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UAHCI Tables of Contents: 07-107-207-309-109-209-311-111-211-311-413-113-213-314-114-214-314-415-115-215-315-4

UAHCI 2011: 6th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Part IV: Applications and Services

Fullname:UAHCI 2011: 6th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, Part IV: Applications and Services
Note:Volume 8 of HCI International 2011
Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Location:Orlando, Florida
Dates:2011-Jul-09 to 2011-Jul-14
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6768
Standard No:ISBN: 978-3-642-21656-5 (print), 978-3-642-21657-2 (online); hcibib: UAHCI11-4
Links:Online Proceedings | Publisher Book Page | Conference Webpage
  1. UAHCI 2011-07-09 Volume 4
    1. Speech, Communication and Dialogue
    2. Interacting with Documents and Images
    3. Universal Access in Complex Working Environments
    4. Well-Being, Health and Rehabilitation Applications
    5. Universal Access to Education and Learning

UAHCI 2011-07-09 Volume 4

Speech, Communication and Dialogue

Greek Verbs and User Friendliness in the Speech Recognition and the Speech Production Module of Dialog Systems for the Broad Public BIBAKFull-Text 3-11
  Christina Alexandris; Ioanna Malagardi
It has been observed that for the Greek language, in Service-Oriented Dialog Systems targeted towards the broad public, verbs display particular features to be considered both in the System's Speech Recognition (ASR) and Speech Synthesis (or Speech Production) Module. Additionally, the function of verbs, both in respect to their role in the semantic content of the spoken utterance and in respect to their prosodic features in the spoken utterance, is observed to be directly linked to the step and the related Speech Act in the dialog structure. From a prosodic aspect, it is observed that, in spoken input, "Multitasking" verbs do not receive prosodic emphasis, whereas in spoken output, prosodic emphasis is given on words signalizing the User-System Relationship.
Keywords: prosodic emphasis; verb ontology; User-friendliness; "Multitasking" verbs; User-System Relationship expressions
Intercultural Dynamics of Fist Acquaintance: Comparative Study of Swedish, Chinese and Swedish-Chinese First Time Encounters BIBAKFull-Text 12-21
  Jens Allwood; Nataliya Berbyuk Lindström; Jia Lu
Today, intercultural first acquaintance meetings are becoming more and more frequent. The aim of this study is to describe, analyze and compare Swedish, Chinese and Swedish-Chinese first acquaintance interactions. Our focus lies on a classification of the topics in mono- and intercultural first-time encounters. The analysis is based on 12 arranged face-to-face first acquaintance interactions between Chinese-Chinese, Swedish-Swedish and Swedish-Chinese students (4 of each dyad). The interactions are video-recorded and transcribed. In addition, semi-structured interviews with the participants have been conducted to get a better understanding of their communication. The method of activity-based communication analysis is used to analyze the data. The result of the study is a classification and a cross-cultural comparison of topics and the order of their occurrence in first time encounters. In addition, the study sheds light on the similarities and differences between Chinese and Swedish communication patterns.
Keywords: first-time encounters; intercultural communication; Chinese; Swedes; cross-cultural comparison
Greek WordNet and Its Extension with Terms of the Computer Science Domain BIBAKFull-Text 22-31
  Panagiotis Blitsas; Maria Grigoriadou
In the present work, the extension of the Greek WordNet database in the Computer Science domain is presented. This extension is based on the Baudet & Denhière text comprehension model, so that, the Greek WordNet can describe in a more efficient way: (1) the static states of a system's units, as well as the relations among terms expressing technical entities within the dictionary, and (2) more relations referring to events that happen during the operations of these system's units, as well as to goals that these operations and/or units have to achieve. The extension of the Greek WordNet was implemented with the contribution of VisDic Editor for the enrichment of a semantic database.
Keywords: macrostructure; microstructure; Semandix; text comprehension model; VisDic Editor; WordNet
An Experimental Study of the Use of Multiple Humanoid Robots as a Social Communication Medium BIBAFull-Text 32-41
  Kotaro Hayashi; Takayuki Kanda; Hiroshi Ishiguro; Tsukasa Ogasawara; Norihiro Hagita
This paper reports on an experimental investigation into the use of humanoid robots as a communication medium. Many social robots have been developed and tried for use in urban environments, but due to their limited perception, their degree of interactivity is still far poorer than that of humans. In this study, our approach used the robots as a non-interactive medium. We propose using robots as a passive-social medium, in which multiple robots converse with each other.
