activities. Challenges emerge as the rehabilitation moves from a supervised hospital setting to private homes. Our studies have shown that the elderly people are less motivated to perform the training at home. This paper presents a tangible, portable, two dimensional modular platform called LinkLights that has been developed to sustain the home-based rehabilitation, giving clear guidelines what to do, adding motivational cues and elements of variation and surprise in the activity. Furthermore, a set of challenges for successful translocation of the therapeutic regimen from a supervised, hospital setting to an unsupervised home-based setting together with some early results of experimenting with this platform will be presented.
Design dimensions of ambient information systems to facilitate the development of AAL environments BIBAFull-Text 4
  Marcela D. Rodríguez; Juan Pablo García-Vázquez; Ángel G. Andrade
AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) aims to extend the time elderly can live in their home environment by assisting them in carrying out activities of daily living (ADLs). Designers of AAL must not only consider the needs and problems that elders face when carrying out their ADLs, but that elders are characterized by presenting a natural cognitive decline, their attention levels are diminished and that they may consider that new technologies are complex to use. Considering these characteristics of elders, we propose Ambient Information Systems (AIS) as the appropriate technology to assist elders, since they are aesthetically pleasing applications which provide users with abstract representations of valued information. The aim of this work was to identify the design issues that should be addressed for developing AIS that effectively assist elderly with their ADLs. To reach this end, we designed mobile and embedded AIS that help elderly to manage their medication, since it is one of the critical ADLs for enabling "ageing in place". As a result of designing AIS, we identified a set of design attributes that were validated and extended through inspection evaluations with Computer Science and Health professionals.
Design for all: towards a social platform for integrating distributed open-access repositories BIBAFull-Text 5
  Cleo Sgouropoulou; Petros Belsis; Anastasios Koutoumanos
Recent advances in networking and telecommunications technologies combined with the vast load of readily available scientific data, urge towards the implementation of software systems that are able to collect, combine and present information from distributed repositories. At the same time, scientists, researchers, academics and experts demand flexible infrastructures that provide just-in-time information, with reliable, peer-reviewed data, through ubiquitous interfaces. Towards this direction, several international organizations including the European Commission, promote the development of software platforms that will facilitate universal access to information aggregated from open access repositories. In this paper we discuss the requirements engineering process and the key functionality for a system that supports knowledge extraction and dissemination from distributed repositories, while at the same time enabling and integrating the social interaction of its users.

Cognitive systems and pattern analysis tools for assistive environments

A recommender system for assistive environments BIBAFull-Text 6
  Alexandros Papangelis; Georgios Galatas; Fillia Makedon
In this paper we propose a novel framework for Recommender Systems that uses weighted tagging and Natural Language Processing techniques to tag, rate, cluster and recommend items. The system is able to cluster items in a dynamic hierarchical fashion allowing for on the fly user-tailored clustering of items. It is also able to automatically extract tags and ratings from item descriptions. It is inherently Context Aware since it uses Natural Language Processing techniques and targeted for Assistive Environments, whether as part of a companion (a dialogue system whose purpose is to accompany the user) or as a standalone system that will recommend books, movies, activities, medication and others in an easy to use intuitive way.
Probabilistic search of human by autonomous mobile robot BIBAFull-Text 7
  Syed Atif Mehdi; Karsten Berns
This paper focuses on the development of an approach for an indoor mobile robot to search the elderly person living alone in an unstructured and dynamic household environment. In order to reach the elderly person, to perform different tasks or in case of an emergency, the mobile robot needs to navigate autonomously in the home environment with the perception of presence of the person at a particular place at a specific time. The estimation of possible locations of a person is carried out using a behavior based Markov Decision Process (MDP). The implemented methodology centers two criteria for searching the person, namely distance to the destination and the probability of finding the person at that location. This estimated destination is reached autonomously by the robot. The autonomous navigation is supported by building a detailed grid map of the environment and planning a path to the required target. Upon reaching the destination, a search for the human face is carried out using a Haar cascade classifier. To validate the methodology over a longer period of time, a 3D simulated environment has also been created. This environment resembles a real house environment and features simulation of a small robot, Artos, which performs the task of searching and a human simulation that walks around in different rooms. The results from simulation shows effectiveness of the developed methodology.
Can cognitive and functional measures explain interactions between elderly people with different levels of cognitive decline and an avatar on TV? BIBAFull-Text 8
  Unai Díaz; Cristina Buiza; Aitziber Etxaniz; Elena Urdaneta; Mari Feli González; Javier Yanguas
Objective: The complexity of new Information Technologies (IT) may limit the access of elderly people to the information society, exacerbating what is known as "the digital divide", as they appear to be too challenging for elderly citizens regardless of the integrity of their cognitive status. This study is an attempt to clarify how some cognitive variables determine the interaction of cognitively impaired elderly people with technology.
   Main content: Twenty participants ranging from mild cognitive impairment to moderate Alzheimer's disease were assessed by means of a neuropsychological and functional battery, and were asked to follow simple commands from an Avatar appearing on a TV by means of a remote control. Number of correct answers and command repetitions required for the user to respond were registered.
   Results: Results show that participants with a better cognitive and functional state in specific tests show a significantly better performance in the TV task.
   Conclusion: Neuropsychological assessment may be used to guide assistive technology developers in the adaptation of IT to the elderly with different cognitive and functional profiles.
Recognition of sleep patterns using a bed pressure mat BIBAFull-Text 9
  Vangelis Metsis; Georgios Galatas; Alexandros Papangelis; Dimitrios Kosmopoulos; Fillia Makedon
The monitoring of sleep patterns is of major importance for various reason such as, the detection and treatment of sleep disorders, the assessment of the effect of different medical conditions or medications on the sleep quality and the assessment of mortality risks associated with sleeping patterns in adults and children. Sleep monitoring by itself is a difficult problem due to both privacy and technical considerations. The proposed system uses a bed pressure mat to assess and report sleep patterns. To evaluate our system we used real data collected in Heracleia Lab's assistive living apartment. Our method is non-invasive, as it does not disrupt the user's usual sleeping behavior and it can be used both at the clinic and at home with minimal cost.
Community detection in collaborative environments: a comparative analysis BIBAFull-Text 10
  Andreas Kalaitzakis; Harris Papadakis; Costas Panagiotakis; Paraskevi Fragopoulou
In this paper, we analyze and compare the performance of four different community detection algorithms, each following a different approach. The performance of the algorithms is compared on a variety of benchmark graphs with known community structure. Experiments reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the involved algorithms and demonstrate the necessity to devise local and efficient community detection techniques that perform well under a variety of changing conditions.
Real-time path planning for a robotic arm BIBAFull-Text 11
  Kavita Krishnaswamy; Jennifer Sleeman; Tim Oates
With robotics technology, services can be provided to care for individuals with disabilities. This paper describes an effort to improve path planning performance for a robotic arm, resulting in faster user response in real-time. For a robotic arm, particularly with multiple degrees of freedom, path planning is computationally expensive. We propose that it is possible to achieve rapid response times with an assistive robotic arm by caching frequent arm trajectories and creating a "roadmap" of arm movements. By calculating trajectories to possible target goals in advance, we anticipate an improvement in user response times.