A Multitasking Approach to Adaptive Spoken Dialogue Management BIBAKFull-Text 42-51
  Tobias Heinroth; Dan Denich; Wolfgang Minker
Undoubtedly one of the key factors of a computed world, are the interfaces users ought to use. In this paper we present the adaptive spoken dialogue manager OwlSpeak to provide a spoken interface to a computed world, in our case to an Intelligent Environment. The most important feature of the dialogue manager is its ability to pause, resume, and to switch between more than one interactive task, which is a prerequisite to provide adaptive spoken dialogues. Especially within Intelligent Environments it is necessary to modify the status of an interface depending on the changing contexts of the environment and on the actual requirements the user may have. We present the implementation and evaluation of OwlSpeak as part of an existing Intelligent Environment that can be used by real subjects and show how multitasking can be utilised to cope with an adaptive speech interface.
Keywords: HCI; Intelligent Environments
From Clouds to Rain: Consolidating and Simplifying Online Communication Services with Easy One Communicator BIBAKFull-Text 52-61
  Jeffery Hoehl; Gregg C. Vanderheiden
The growth of cloud computing has encouraged an ecosystem where diverse, task-specific web and mobile applications have flourished. However, this fragmentation of tasks across disparate applications has introduced a level of complexity and separation that can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate for individuals who are older, have cognitive disabilities, or are unfamiliar with web and mobile interfaces. Each new application represents an additional interface that must be learned, and not necessarily easily or intuitively. Easy One Communicator is a web application concept that addresses the complexity of online communication tools by consolidating and simplifying the management of online communication. Easy One Communicator provides a simple interface for users to read and send emails, text and video chat, share photos and maintain contact information. The interface is designed to be obvious to use and personalized to each user's changing cognitive abilities and needs.
Keywords: Cognitive disabilities; universal design; cloud computing; computer-mediated communication
Use of Speech Technology in Real Life Environment BIBAKFull-Text 62-71
  Ruimin Hu; Shaojian Zhu; Jinjuan Feng; Andrew Sears
This paper reports results from two six-month field studies investigating the use of speech-based interactions in real world environments. The first study focused on the use of speech-based dictation/word processing tasks that allow users to generate text such as reports or emails. The second study took a broader view and examined two types of interactions: speech-based dictation for word processing and speech-based command and control supporting interactions with the graphical user interface. The results suggest that user requirements for speech-based interactions have evolved as the technology matured to include better support for formatting text documents as well as more effective support for other applications. While significant research has focused on the use of speech recognition to generate text, our participants spent substantially more time using speech recognition for other, often unexpected tasks such as instant messaging and web browsing. The use of speech recognition to support informal communication is particularly interesting as accuracy may be less critical in this context. Further research is needed to address these emerging requirements for speech technologies.
Keywords: Speech-based Application; Speech Interaction; Speech Technology; Physical Impairment; Field Study
Metagnostic Deductive Question Answering with Explanation from Texts BIBAKFull-Text 72-80
  John Kontos; Joseph Armaos; Ioanna Malagardi
The present paper presents a system called AMYNTAS for "metagnostic" deductive question answering from texts. This system can logically combine information from texts and answer questions generating explanations for its operation exhibiting "self-awareness". The deductions are performed directly with the natural language text without previous translation into a formal representation. The "metagnostic" effect is accomplished by representing and processing the state of linguistic processing and reasoning of the system. The system is implemented in Prolog and uses a text grammar to parse sentences that contain the information being sought. The system uses reasoning rules, lexicon, ontology, prerequisite knowledge and the history of its state. The system may easily be adapted to completely different domains such as biomedical texts and texts of the proofs of theorems of Euclidean geometry. An evaluation performed with real sentences from these two completely different domains gave satisfactory results of accuracy and facility of domain adaptation.
Keywords: deductive question answering; question answering from texts; inference with texts; self awareness; explanation
Collecting an American Sign Language Corpus through the Participation of Native Signers BIBAKFull-Text 81-90
  Pengfei Lu; Matt Huenerfauth
Animations of American Sign Language (ASL) can make more information, websites, and services accessible for the significant number of deaf people in the United States with lower levels of written language literacy -- ultimately leading to fuller social inclusion for these users. We are collecting and analyzing an ASL motion-capture corpus of multi-sentential discourse to seek computational models of various aspects of ASL linguistics to enable us to produce more accurate and understandable ASL animations. In this paper, we will describe our motion-capture studio configuration, our data collection procedure, and the linguistic annotations being added by our research team of native ASL signers. This paper will identify the most effective prompts we have developed for collecting non-scripted ASL passages in which signers use particular linguistic constructions that we wish to study. This paper also describes the educational outreach and social inclusion aspects of our project -- the participation of many deaf participants, researchers, and students.
Keywords: American Sign Language; animation; accessibility technology for people who are deaf; data collection; social inclusion; motion capture
Fuzzy-Logic Controller for Speaker-Independent Speech Recognition System in Computer Games BIBAKFull-Text 91-100
  Moyen Mohammad Mustaquim
Computer Games are now a part of modern culture. By using automatic speech recognition systems (ASRS), voice driven commands can be used to control the game, which can open up the possibility for people with disabilities and age related problems to be included in game communities and use the service offered. Conventional speech recognition systems however, do not support emotions, attitudes, tones etc. This is a problem because such expressions can be vital for gaming, especially as the majority of the users to be considered for this operation are elderly adult. For instance, if a command is uttered in a low pitch the character in the game can act differently than when it is voiced in an elevated pitch. The traditional voice controller for such operation is usually based on logic or a probability supported algorithm that can serve the purpose but has certain limitations like long process time, cost and complexity in implementation. This paper proposes a fuzzy logic based controller to detect a user's emotion from their voice command for controlling the game in a different ways. This fuzzy logic controller can be programmed even on a microchip to drive certain voice driven actions as a built-in form of hardware. To use a fuzzy logic controller, instead of an approach based on traditional algorithms, gives more accuracy, control and efficiency when handling the user's voice input commands for manipulation.
Keywords: Universal design of computer games; fuzzy logic; fuzzy controller; speech controlled computer games design
Building of Turn-Taking Avatars that Express Utterance Attitudes -- A Social Scientific Approach to Behavioral Design of Conversational Agents BIBAKFull-Text 101-107
  Masahide Yuasa; Naoki Mukawa
In everyday communication, humans comprehend the attitudes of others conveyed via nonverbal behavior, such as facial expression, body posture and gaze behavior. In this paper, we describe a model for comprehending participants' desire to start to speak or to listen based on nonverbal behavior during conversation. We use a social scientific approach that is based on both an analysis of a video observation and an experiment using avatars. We explain the building of the model. We discuss detecting participant's attitudes using computer vision and the expression of their attitudes using their avatars' facial expressions and body postures.
Keywords: animated agent; avatar; turn-taking; nonverbal behavior; conversation

Interacting with Documents and Images

Visual Design Elements of Photos on Taiwanese Female Clothing On-Line Sales BIBAKFull-Text 111-120
  Ro-Han Chang; Tsai-Rong Yu; Yao-Cheng Tsai
The number of on-line shoppers has gradually increased over time. Due to the change of the market, a virtual store has to think highly about the way its brand is represented on its website. In order to be competitive in the market, building a brand image is vital to future success. Recorded documents state that besides the quality of the products, the reputation of the store, and the price of the products, the way in which a store represents itself is of the upmost importance. From an academic perspective, the style and the presentation of the photos from the on-line store is worthy of discussion and systematization. This research will be separated into three parts: (a.) Use a photography perspective to study the difference between traditional commercial photography and photos from on-line stores. (b.) Use a morphology perspective and organize the visual design elements (lighting, framing, composition, angle of shooting, shooting scene and the presentation of products) of the photos of products from on-line clothing store. (c.) Establish how visual design is composed through the use of multiple photography styles with varying emphasis on focal points.
Keywords: visual design element; on-line sale; photo; female
Web Application for Analysis, Manipulation and Generation of Accessible PDF Documents BIBAKFull-Text 121-128
  Alireza Darvishy; Hans-Peter Hutter; Oliver Mannhart
This paper presents a software architecture for a web-based service that checks the accessibility of PDF documents and is capable of rendering them accessible. Users will be able to detect accessibility issues related to a PDF document and use a web browser to fix them. The implementation includes a user interface component as well as a PDF analysis and tagging engine (work in progress). The user interface component should be intuitive, in order to support users who do not have extensive knowledge regarding the accessibility of PDF documents. No additional software and installation is needed to use the system, the software should be available for use in educational and e-government applications.
Keywords: Accessibility; Document accessibility; Accessibility Analysis and manipulation of PDFs; visual impairment; tagged PDF; software architecture; user interface design; web content accessibility guidelines
Survey: Improving Document Accessibility from the Blind and Visually Impaired User's Point of View BIBAKFull-Text 129-135
  Martin Dorigo; Bettina Harriehausen-Mühlbauer; Ingo Stengel; Paul Dowland
There are thousands of digital documents available on the internet, but many of them are not accessible for blind and visually impaired people. To find out what is of importance as to the reading of text and the navigation within documents from the user's point of view, a survey has been conducted among people concerned. They were asked how they handle text-documents, which problems they have and which features they would wish to have for a novel concept of assistive technology. The analysis of feedbacks from 205 participants leads to four key issues: The people concerned would like to have better access to digital documents as well as a better overview over their structure and content. In addition, the assistive technologies should be more easy, intuitive and standardised to use. A discussion is provided where the outline of preliminary solutions for the issues mentioned is proposed.