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

Towards global aerobic activity monitoring BIBAFull-Text 12
  Attila Reiss; Didier Stricker
With recent progress in wearable sensing it becomes reasonable for individuals to wear different sensors all day, thus global activity monitoring is establishing. The goals in global activity monitoring systems are amongst others to tell the type of activity that was performed, the duration and the intensity. With the information obtained this way, the individual's daily routine can be described in detail. One of the strong motivations to achieve these goals comes from healthcare: to be able to tell if individuals were performing enough physical activity to maintain or even promote their health. This paper focuses on the monitoring of aerobic activities, and targets two main goals: to estimate the intensity of activities, and to identify basic/recommended physical activities and postures. For these purposes, a dataset with 8 subjects and 14 different activities was recorded, including the basic activities and postures, but also examples of household (ironing, vacuum cleaning), sports (playing soccer, rope jumping) and everyday activities (ascending and descending stairs). Data from 3 accelerometers -- placed on lower arm, chest and foot -- and a heart rate monitor were analyzed. In this paper, first results are shown on both the intensity estimation and activity recognition tasks, with a performance of 87, 54% and 86, 80%, respectively.
Assessment of assistive technologies based on the PSA-BI model BIBAFull-Text 13
  Stuart Moran; Lawrence Chidzambwa; Keiichi Nakata; Kecheng Liu
One consequence of ongoing discoveries and successes related to the prevention and treatment of illnesses and diseases is an aging population. With this comes an increase in chronic illnesses which will place a significant strain on existing healthcare resources. One proposed solution is the introduction of assistive technologies such as telecare, to allow patients to live and be monitored at home. Much of this technology can be enabled by pervasive technologies. As a part of the process of implementing this assistive technology, an assessment is carried out by social workers. This assessment aims to elicit user requirements regarding a telecare system, based upon which an appropriate system is proposed and implemented. Unfortunately, there can often be a mismatch between a user's perceptions and expectations, and the system which is installed, leading to non-acceptance. This paper proposes and demonstrates how the PSABI model can be used as a part of this process. The factors that compose the model are shown to be effective at capturing information relevant to the monitoring aspects of telecare. The model itself is also simulated using VenSim, with a series of system designs assessed to see which meets the requirements of its users; and ultimately their acceptance of the technology.
A configurable telecare system BIBAFull-Text 14
  Claire Maternaghan; Kenneth J. Turner
Current home systems do not support simple, yet sophisticated, ways of controlling the home in a generic and high-level way. In contrast, Homer, a home system for telecare and home automation developed by the authors, is designed to make it easy for non-technical users to achieve this. Developers create home components that expose their services and functionality in a way that encourages combination. Components are made accessible to end-user applications through an HTTP interface, allowing use of any interface technology. Internally, Homer supports automation through policies that combine the functionalities and services offered by components. These policies can be created using many kinds of user interfaces. The Homer architecture, components, policies and user interfaces are discussed. Finally, the paper concludes with an evaluation of the work in comparison to similar systems.

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

Designing a multi-purpose capacitive proximity sensing input device BIBAFull-Text 15
  Andreas Braun; Pascal Hamisu
The recent success of Nintendo's Wii and multi-touch input devices like the Apple iPhone clearly shows that people are more willing to accept new input device-technologies based on intuitive forms of interaction. Gesture-based input is thus becoming important and even relevant in specific application scenarios. A sensor type especially suited for natural gesture recognition is the capacitive proximity sensor that allows the detection of objects without any physical contact. In this paper we extend the input device taxonomy by Card et al to include this detector category and allow modeling of devices based on advanced sensor units that involve data processing. We have created a prototype based on this modeling and evaluated its use regarding several application scenarios, where such a device might be useful. The focus of this evaluation was to determine the suitability of the device for different interaction paradigms.
MCMC Bayesian inference for heart sounds screening in assistive environments BIBAFull-Text 16
  Manolis Maragoudakis; Euripides Loukis
The large scale application of ICT-based assistive environment technologies for the home care of elderly and disabled people is going to generate huge numbers of signals transmitted from homes to local health centers or hospitals in order to be monitored by medical personnel. This task is going to be of critical importance and at the same time -- if manually performed -- quite demanding for specialized human resources and costly. In order to perform it in a cost-efficient manner it is necessary to develop mechanisms and methods for automated screening of these signals in order to identify abnormal ones that require some action to be taken. This paper proposes a method for automatic screening of heart sound signals, which are the most widely acquired signals from the human body for diagnostic purposes in both the 'traditional' medicine and the emerging ICT-based assistive environments. It is based on a novel Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Bayesian Inference approach, which estimates conditional probability distributions in structures obtained from a Tree-Augmented Naïve Bayes (TAN) algorithm. The proposed approach has been applied and validated in a difficult heterogeneous dataset of 198 heart sound signals, which comes from both healthy medical cases and unhealthy ones having Aortic Stenosis, Mitral Regurgitation, Aortic Regurgitation or Mitral Stenosis. The proposed approach achieved a good performance in this difficult screening problem, which is higher than other widely used alternative classifiers, showing great potential for contributing to a cost-effective large scale application of ICT-based assistive environment technologies.
Exploring community building with an awareness display BIBAFull-Text 17
  Dhaval Vyas; Anton Nijholt; Anton Eliëns; Wim Poelman
In this paper, we present a field trial of a pervasive system called Panorama that is aimed at supporting social awareness in work environments. Panorama is an intelligent situated display in the staff room of an academic department. It artistically represents non-critical user generated content such as images from holidays, conferences and other social gatherings, as well as textual messages on its display. It also captures images and videos from different public spaces of the department and streams them onto the Panorama screen, using appropriate abstraction techniques. We studied the use of Panorama for two weeks and observed how Panorama affected staff members' social awareness and community building. We report that Panorama simulated curiosity and learning, initiated new interactions and provided a mechanism for cherishing old memories.
Use of RSSI and time-of-flight wireless signal characteristics for location tracking BIBAFull-Text 18
  Joshua J. Davies; Farhad Kamangar; Gergely Zaruba; Manfred Huber; Vassilis Athitsos
Wireless networking is a common component in assistive environment designs. In addition to allowing the deployment of multiple sensors that are not physically connected, wireless networking carries an additional benefit -- the characteristics and interactions between the wireless mobile node and the wireless base can be examined to determine the otherwise unknown location of the mobile node. Determining the location of the mobile node is the topic of this paper. In particular, this paper explores the relationship between Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and the error in the computed Time-of-Flight (TOF) data. This relationship is exploited to associate probabilities with location readings which are subsequently used to apply particle filtering techniques to reduce the inaccuracy in the location computation. We show that by using RSSI and particle filtering, the wireless node's location can be tracked far more accurately than by accepting TOF as provided.