Keywords: Document accessibility; Visual impairment; Blind; Assistive Technology
Readable Image for the Visually Impaired BIBAFull-Text 136-145
  Sunil Kumar Kopparapu
A picture is worth a thousand words is a well know adage and refers to the fact that any complex word description can be conveyed easily and quickly with a still image. The use of images, pictures and block diagrams to describe something is often used without a second thought. The use of images in any form becomes an accessibility issue for the visually impaired. With the concept of a document and the hyper text markup language (HTML) page blurring, W3C has come up with measures to make the images accessible on the web. The most recent being the use of alt attribute, which is designed to be an alternative text description for images on web pages and longdesc attribute which is a mechanism to give greater details of the image. In this paper, we propose an approach which enables accessibility of images. This paper has two parts, the first part describes a mechanism to build a multi level description of an image to enable accessibility or readability while the second part describes an user interface that enables navigation of the multi level description by hovering on the image.
Camera Canvas: Image Editing Software for People with Disabilities BIBAKFull-Text 146-154
  Christopher Kwan; Margrit Betke
We developed Camera Canvas, photo editing and picture drawing software for individuals who cannot use their hands to operate a computer mouse. Camera Canvas is designed for use with camera-based mouse-replacement interfaces that allow a user with severe motion impairments to control the mouse pointer by moving his or her head in front of a web camera. To make Camera Canvas accessible to as wide of a range of movement abilities as possible, we designed its user interface so that it can be extensively tailored to meet individual user needs. We conducted studies with users without disabilities, who used Camera Canvas with the mouse-replacement input system Camera Mouse. The studies showed that Camera Canvas is easy to understand and use, even for participants without prior experience with the Camera Mouse. An experiment with a participant with severe cerebral palsy and quadriplegia showed that he was able to use some but not all of the functionality of Camera Canvas. Ongoing work includes conducting additional user studies and improving the software based on feedback.
Keywords: Assistive Technology; Camera Mouse; Human Computer Interaction; Image Editing; Mouse Replacement System; Photo Editing; Video-based Interface
Exact Compensation of Color-Weakness with Discrimination Threshold Matching BIBAFull-Text 155-164
  Rika Mochizuki; Satoshi Ohshima; Reiner Lenz; Jinhui Chao
In this paper we describe a novel compensation algorithm for color-weakness based on a new, objective criterion to compare normal observers and color-weak observers, using Riemann geometric properties of color spaces. The criterion is to match the color discrimination thresholds of average, normal observers and a colorweak observer. The method uses local and global isometry theory and provides the two groups of observers with the same color-difference experience. A one-dimensional compensation and simulation of color-weakness is shown as an application of the general approach to the Brettel color-blind model. The 2D and 3D compensations and simulations are illustrated in chromaticity planes and full color spaces.
Collaborative Editing for All: The Google Docs Example BIBAKFull-Text 165-174
  Giulio Mori; Maria Claudia Buzzi; Marina Buzzi; Barbara Leporini; Victor M. Ruiz Penichet
Collaborative software tools allow people to share documents and knowledge via Internet, in a simple, economic and efficient way. Unfortunately collaborative software often relies heavily on visual features and dynamic technologies with user interfaces that are difficult to use via screen reader, or are sometimes even inaccessible for the blind.
   In this paper we illustrate and discuss results of an accessibility inspection of the main collaborative functions of Google Docs using the JAWS screen reader. Results highlight several difficulties encountered when interacting with elements of the Google Docs interfaces. Content perception is often incomplete, since many elements or changes occurring in the collaborative environment are not intercepted by the screen reader and announced to the user. In addition, the behavior of the collaborative functions analyzed (as well as the rendering) changes from one web browser to another. Some general guidelines are discussed, for designing user interfaces of collaborative editors that are more usable when interacting via screen reader.
Keywords: groupware; collaborative editing; accessibility; blind; screen reader
Acoustic Modeling of Dialogue Elements for Document Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 175-184
  Pepi Stavropoulou; Dimitris Spiliotopoulos; Georgios Kouroupetroglou
Document-to-Audio accessibility assumes that all meaningful presentation elements in the document, such as bold, italics, tables or bullets, should be properly processed and acoustically modeled, in order to convey the intended meaning to the listeners in a complete and adequate manner. Similarly, several types of documents may contain reported speech and dialogue content signaled through punctuation and other visual elements that require further processing before being rendered to speech. This paper explores such dialogue elements in documents, examines their actual indicators and their use, and investigates the most prominent methods for their acoustic modeling, namely the use of prosody manipulation and voice alternation. It further reports on a pilot experiment on the appropriateness of voice alternation as means for the effective spoken rendition of dialogue elements in documents. Results demonstrate a clear listener preference for the "multiple voice" renditions over the ones using a single voice.
Keywords: Acoustic modeling; document accessibility; dialogue; reported speech; Text to Speech synthesis; voice alternation; Document-to-Audio

Universal Access in Complex Working Environments

Seeing the Wood for the Trees Again! SMART -- A Holistic Way of Corporate Governance Offering a Solution Ready to Use BIBAKFull-Text 187-194
  Fritz Bastarz; Patrick Halek
SMART is a technology-supported solution for holistic corporate governance in a complex environment. It quickly delivers practical operational processes and information objects ready to use. This makes it possible to solve complex tasks immediately and effectively. By means of integrated information and process management, processes can be evaluated quickly and integrated easily into everyday business on the grounds of actual needs. For using SMART no special skills are needed. The principle of SMART is the stakeholder based systemic designing, analysing and seizing of topics or tasks. This is assured by considering all relevant factors of influence and the possibility of the quick, direct and easy implementation of results. They can be executed immediately and practically within assessable processes ready for use within the organisation. The goal of SMART is to obtain a holistic understanding of complex tasks in order to gain a better and more sustainable result.
Keywords: Corporate Governance; Corporate Performance; Stakeholders; Lateral Thinking; Systemic Thinking; Complexity
Using Human Service Center Interfaces and their Information to Foster Innovation Management BIBAFull-Text 195-204
  Klaus-Peter Fähnrich; Kyrill Meyer; Benjamin Udo Strehl
Doubtless innovation is a key for long-term success of any cooperation. However, empirical research indicates limited success of innovation management in practice. Not surprisingly companies are reinforcing their efforts and set a strong focus on customer integration since it has been identified as a major aspect of successful innovation management, current examples being open innovation, integration of social communities and learning communities. Most of these methods are directed towards a special group of customers, the so-called lead-users. This selected integration already led to noticeable progress in some companies and industries, but includes some critical drawbacks, especially since it neglects the majority of a company's human client interactions, which happen in the often centralized service centers, e.g. call centers. Our analysis has identified that these contacts can make a significant contribution to improving a company's innovation management, e.g. through evaluating existing customer-related information. Therefore our research focuses on the adoption of current methods of client integration for a wider audience via service centers. This paper presents the results of expert interviews, case studies and state-of-the art analysis that we conducted in this context. After a discussion of restrictions, benefits and potential results for this form of client interaction, a requirement framework for a support system will be introduced. Subsequently a service blueprint for a support system solution will be presented which was developed based on the requirement framework via quality function deployment in cooperation with reference companies, followed by an overview of further related research questions and information on planned implementations of the support system.
Key Features of Subject-Oriented Modeling and Organizational Deployment Tools BIBAFull-Text 205-214
  Albert Fleischmann; Christian Stary
Subject-oriented Business Process Management (S-BPM) has been used in organizational and workflow development projects for several years. While the methodological support for the development process is important, the success of a project taking the subject-driven approach to organizational deployment also depends on the tool. The tool requires a set of key features, in particular an appropriate level of abstraction for behavior modeling, the representation of work-relevant relations among stakeholders, and the straightforward execution of business process specifications for participatory organization design. In this paper we analyze Metasonic, the most prominent tool for S-BPM, with respect to effective organizational change and interactive workflow design support. Metasonic integrates various BPM modeling constructs, and is suitable for the construction of stakeholder-oriented models and the subsequent deployment of business processes. However, the underlying organizational development activities should become more transparent when utilizing the tool features.
The Effect of a GPS on Learning with Regards to Performance and Communication in Municipal Crisis Response BIBAKFull-Text 215-224
  Helena Maria Granlund; Rego Granlund; Nils Dahlbäck
This paper describes the basic learning aspects of crises management training in a computer simulated environment. A total of 108 professionals, 18 teams, contributed to the study where the impact of a GPS on C2 work was investigated. A comparison between professional groups on performance and learning show that the GPS has an impact that differed depending on the teams professional composition.
Keywords: Experiential learning; Microworld; Simulation
Crisis Management Training: Techniques for Eliciting and Describing Requirements and Early Designs across Different Incident Types BIBAKFull-Text 225-234
  Ebba Thora Hvannberg; Jan Rudinsky
Crises occur seldom, but when they occur they have high impact on the enclosing organization and its stakeholders. Examples are plane crashes, train incidents and bomb threats, but the types of crises are virtually endless. We report on research of early phases of the development of a crisis management training simulator, with the goal of understanding different representations and transitions between steps of a development process. The focus of the research study was on how the different representations did align with a given process model and how these representations lent themselves to a consolidation activity. The results were that consolidation across data sources starts early during the understanding phase and that stakeholders like to validate abstract models. The consolidated conceptual models mostly addressed work and strategies. No formal attempt was to consolidate across management and organization structures.