Signal and image processing for ambient intelligence and pervasive computing

Audio visual speech recognition in noisy visual environments BIBAFull-Text 19
  Georgios Galatas; Gerasimos Potamianos; Alexandros Papangelis; Fillia Makedon
Speech recognition is a natural means of interaction for a human with a smart assistive environment. In order for this interaction to be effective, such a system should attain a high recognition rate even under adverse conditions. Audio-visual speech recognition (AVSR) can be of help in such environments, especially under the presence of audio noise. However the impact of visual noise to its performance has not been studied sufficiently in the literature. In this paper, we examine the effects of visual noise to AVSR, reporting experiments on the relatively simple task of connected digit recognition, under moderate acoustic noise and a variety of types of visual noise. The latter can be caused by either faulty sensors or video signal transmission problems that can be found in smart assistive environments. Our AVSR system exhibits higher accuracy in comparison to an audio-only recognizer and robust performance in most cases of noisy video signals considered.
Comparing gesture recognition accuracy using color and depth information BIBAFull-Text 20
  Paul Doliotis; Alexandra Stefan; Christopher McMurrough; David Eckhard; Vassilis Athitsos
In human-computer interaction applications, gesture recognition has the potential to provide a natural way of communication between humans and machines. The technology is becoming mature enough to be widely available to the public and real-world computer vision applications start to emerge. A typical example of this trend is the gaming industry and the launch of Microsoft's new camera: the Kinect. Other domains, where gesture recognition is needed, include but are not limited to: sign language recognition, virtual reality environments and smart homes. A key challenge for such real-world applications is that they need to operate in complex scenes with cluttered backgrounds, various moving objects and possibly challenging illumination conditions. In this paper we propose a method that accommodates such challenging conditions by detecting the hands using scene depth information from the Kinect. On top of our detector we employ a dynamic programming method for recognizing gestures, namely Dynamic Time Warping (DTW). Our method is translation and scale invariant which is a desirable property for many HCI systems. We have tested the performance of our approach on a digits recognition system. All experimental datasets include hand signed digits gestures but our framework can be generalized to recognize a wider range of gestures.
Experiments with computer vision methods for hand detection BIBAFull-Text 21
  Zhong Zhang; Rommel Alonzo; Vassilis Athitsos
For gesture and sign language recognition, hand shape and hand motion are the primary sources of information that differentiate one sign from another. So, building an efficient and reliable hand detector is an important step for recognizing signs and gesture. In this paper we evaluate four features for hand detection: color, temporal motion, gradient norm, and motion residue, and we explore the potential of these features for building a reliable hand detector. At first, we use these four features separately to identify where the hands are in each frame of our gesture videos. Then we evaluate different combinations of such features using weighted linear combination, so to build a more accurate hand detector. Experimental results show the relative performance of the four features in isolation and in different combinations, and demonstrate promising results for detectors that combine these features.
Swallow sound analysis for automated ingestion detection BIBAFull-Text 22
  William Walker; Dinesh Bhatia
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic and is an underlying cause for most major chronic diseases. In majority of cases the underlying cause for obesity is a greatly skewed imbalance between the food intake and the number of calories burnt by the patient. One of the first steps in managing obesity is the correct recording of food and fluids that are ingested in the body. Traditional methods like food diaries have generally produced grossly inaccurate results. In order to automate the process of capturing ingestion, a method for detecting, analyzing, and recording sounds related to ingestion is being developed. In this paper, preliminary swallow sound analysis is presented with the intention of implementing automated ingestion detection as part of an obesity and overweight management system. Three basic algorithmic approaches are discussed as well as filtering options. More complex methods for analysis are explored as well, which include nonlinear analysis and the use of Self Organizing Maps (SOM).
Watering the flowers: virtual haptic environments for training of forearm rotation in persons with central nervous deficits BIBAFull-Text 23
  Tom De Weyer; Sofie Notelaers; Karin Coninx; Peter Feys; Ilse Lamers; Geert Alders; Richard Geers
Persons with central nervous deficits, such as MS and stroke patients, can benefit a lot from suitable training approaches that enhance their ability to perform activities in daily life. As performing rotations with the forearm (pro- and supination movements) is essential in many daily tasks, we use this as an example to illustrate our structured rehabilitation approach for the upper extremities. The results of the patient-centric design and development of the rehabilitation robotics system are illustrated, and several levels of interactive training exercises in virtual haptic environments are shown. Considerations regarding the system setup as well as hardware adjustments to the haptic device and peripheral equipment are described. Evaluations with patients and therapists demonstrate the importance of the patient-centric approach and reveal appreciation for the resulting interactive training system.