Keywords: Crisis management; software systems; consolidation; process model; representations
Development of Mobile Evacuation Guides for Travellers and Rescue Personnel BIBAKFull-Text 235-243
  Viveca Jimenez-Mixco; Jan-Paul Leuteritz; Eugenio Gaeta; Maria Fernanda Cabrera-Umpierrez; María Teresa Arredondo; Harald Widlroither; Maria Panou
Whenever an emergency situation occurs, a correct response of the rescue teams and an optimal communication and coordination among them is required to assure that all the people needing help are assisted within a short period of time. This paper presents an approach for the development of innovative HMIs within SAVE ME project to save the lives of travellers and rescuers, giving particular emphasis to the most vulnerable people. The emergency response system detects natural and man-made disaster events in public transport terminals/vehicles and critical infrastructures and supports quick and optimal mass evacuation guidance.
Keywords: Self-evacuation; Mobile Device; Emergency; Indoor Navigation
Stakeholder-Driven Business Process Management "An Evaluation of the Suitability, Adequacy and Effectiveness of Quality and Process Management" BIBAKFull-Text 244-252
  Michael Jungen
In recent years, the variety of products and processes in the automotive and supplier industry has increased significantly. This has intensified the discussion about the practical applicability of quality and process management. Based on the interpretation of organizations as living, social, technical and economic structures, this evaluation provides one exemplary solution to the plight of the suitability, adequacy, effectiveness and reputation of quality/process management.
Keywords: Taylorism; two-valued logic; high variety; social anchoring; meta-principles and principles of system preservation; living organizational systems
Evaluation of a Mobile AR Tele-Maintenance System BIBAKFull-Text 253-262
  Michael Kleiber; Thomas Alexander
Despite increased bandwidth in world-wide networks there are still situations in which only limited bandwidth is available for tele-collaboration between a technician maintaining a machine and an expert at a remote location. In this case, tele-cooperation is usually supported by synchronous audio but only asynchronous video exchange. We present an alternative approach for such a collaborative maintenance task. By utilizing techniques and technologies from Augmented Reality (AR) applications our approach can provide a synchronous shared visual context for the collaborators without a direct video link. The effectiveness of our experimental system for a tele-maintenance task was evaluated in a usability study.
Keywords: augmented reality; system design; evaluation
Knowledge in Digital Decision Support System BIBAKFull-Text 263-271
  Erika Matsak; Peeter Lorents
Digital circuits have been studied, which can support the decision-making process. The circuits allow realizing two types of inference rules: modus ponens and modus tollens. Inference process uses knowledge that comes from a description of situations, and axioms, which comes from the experts.
Keywords: Decision making; Logical deduction; Digital circuits
Examining the Current State of Group Support Accessibility: A Focus Group Study BIBAKFull-Text 272-281
  John G. Schoeberlein; Yuanqiong (Kathy) Wang
Group support applications are widely used in workplace. Unfortunately, persons who are blind often found it difficult to access group support applications, due to the highly graphical nature of the application; this hinders their ability to contribute to the group. As a result, persons who are blind often face problems in gaining and retaining employment. This paper presents preliminary results of a focus group study conducted at the National Federation of Blind (NFB) on accessibility and usability issues of group support applications. How persons who are blind utilize group support applications to support their group tasks, the tasks/steps utilized to complete a group project, the accessibility and usability issues experienced, the reasons for discontinued use of group support applications, the other tools utilized to support group work, the accessibility design considerations, and the accessibility documentation and support needed are discussed.
Keywords: Group support; accessibility; usability; blind
BioSEME: A Semantically-Integrated Content Management System for Cancer Research BIBAKFull-Text 282-291
  Ionut Mihai Stancu
In this project, we propose a paradigm shift from the use of relational databases and traditional web publishing tools to a Semantically-Integrated Research Content Management System augmented with research collaboration functionality for curation of cancer research data. By using a prototype called BioSEME, we will aggregate cancer biomarker-related PubMed literature data using term-specific data feeds. The data will then be annotated by designated users using the standardized taxonomy and vocabulary derived from known ontologies and cancer-related literature, which is subsequently associated and published through the semantically-enhanced user interface. We believe that in the future such online collaborative-research community and semantically-integrated virtual scientific knowledge environment will help support the cancer research community.