Pervasive systems for the aging society

A TV platform to improve older people's quality of life: lessons learned from the evaluation of the VITAL project with Spanish elderly users BIBAFull-Text 24
  Unai Díaz; Aitziber Etxaniz; Elena Urdaneta; Gorka Epelde; Xabier Valencia
The User Centered Design allows the technical developers to know specific characteristics about the potential end users. In the specific case of elderly users, consideration of their needs in areas like communication, family and social relationships, social support and leisure, is a key point, which should guide the development of technological applications. In an attempt to fulfill to some extent this range of needs, the VITAL project, which is a European Community 6th Framework Program financed project, has developed a set of technologies, platforms and applications with the aim to provide remote assistance to elderly users and increase their quality of life The sample recruited for the last evaluation of VITAL in Spain was composed of 83 participants, 19 male and 64 female, with an age ranging from 52 to 91 (x=73,68, sd=7,86). All targeted users were attending elder associations in their respective cities, which implies an existing minimum social interaction for all for them. This paper gathers the literature about elderly needs in the areas of communication with family, social relationships and leisure, and examines what elderly users think about how VITAL Platform can help them in improving their quality of life in those addressed areas.
Abnormal behaviours identification for an elder's life activities using dissimilarity measurements BIBAFull-Text 25
  Sawsan M. Mahmoud; Ahmad Lotfi; Caroline Langensiepen
Identifying abnormal behaviour is an important factor in activity recognition. The aim of this paper is to design a system able to detect the abnormal behaviours of daily activity living in an intelligent environment. We approach this by applying dissimilarity (distance) measures on data collected from a single inhabitant environment. The data are acquired from occupancy sensors such as a door and motion sensors. Since the data is collected from these sensors has a discrete value either on or off, only the binary dissimilarity measures are considered in this paper. There are several distance measurements which find the mismatching bits of two binary data sets. In this paper, two major dissimilarity measures, which include hamming distance and fuzzy hamming distance, are used and compared. These measures can help in distinguishing between normal and abnormal behaviour patterns in order to improve the quality of elderly people's lives. Two case studies where the inhabitants suffer from dementia are used to verify the accuracy of the results. The experimental results demonstrate that fuzzy hamming distance gives a smaller distance than classic hamming distance in the case of motion sensors over door sensors.
Elderly daily activity habits or lifestyle in their natural environments BIBAFull-Text 26
  Chan Marie; Estève Daniel; Campo Eric
A research and development innovation project partly funded by the French company EDF was conducted for the advancement of smart homes. The aim is to help elderly to live at home in safe conditions. The experiments were carried out in a long-term setting in Orléans (France). As part of the project, the monitoring system aims to assess daily activity habits or lifestyle at home (fall, restlessness, fainting, running away....) through individual mobility data collection and analysis. This paper describes the architecture of the multisensor monitoring system used to collect individual mobility data, and presents the software used to assess the daily activity habits or lifestyle. Some preliminary results are given.
An adaptable card game for older users BIBAFull-Text 27
  Michalis Foukarakis; Asterios Leonidis; Ilia Adami; Margherita Antona; Constantine Stephanidis
This paper describes the design and development of an adaptive multiplayer digital card game targeted to the aging population. The game is based on the popular Poker card game "Five Card Draw" and contains a self-adaptive mechanism for rendering its user interface (UI) according to individual user requirements. The game also embeds social interaction elements. The paper presents the tools developed for implementing the self-adaptive mechanism, and describes the UI design process and requirements, the prototyping process, as well as the final implementation and use of the game.
Usability assessment of a pervasive system to assist caregivers in dealing with repetitive behaviors of patients with dementia BIBAFull-Text 28
  René F. Navarro; Jesús Favela
The care for patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) imposes significant burden on care providers. Often the primary care giver is an elder with health issues of her own. Repetitive questioning is one of the behaviors that cause more stress on caregivers. We present the results of a usability study of an Ambient Augmented Memory System aimed at assisting patients with early AD and their care providers deal with this behavior. The system uses digital cue cards in a mobile phone and a digital memory board at home. An important concern in the design, and the focus of the evaluation study is not to create more stress on the care provider in operating the system, an important challenge considering that they often have no previous computer usage experience.

Internet and networking technologies for pervasive health

Context-aware delivery of information in assistive environments utilizing future internet technologies BIBAFull-Text 29
  Charalampos Doukas; Nikos Fotiou; George C. Polyzos; Ilias Maglogiannis
In this paper, we investigate the potentials of an architecture for enabling the context-aware content adaptation and specialized delivery of information, based on a Future Internet architecture; the Publish/Subscribe Internetworking (PSI or Ψ for short) architecture. Ψ is an information oriented architecture built for the Future Internet using the so-called publish/subscribe paradigm. We advocate that by bringing information in the center of our solution as well as by applying Ψ's particular security features we can achieve seamless information morphing and effective access control policies.
A semantic wiki for user training in ePrescribing processes BIBAFull-Text 30
  D. Papakonstantinou; F. Malamateniou; G. Vassilacopoulos
With the number of prescriptions rising nationally each year, it is required that web-based technology will fully embraced in the pharmacy industry as an aid to quality-assuring prescribing processes. Electronic prescribing (ePrescribing) has the ability not only to streamline the prescription writing process, but also to reduce the number of errors that may be incurred with hand-written prescriptions. The adoption of ePrescribing nationwide through an ePrescribing system premises active participation of users who are familiar with the cooperative and collaborative nature of healthcare delivery. Thus, there is a need for reusable, flexible, agile and adaptable training content with the objective to enable healthcare professionals instill their knowledge and expertise in the ePrescribing process. To this end, social software, such as a wiki, could be used as it supports cooperation and collaboration anytime, anywhere, combined with semantic web technology that enables structuring pieces of information for easy retrieval, reuse and exchange between different systems and tools. In this paper a semantic wiki is presented as a means for developing training material for healthcare providers regarding ePrescribing process. The semantic wiki should act as a collective online memory containing training material that is accessible to authorized users, thus enhancing the training process with collaboration and cooperation capabilities. It is proposed that the wiki is stored in a secure virtual private cloud that is accessible from anywhere, be it an excessively open environment, while meeting the requirements of redundancy, high performance and autoscaling.
A tool for sensor placement and system monitoring in assistive environments BIBAFull-Text 31
  Alexandros Papangelis; Fillia Makedon
Assistive Environments is a rapidly growing research field where researchers try to introduce state of the art technology into everyday life aiming to improve its quality. Everyone can benefit from it but first and foremost people with special needs such as elderly, disabled or patients. The Major Research Instrument project aims to develop a state of the art web based application, named zScope, that will be able to monitor human behaviour. The proposed tool is part of zScope and is responsible for placing and monitoring the various sensors in the environment. It provides functionality for environment layout design and is able to recommend near optimal positions for each sensor, using the Extended Max Sum Decentralised Coordination [1] algorithm, monitor each sensor's health and respond to any failures that might occur.
Energy consumption measurement and analysis in wireless sensor networks for biomedical applications BIBAFull-Text 32
  A. Karagiannis; D. Vouyioukas; P. Constantinou
Energy Consumption in Wireless Sensor Networks is a fundamental issue in terms of functionality and network lifetime. Minimization of energy consumption by applying optimization techniques enables pervasive computing especially in the field of biomedical engineering. A framework for energy consumption measurement and analysis is proposed which combines a theoretical approach, a simulation procedure based on a widely used software simulator and the validation by means of a high sensitivity measurement setup. Application driven profiling of energy consumption at the node level is a useful tool for optimal function of energy consumable node components in order to improve total energy efficiency.
BlueS: usability of semantic caching approaches in pervasive ad-hoc scenarios BIBAFull-Text 33
  Andre Peters; Andreas Heuer
Data management in ad-hoc scenarios is an essential problem at any pervasive scenario based on cooperative device ensembles. At MuSAMA (Multimodal Smart Appliance Ensembles for Mobile Applications [6]), a project dealing with the fact of assistance in smart scenarios we believe that pervasive technologies are essential for our future everyday environments to assist its users e.g. elderlies proactive. Members (devices) of such ensembles need to be able to cooperate spontaneously and without human guidance in order to achieve their joint goal of assisting the user. One part of assistance is data provision regarding the challenges of ad-hoc dynamics. In cooperation with the Marika project (Mobile Assistance for Route Information and Electronic Health Record) as outlined in [10] we have to focus on care relative information exchange. Following Franklin [4] we believe that data management is essential to reach the goal of pervasive assistance in smart scenarios. There is one major problem we have to focus on: data loss in ad-hoc scenarios because of leaving ensemble members. To overcome this problem caching solutions like the approach of semantic caching (SC) as introduced in [2, 3] can be used. Here SCs are outlined to bridge the gap between local data management for data reuse and communication efforts. In this paper we observe the network overhead and query performance of a standard information retrieval system versus our implementation of semantic caching.
ER designer toolkit: a graphical event definition authoring tool BIBAFull-Text 34
  Pythagoras Karampiperis; Giannis Mouchakis; George Paliouras; Vangelis Karkaletsis
Currently there exist several tools for Complex Event Recognition, varying from design platforms for business process modeling (BPM) to advanced Complex Event Processing (CEP) engines. Several efforts have been reported in literature aiming to support domain experts in the process of defining event recognition (ER) rules. However, few of them offer graphical design environments for the definition of such rules, limiting the broad adoption of ER systems. In this paper, we present a graphical Event Definition Authoring Tool, referred to as the Event Recognition Designer Toolkit (ERDT) with which, a domain expert can easily design event recognition rules on temporal data and produce standalone Event Recognizers.

Data modeling and information management for pervasive assistive environments

E-EPR: a cloud-based architecture of an electronic emergency patient record BIBAFull-Text 35
  M. Poulymenopoulou; F. Malamateniou; G. Vassilacopoulos
Limited access to past medical information of emergency cases during emergency healthcare delivery is a proximal cause of increasing emergency care length and risk. Hence, there is a need for ubiquitous access to integrated emergency patient information at the point of care in order to effectively and efficiently manage emergency cases and to apply the appropriate diagnosis and treatment procedures. In this paper, a cloud-based service-oriented architecture (SOA) is described for the implementation of an electronic emergency patient record system (E-EPR) that provide functionality for managing (retrieving, transforming, exchanging and storing) emergency case information and patient critical medical information in a distributed and ubiquitous manner that supports several platforms and applications. The proposed system can be easily integrated with existing ambulance service and hospital information systems because of the use of open-wide standards. An experimental implementation of the system in a simulated laboratory environment is presented.
Model-based search in large time series databases BIBAFull-Text 36
  Alexios Kotsifakos; Vassilis Athitsos; Panagiotis Papapetrou; Jaakko Hollmén; Dimitrios Gunopulos
An important theoretical topic in assistive environments is reasoning about temporal patterns, that represent the sequential output of various sensors, and that can give us information about the health and activities of humans and the state of the environment. The recent growth in the quantity and quality of sensors for assistive environments has made it possible to create large databases of temporal patterns, that store sequences of observations obtained from such sensors over large time intervals. A topic of significant interest is being able to search such large databases so as to identify content of interest, for example activities of a certain type, or information about a patient's well-being. In this paper, we study two different approaches for conducting such searches: an exemplar-based approach, where we describe what we are looking for by giving an example, and a model-based approach, where we describe what we are looking for via a generative model. In particular, we describe the two different approaches, and we identify some important pros and cons for each approach. We also perform a comparative evaluation of exemplar-based search using dynamic time warping (DTW), and model-based search using Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), on large real datasets. In our experiments, when the number of training objects per model is sufficiently high, model-based search using HMMs produces more accurate search results than exemplar-based search using DTW.
Privacy-enhanced management of ubiquitous health monitoring data BIBAFull-Text 37
  George Drosatos; Pavlos S. Efraimidis
In this paper, we propose a new architecture for managing data in a Ubiquitous Health Monitoring System (UHMS). The purpose of this architecture is to enhance the privacy of patients and furthermore to decongest the Health Monitoring Center (HMC) from the enormous amount of biomedical data generated by the users' wearable sensors. This is achieved by using personal agents that receive and manage the personal medical data of their owners. A component implementing the appropriate level of intelligence can be plugged-in into the personal agent and continuously analyze the raw health data. In case of an aberration detection the component may alert the HMC to initiate a more thorough examination of the possible emergency. Finally, we discuss how the personal agents can support privacy-preserving distributed computations.
Topological Gabor descriptors: exploring a filter bank structure for image feature matching BIBAFull-Text 39
  Galigekere N. Vishnukumar; Gutemberg Guerra-Filho
In this paper, we propose a novel feature descriptor based on Gabor filters, called Topological Gabor Descriptor. We build a filter bank in such a way that the descriptors are invariant to rotation and scale changes. The filter bank topology enables a simple matching scheme based on the circular shift of descriptors. We evaluate the effectiveness of our approach to feature description in an object/scene recognition setting. The descriptors were evaluated with synthetic and real images. The performance of the descriptors was measured by computing the average matching rate. Our experiments with synthetic data show a robust invariance property for a high degree of rotation and scale variations. Our experimental results shows a 93.50% matching rate for synthetic images subjected to rotation. The matching rate for a scale variation of up to two times the original scale is 81.11%. The methods discussed in this paper were also tested on three different datasets of real images of buildings where we obtained an average matching rate of 41.33%.
Distance measure for querying sequences of temporal intervals BIBAFull-Text 40
  Orestis Kostakis; Panagiotis Papapetrou; Jaakko Hollmén
Time series representations are not always rich enough to describe the temporal activity, for instance, when the context and the relations of the observed elements are of interest. Sequences of temporal intervals use such intervals as primitives in their representation, and allow focusing on the temporal relations of these elements. This is a useful representation of data across many domains. Searching, indexing, and mining such sequences is essential for domain experts in order to discover useful information out of them. In this paper, we formulate the problem of comparing sequences of temporal intervals and propose a novel distance measure. We discuss the properties of the measure and study its robustness in the domain of sign language. Experiments on real data show that the measure is robust in terms of retrieval accuracy even for high levels of artificially introduced distortion.
Cost effective depression patient thought record categorization via self-taught learning BIBAFull-Text 41
  Hua Wang; Heng Huang; Monica Basco; Molly Lopez; Fillia Makedon
Automatic patient though record categorization (TR) is important in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which is an useful augmentation of standard clinic treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Because both collection and labeling of TR data are expensive, it is cost prohibitive to require a large amount of TR data, as well as their cor-responding category labels, to train a classification model with high classification accuracy. As in practice we only have very limited amount of labeled and unlabeled training TR data, traditional semi-supervised learning methods and transfer learning methods, which are the most commonly used strategies to deal with the lack of training data in statistical learning, can not work well in the task of automatic TR categorization. With the recognition of these challenges, in this paper we propose to approach the TR categorization problem from a new perspective via self-taught learning, an emerging topic in machine learning. Self-taught learning is a special type of transfer learning, instead of requiring labeled data from an auxiliary domain that are relevant to the classification task of interest as in traditional transfer learning methods, it learns the inherent structures of the auxiliary data and does not require their labels. Consequently, we may learn a classifier using the limited amount of labeled TR texts to achieve decent classification accuracy, with the assistance from the large amount text data obtained from some cheap, or even no-cost, resources. That is, a cost effective TR categorization system can be built up, which is of particular use in practical diagnosis and training of new therapists. We demonstrate the proposed method in the task of classifying the real depression homework texts, where promising experimental results validate the effectiveness of our new method.