Keywords: BioSEME; Semantically-Integrated Content Management System; Online Collaborative-Research Community; Virtual Scientific Research and Knowledge Environment
Age Dependent Differences in the Usage of a Desktop VR System for Air Force Mission Planning and Preparation BIBAKFull-Text 292-300
  Carsten Winkelholz; Michael Kleiber
This paper presents results on age dependent differences in the usage of a desktop VR system for mission planning and mission preparation in the German air force. The study investigated two tasks: one mission preparation task that demands more fluid cognitive resources like short term memory and pattern recognition; and one mission planning task in which experience was more important to complete the task. In both tasks the usage of a desktop VR system was compared to the usage of traditional media like paper maps and aerial images. In both tasks no significant interaction of age with the used media was found. However, in the mission planning task there was a weak trend that a group of senior pilots used the VR system more intensely than a group of younger pilots. In the mission preparation task pilots had to memorize and recognize objects within a target area. Response latency in identifying memorized objects of the senior pilots was significantly higher than for the two groups of younger pilots. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction of the factor age with the query condition within the tested scenes. The response latency of senior pilots was significantly higher when a false target had been shown in the test condition, rather than the correct target. In contrast the response latency of young pilots was equal for both query conditions.
Keywords: Desktop VR; Human Factors
A Concept for User-Centered Development of Accessible User Interfaces for Industrial Automation Systems and Web Applications BIBAKFull-Text 301-310
  Farzan Yazdi; Helmut Vieritz; Nasser Jazdi; Daniel Schilberg; Peter Göhner; Sabina Jeschke
The importance of industrial automation systems and Web applications, often in combination, has been a growing area during the past decades. They are becoming an inseparable part of our lives. Hence they must be accessible to all users. Often certain user groups are being neglected in the development of such systems. Therefore, a systematic concept is required to support the development of such systems. In this paper, we will present a concept, which is proposed in the context of an ongoing research project, addressing the accessibility problem of the user interface. Both, industrial automation systems and Web applications share similar accessibility requirements. Hence, our concept addresses both systems, while discussing the suited methods to effectively assess accessibility requirements.
Keywords: Accessibility; User-centered Design; User interface modeling; Model-driven development

Well-Being, Health and Rehabilitation Applications

Forms of Interaction in Virtual Space: Applications to Psychotherapy and Counselling BIBAKFull-Text 313-321
  Shagun Chawla; Nigel Foreman
Electronic virtual communication is likely to become increasingly used and relied upon in the future, particularly because en-face interactions between client/patients and professionals will become less convenient and health systems overloaded. However, this raises interesting issues about the form of communication which is best suited for the imparting of authoritative advise to clients/patients, how to ensure that advice is treated seriously and followed, the types of condition and situation that most lend themselves to virtual (as opposed to en-face) therapeutic interactions, and how behaviours in virtual situations varies from en-face reality. The present paper discusses some of these issues and data will be presented from preliminary studies aimed at addressing the above issues.
Keywords: Virtual; en-face; psychotherapy; counseling; avatars; second-life; personality; youth
Control of Powered Prosthetic Hand Using Multidimensional Ultrasound Signals: A Pilot Study BIBAKFull-Text 322-327
  Xin Chen; Siping Chen; Guo Dan
Various sophisticated signal processing techniques have been developed for EMG control strategy. However, some inherent properties of the signal prevent it from providing a natural control of powered prosthetic hand. This paper reported on a pilot study of an alternative, multidimensional ultrasound signals which can collect the architecture change of muscle during contraction. We designed a system to collect and analyze multi-channel A-mode ultrasound, joint angle, and surface EMG simultaneously. Using this system, we investigated the feasibility of controlling powered prosthesis by multidimensional ultrasound signals. In the experiment, the subjects were instructed to perform the wrist extension and flexion movement. Multi-channel ultrasound signals, collected from the forearm muscle, were used to estimate the wrist angle and then to control the power prosthesis. The results suggest that multidimensional ultrasound signals, based on further improvement, have great feasibility to be an alternative method to control prosthesis.
Keywords: Ultrasonography; Prosthesis; Multidimensional Ultrasound; Muscle
A Top-k Analysis Using Multi-level Association Rule Mining for Autism Treatments BIBAKFull-Text 328-334
  Kelley M. Engle; Roy Rada
Association rule mining is based on associations of attribute values in a database. To facilitate finding meaningful rules, we segment the database by a categorization of database records based on a taxonomy on one of the attribute value sets. To test the value of this approach we have applied it to a large database about treatment impacts on autistic children. The segmented analyses lead to interestingly, different results from the analyses done without segmentation.
Keywords: association rule mining; autism; data mining
Pregnancy Test for the Vision-Impaired Users BIBAFull-Text 335-344
  Tereza Hyková; Adam J. Sporka; Jan Vystrcil; Martin Klíma; Pavel Slavík
The vision-impaired people manage to cover most of their everyday needs with the help of technological equipment. Some needs, however, still require special attention: For example, commonly used pregnancy tests provide results that may be interpreted only visually. The users of these tests who are vision-impaired are dependent on a help of a sighted person which is a drastic invasion of users' privacy. This paper proposes a solution to this problem: A design of a prototype of a system allowing the vision-impaired users to interpret the results of a pregnancy test using a PC with scanner is presented and evaluated.