Workshop on affect and behaviour related assistance in support for the elderly

KopAL appointment user-interface: an evaluation with elderly BIBAFull-Text 42
  Sebastian J. F. Fudickar; Sebastian Faerber; Bettina Schnor
This article presents the appointment terminal, a new component of the KopAL orientation system for elderly and dementia patients. The appointment terminal is an intuitive to use screen that enables elderly to overview and arrange their appointments. A brief overview of the current appointment architecture of KopAL is given. The focused user group has special characteristics, like low technological competence and physical handicaps that results into special demands on the terminal design. As a result the terminal is based on touch-screens as presentation and interaction device, which are extended by RFID capabilities for authentication purposes. The evaluation of the terminal with heterogeneous users resulted in several ideas for future tasks.
Non-manual cues in automatic sign language recognition BIBAFull-Text 43
  George Caridakis; Stylianos Asteriadis; Kostas Karpouzis
Present work deals with the incorporation of non-manual cues in automatic sign language recognition. More specifically eye gaze, head pose and facial expressions are discussed in relation to their grammatical and syntactic function and means of including them in the recognition phase are investigated. Computer vision issues related to extracting eye gaze and head pose cues are presented and a classification approach for recognizing facial expressions is introduced.
The hearing trousers pocket: activity recognition by alternative sensors BIBAFull-Text 44
  Gerald Bieber; André Luthardt; Christian Peter; Bodo Urban
In daily life, mobile phones accompany the user permanently and are worn often in the front pocket of the trousers. The sensors included in today's mobile phones can hence be used for ubiquitous assistance. For instance, the acceleration sensor could be used for analysis of the person's bodily activity, or the microphone can be used to analyze the environmental noise levels. A possible sensor fusion provides additional and assured environmental and context information.
   This work presents new methods of activity recognition by acceleration and sound sensors by means of sensors included in commercially available smart phones during everyday life. We could identify that sounds provide valuable additional information on a user's situation that allow to better asses a person's current context.
Towards effective, efficient and elderly-friendly multimodal interaction BIBAFull-Text 45
  Cui Jian; Nadine Sasse; Nicole von Steinbüchel-Rheinwall; Frank Schafmeister; Hui Shi; Carsten Rachuy; Holger Schmidt
In this paper we present the design and implementation of a multimodal interactive guidance system for the elderly for the use in hospital environments, which combined common design principles of conventional interactive interfaces and ageing specific characteristics. To evaluate the system we have conducted a pilot study with seven elderly persons. The experiment results are overall positive and therefore support our design decisions. On the other hand, they also reveal some context sensitive problems and advise further improvements.

Workshop on Alzheimer's Disease -- computer-assisted early diagnosis and the use of augmentative alternative communication (AAC) for families and patients

Augmentative alternative communication for Alzheimer's patients and families' using SAVION BIBAFull-Text 46
  Rakel Berenbaum; Yehudit Lange; Leah Abramowitz
With an estimated 35.6 million people worldwide dealing with dementia, solutions must be found to ease the memory loss, mood changes and communication problems associated with these syndromes. SAVION is a computer program developed in Israel to offer cognitive stimulation for people with dementia. The program has been used for over ten years in day care centers, home care programs and private homes. Using the SAVION program during assisted training sessions raised several interesting research questions, such as: Can people with dementia learn to interact with the computer? How does using the computer affect their communication with those around them? How does the cognitive stimulation affect their self-esteem? Can computer technologies provide an additional channel of communication for caregivers to relate to people with Alzheimer's Disease and help them, and their caregivers, maintain their identity and functionality? This paper reports on some results from studying these questions. Initial results indicate that people with Alzheimer's Disease can learn to interact with the computer and that computer assisted stimulation activities did not only offer cognitive stimulation to patients with dementia, but also served as a means for the patients to communicate about their well-being with families and caregivers.
Enabling risk assessment and analysis by event detection in dementia patients using a reconfigurable rule set BIBAFull-Text 47
  Stefanos Xefteris; Andrey Baboshin; Konstantinos Tserpes; Aggelos Androulidakis; Yuri Glickman; Theodora Varvarigou; Maria Haritou; Francesco D'Andria
Chronic mental illnesses pose a great burden on the lives of citizens worldwide. In modern health-care, decentralization and enabling the self management of patients at home are crucial factors in improving the every-day lives of patients and the people close to them. People in general tend to dislike obtrusive monitoring on their daily activities, so how can we implement a platform that can provide clinicians with adequate and concise information on their patients health status and at the same time be unobtrusive and easy to use. Moreover, how can we make such an unobtrusive system capable of providing the doctor with high-impact warnings on the patient's health status only when it is needed, thus relieving him of unnecessary workload? In this paper, the authors present a reconfigurable Event Detection mechanism used in the ALADDIN platform for Risk Assessment and Analysis.
Personalized reminiscence therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease using a computerized system BIBAFull-Text 48
  Vardit Sarne-Fleischmann; Noam Tractinsky; Tzvi Dwolatzky; Inbal Rief
We present the development and initial evaluation of a personalized reminiscence program, which was developed specifically for use by patients and their caregivers in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD). The system is part of a collaborative effort assessing the effects on patients with Alzheimer's disease of two non-pharmacological computer-based interventions, namely: personalized reminiscence therapy and cognitive training.
   Results from a pilot study indicated high satisfaction levels from those using the initial version of the system as well as a strong tendency towards repeated use. There was also a clear preference for using personal relevant material rather than more general subject matter.
   Subsequently, we have designed and further developed an internet-based system, which will be accessible from any location (such as medical facilities, clubs for the elderly, or the residence of the patient or caregiver). The system enables independent use and administration for both patients and caregivers. We are currently conducting a large scale randomized controlled study to further evaluate the effects of this system.
Savion: an interactive cognitive enhancement software for the elderly BIBAFull-Text 49
  E. Papastefanakis; Th. Miliotis; I. Perissinaki; A. Kyriklaki; A. Gargeraki; E. Peteinaraki; P. Simos; S. Panagiotakis; K. Maniorou; A. Vgontzas
Alzheimer's disease is a form of degenerative neurological disease characterized by severe cognitive and psychosocial impairment. Cognitive interventions appear to be a viable supplement to pharmacological management, which has little long-term impact on the progression of the disease. Non-pharmacological interventions, are currently investigated as means to enhance everyday cognitive and adaptive/social functioning. Computer-based programs afford greater ease and reduced cost of administration, features that are often critical for patient enrollment and compliance. Here we discuss potential advantages of such programs for improving quality of life and patient-caregiver daily interactions and suggest optimal procedures to be followed during linguistic and cultural adaptation of the Savion program in Greek.
The mindstreams computerized assessment battery for cognitive impairment and dementia BIBAFull-Text 50
  Tzvi Dwolatzky
In this paper, we describe the clinical use and implications of a computerized neuropsychological assessment battery. The recognition that many diseases and clinical states have an effect of the cognitive status of the patient necessitates the development of validated, easy to use instruments for cognitive evaluation. The traditional approach has been to design paper-based forms and tests that assess neurocognitive functions. While many of these instruments have been validated and are widely used, they have many disadvantages. The administration of these tests usually requires a neuropsychologist or at least other trained professional staff with an understanding of cognitive functions. As well, the evaluation of these tests are time consuming, and reports are often delayed for some time while the results are analyzed.
   Over the last two decades there has been a growing interest in the development of computerized cognitive assessment batteries in many clinical conditions. The Mindstreams battery was developed by Neurotrax Corp (NJ, USA) specifically for neurocognitive assessment. This battery has important advantages. Reaction time can be measured with great accuracy, and the objective measurement of accuracy, omissions and commissions is retained by the system. Results obtained are compared to a large centralized database of subjects matched for age and education level. Results are available immediately on completion of the battery. A useful feature is that patients can be accurately monitored over time.

Workshop on privacy and security in pervasive environments

We describe the use and advantages of the Mindstreams computerized assessment battery in clinical situations.A privacy-aware localization service for healthcare environments BIBAFull-Text 51
  Thomas Scheffler; Sven Schindler; Marcus Lewerenz; Bettina Schnor
This paper presents a privacy-aware localization service which has been developed to fulfill the privacy requirements of an assistance system for elderly people. The privacy concept is based on the sticky-policy approach that simplifies the enforcement of policies in a distributed environment. We discuss two well-known policy languages, XACML and GEOPRIVs Common Policy, in respect to their usability for our scenario.
Access controls for privacy protection in pervasive environments BIBAFull-Text 52
  Hauke Vagts; Erik Krempel; Yvonne Fischer
Pervasive Environments (PE) collect and process a massive amount of person-related and sensitive information. Data collected by a single sensor is in most cases not adequate to provide premium services. Information gathered must rather be combined to offer real benefits. The fused data must be secured by access controls to ensure privacy of the users and their trust in PE with it. This work proposes an Object-oriented World Model (OOWM) as a central information source that is filled with information collected from intelligent sensors and can be accessed and manipulated by smart application devices. It is shown how privacy can be enforced in such a centralized component. Privacy requirements must be specified and enforced. Especially conflicts in different requirements, e. g., user- and operator-specific polices, is an open issue. Existing approaches for specification and enforcement of access controls are discussed. An XACML-based approach for privacy in PE is shown and an algorithm for combining privacy policies is presented.
Security aspects of cyber-physical device safety in assistive environments BIBAFull-Text 53
  Steven J. Templeton
As more devices that affect their environment come into use, their proper functioning to protect the welfare of their charges is a concern. Examples include assistive transport devices, robotics, drug delivery systems, etc. Here privacy is not the primary concern, instead it is safety. Given that there are many instances of medical devices not being developed to be secure, plus the standard of practice for security with robotics and other cyber-physical devices, the issue needs consideration. These systems are not only vulnerable to intentional attack, but can cause harm inadvertently by unexpected interaction from other systems. This paper discusses security challenges of expanded use of cyber-physical devices in assistive environments and provides suggestions to improve the security and safety of these devices in the future.
Trust of medical devices, applications, and users in pervasive healthcare BIBAFull-Text 54
  Michael Clifford; Matt Bishop
In the future, patients may be able to receive health care through the use of pervasive medical devices, sensors, and applications, even outside of hospitals. These data sources monitor and assist patients, aid in treatment, and notify doctors of problems as they develop, allowing them to send help and prepare for emergency treatment faster than otherwise possible. But such data sources are subject to attack or failure. Current trust models guarantee control over access to patient data, but not to determine the trustworthiness of the sources of that data, or of the data itself. This paper shows how the Solar Trust Model can be used to evaluate the trustworthiness of data and data sources in networks of pervasive healthcare devices, sensors, and applications.
Protecting anonymity in wireless medical monitoring environments BIBAFull-Text 55
  Petros Belsis; Grammati Pantziou
Advances in sensor networks and mobile technologies enable the provision of improved medical services through monitoring of patients; however by recording continuously location data there is an increased privacy risk. Recording user related data requires the creation of appropriate privacy preserving policies, which often depend on the good intention of the data collector. Since it is often feasible for a malicious or negligent data provider to expose these data to an unauthorized user, one solution is to protect the patient's privacy by making difficult a linkage between specific measurements with patient's identity. In this paper we present a privacy preserving architecture which builds upon the concept of k-anonymity. While patient vital parameters can be constantly recorded with the use of sensor networks and critical events produce alerts that are notifying the medical personnel, we prevent an outsider to link the signals received with the identity of the user carrying the sensor. The collected data cannot be further used for identification of diseases or other important questions.

Workshop on robotics in assistive environments

A survey and comparison of commercial and open-source robotic simulator software BIBAFull-Text 56
  Aaron Staranowicz; Gian Luca Mariottini
Simulators play an important role in robotics research as tools for testing the efficiency, safety, and robustness of new algorithms. This is of particular importance in scenarios that require robots to closely interact with humans, e.g., in medical robotics, and in assistive environments. Despite the increasing number of commercial and open-source robotic simulation tools, to the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive up-to-date survey paper has reviewed and compared their features. This survey paper presents a comprehensive and detailed overview and a comparison between the most recent and popular commercial and open-source robotic software for simulation and interfacing with real robots. A case-study is presented, showing the versatility in porting the control code from a simulation to a real robot. Finally, a detailed step-by-step documentation on software installation and usage has been made available publicly on the Internet, together with downloadable code examples.
Enhanced therapeutic interactivity using social robot Zeno BIBAFull-Text 57
  Isura Ranatunga; Jartuwat Rajruangrabin; Dan O. Popa; Fillia Makedon
Social robotics has emerged as a new research area in recent years. One of the reasons behind this emergence is the rapid pace of improvements in sensor, actuator and processing capabilities in modern hardware enabling robots to interact with humans more effectively than ever before. The motivation for the work presented in this paper is to use advanced human-robot head-eye interaction algorithms in order to create a robotic framework that assists physical therapists treating sensor-motor impairments, such as Autism and Cerebral Palsy by using robotic systems. The robotic platform used in our work is the social robot Zeno, which has a fantastically friendly appearance and bridges the previously reported uncanny valley. In this paper we report on a new coordination algorithm based on reinforcement learning implemented on Zeno for achieving human like head-eye coordination to visually engage patients with cognitive impairments. The experimental results show that the various methods implemented enables social robot Zeno achieve natural head-eye coordination with significant improvement in accuracy without the need of extensive kinematic analysis of the system.
eyeDog: an assistive-guide robot for the visually impaired BIBAFull-Text 58
  Georgios Galatas; Christopher McMurrough; Gian Luca Mariottini; Fillia Makedon
Visually impaired people can navigate unfamiliar areas by relying on the assistance of other people, canes, or specially trained guide dogs. Guide dogs provide the impaired person with the highest degree of mobility and independence, but require expensive training and selective breeding. In this paper we describe the design and development of a prototype assistive-guide robot (eyeDog) that provides the visually impaired person with autonomous vision-based navigation and laser-based obstacle avoidance capabilities. This kind of assistive-guide robot has several advantages, such as robust performance and reduced cost and maintenance. The main components of our system are the Create robotic platform (from iRobot), a net-book, an on-board USB webcam and a LIDAR unit. The camera is used as the primary exteroceptive sensor for the navigation task; the frames captured by the camera are processed in order to robustly estimate the position of the vanishing point associated to the road/corridor where the eyeDog needs to move. The controller will then steer the robot until the vanishing point and the image center coincide. This condition guarantees the robot to move parallel to the direction of the road/corridor. While moving, the robot uses the LIDAR for obstacle avoidance.
Neptune: assistive robotic system for children with motor impairments BIBAFull-Text 59
  Pavan Kanajar; Isura Ranatunga; Jartuwat Rajruangrabin; Dan O. Popa; Fillia Makedon
This paper describes Neptune, a mobile manipulator designed as an assistive device for the rehabilitation of children with special needs, such as those suffering from Cerebral-Palsy. Neptune consists of a mobile robot base and a 6DOF robotic arm, and it is interfaced to users via Wii Remote, iPad, Neural Headset, a camera, and pressure sensors. These interfaces allow patients, therapists and operators to interact with the robot in multiple ways, as may be appropriate in assistive scenarios such as: direct physical interaction with the iPad, arm positioning exercises through WiiMote, remote navigation and object retrieval through the environment via the Neural Headset, etc. In this paper we present an overview of the system and discuss its future uses in rehabilitation of CP children.
Speech-to-speech translation in an assisted living lab BIBAFull-Text 60
  Dimitra Anastasiou
In this paper we describe speech processing in the Bremen ambient assisted living lab (BAALL); how it is currently and how it can be improved in the future with the implementation of Machine Translation (MT) technology. We are experiencing the ageing population phenomenon today and thus living in a safe, autonomous, independent, and convenient way in a domestic environment with multimodal human-machine interfaces is desired. We argue for multilinguality in assisted living environments by means of development of a speech-to-speech translation (SST) system.

HAPPY AGEING (AAL-2008-1-113) project overview: solutions for independent living and technology acceptance

HAPPY AGEING (AAL-2008-1-113) project overview: solutions for independent living and technology acceptance BIBAFull-Text 61
  Fiorella Marcellini; Roberta Bevilacqua; Vera Stara
The aim of this paper is to present the "HAPPY AGEING" project (AAL-2008-1-113), A Home based APProach to the Years of AGEING, in the framework of The 4th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments, held in Crete on 25th-27th May, 2011. The project aims at developing a new device, the HAPPY AGEING system, for the support of older people daily activities, following the user-centred design paradigm. An overview of the main aspects of the project (technical, management and end-user perspective) are reported below, in order to give an exhaustive presentation of the project and its future goals.
HAPPY AGEING: users' expectations BIBAFull-Text 62
  Zsuzsa Szeman; Csaba Kucsera
This paper describes the end-user involvement methodology for the experimental phases of the HAPPY AGEING project (AAL-2008-1-113). The project started on 1st April 2009 has the major aim of validating a customizable system for supporting the older people in daily activities. For this reason, the involvement of the end-users is required since the beginning of the project, following the user-centred design paradigm. The most important findings will be achieved after the completion of the HAPPY AGEING field trial, that is still running in three countries (Italy, Hungary and The Netherlands).
Enabling constant monitoring of chronic patient using Android smart phones BIBAFull-Text 63
  Vassilis Pigadas; Charalampos Doukas; Vassilis P. Plagianakos; Ilias Maglogiannis
Many families have experienced difficulties, when a relative has been hospitalized for some reason or suffers from a chronic condition, such as the Alzheimer's disease. In case of treatment at home, these patients should be constantly monitored. Nevertheless, around-the-clock monitoring may not always be possible. The reasons may be both economical and social, since families may not afford external help and sometimes patients do not trust outsiders. In this paper, we present an application for the monitoring and the protection of these patients, without the need of constant human helper. The use of a mobile telephone running a custom application and is connected to various biometric sensors will aid to achieve this goal.
A cloud on the horizon: the challenge of developing applications for Android and iPhone BIBAFull-Text 64
  Tor-Morten Grønli; Jarle Hansen; Gheorghita Ghinea
In the last few years, since the initial release of Android and iPhone in 2007, building applications for mobile platforms has opened many new possibilities for software developers. Development for mobile devices comes with its own challenges like battery life, small screens and touch screen interface. This paper goes into detail on some of the challenges when developing for Android and iOS devices.
WEBTRACLUS: a spatio-temporal trajectory clustering tool for personalization in healthcare web portals BIBAFull-Text 65
  Sajimon Abraham; P. Sojan Lal; Dais George
The use of advanced diagnostics in guiding treatment decisions that are tailored to individual risks and benefits is becoming increasingly acknowledged as the future of healthcare. People search healthcare web portals for inquiry of diseases and by analyzing the web access logs combining with their individual profiles, many patterns can be mined. Trajectory similarity of moving objects in constrained networks resembles path similarity of user click-streams in web usage mining. This paper proposes a clustering algorithm (WEBTRACLUS) for web user session trajectories using the spatio-temporal measure which can be used in personalization of users in a healthcare web portal. The validity of the findings is illustrated by experimental evaluation using the server access log of a healthcare web portal.
Multi-person identification and localization using RFID and passive sensor technology BIBAFull-Text 66
  Shahina Ferdous; Eric Becker; Leonidas Fegaras; Fillia Makedon
Continuous location tracking in an assistive environment is considered to be the fundamental step for most of the monitoring applications, as it provides a very good indication about different ongoing activities. But, tracking in a multi-person environment, such as hospitals, requires simultaneous identification and localization mechanisms, which makes the system extremely complex. In this paper, we describe a system that uses RFID and other passive sensors deployed at various locations of the environment to continuously track and identify a person in a multi-person assistive environment. Given, sensor activations at different time points, the proposed system considers location uncertainties of each person and applies the nearest neighbor algorithm to update the location of a person.
Smart vacuum cleaner for your elderly relative BIBAFull-Text 67
  Julia Kantorovitch; Arto Laikari; Janne Väre; Vesa Pehkonen
Consequences of advancing in years include declining health and mobility, leading to increased risk of injury due to accidents, especially at home. People currently use very basic passive or reactive methods concerning accidents such as panic or watch-strap buttons. More intelligent and proactive safety products leveraging the recent advances in pervasive computing, services and communication are not yet part of the home. The objective of this research is to introduce active safety products on the example of vacuum cleaner that are functionally enhanced by networked services towards personal safety and comfort.