Effect of Spinal Cord Injury on Nonlinear Complexity of Skin Blood Flow Oscillations BIBAKFull-Text 345-355
  Yih-Kuen Jan; Fuyuan Liao; Stephanie Burns
This study investigated the effect of spinal cord injury (SCI) on nonlinear complexity of skin blood flow oscillations (BFO). Complexity of the characteristic frequencies embedded in BFO was described by the scaling coefficient derived by detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and the range of scaling coefficients derived from multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MDFA) in specific scale intervals. 23 subjects were recruited into this study, including 11 people with SCI and 12 healthy controls. Local heating-induced maximal sacral skin blood flow was measured by laser Doppler flowmetry. The results showed that metabolic BFO (0.0095-0.02 Hz) exhibited significantly lower complexity in people with SCI as compared with healthy controls (p<0.01) during maximal vasodilation. This study demonstrated that complexity analysis of BFO can provide information of blood flow dynamics beyond traditional spectral analysis.
Keywords: blood flow oscillations; complexity; detrended fluctuation analysis; multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis; spinal cord injury
Developing Protégé to Structure Medical Report BIBAFull-Text 356-365
  Josette F. Jones; Kanitha Phalakornkule; Tia Fitzpatrick; Sudha Iyer; C. Zorina Ombac
The paper presents a creation of an Ontological framework for the capture, integration and presentation of clinical information embedded in medical reports. The project used a hybrid method of top-down and bottom-up method started by abstracting the concept healthcare event resulting in reusable knowledge structure. The tools employed in the project are Protégé 3.4, add-ins, and MySQL, which were used to structure annotated radiology reports with the focus on the reports pertaining to the heart. Furthermore, the project demonstrated how the relational database was developed from an existing ontology and how its database schema was imported to the ontology framework through Protégé's DataMaster Plug-in. Then, we presented how to query the knowledge taxonomy in Protégé.
Increasing Physical Activity by Implementing a Behavioral Change Intervention Using Pervasive Personal Health Record System: An Exploratory Study BIBAFull-Text 366-375
  Hadi Kharrazi; Lynn Vincz
The obesity epidemic is a major health concern. More than two thirds of Americans and more than one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle are contributing factors of overweight and obesity. Increasing physical activity in overweight and obese individuals can potentially improve health status and lower the risk of major health problems. Based on the theoretical frameworks of behavioral change models, health information technologies, and pervasive interactive technologies, a conceptual model has been developed. The proposed model is an intervention method combining a behavior change model and a personalized Health IT system using an interactive accelerometer-based pervasive technology component, to increase physical activity potentially in an overweight and obese population. The accelerometer automatically synchronizes with the personal health record database over wireless networks; the decision engine utilizes the theory of planned behavior model to form a feedback; and; proper interactive feedback is provided directly to the users in the personal health record interface. A prototype was developed based on the conceptual model. The prototype measures and stores the number of steps, type of steps and caloric consumption on a daily basis with an interval of 20 minutes by an advanced accelerometer that can simply be attached to any footwear. The accelerometer synchronizes automatically the stored data with a central database as soon as the participant enters a designated wireless area. Virtual characters that are embedded inside a personal health record system convey the feedback to the users. The feedback is generated based on the theory of planned behavior decision model utilizing the stored daily physical activity data. The interface prompts knowledge-based information, presents self-monitoring trend lines, and shows virtual character changes over time such as becoming obese, to reflect the tailored feedback message. In addition, the interface is integrated in a popular social-networking website where users can review other virtual characters and generate peer pressure. The purpose of this study is to explore the feasibility of implementing a behavioral change intervention using pervasive health information technology among overweight and obese population. This research explains the development of the conceptual model, integration of wireless physical activity self-monitoring devices into personal health records, and the application of rich interactive media to convey messages to the users. The final prototype will be presented and preliminary findings will be discussed.
Exploring Health Website Users by Web Mining BIBAKFull-Text 376-383
  Wei Kong; Josette F. Jones
With the continuous growth of health information and users of the Internet, how to build an easy-to-use interface for different users is one fundamental desideratum when constructing a health website. The goal of this paper is to explore different information needs by examining the search terms of different Internet user groups. In order to deeply investigate the information, five months' daily access weblog files from one particular health provider's website are collected and the log data is analyzed by Web Mining technique. Based on the mining results, the paper also gives some suggestions of how to redesign the interface to be more intuitive to users.
Keywords: Web Mining; Web Log; Internet; User-Computer Interface; Search Term; Information Seeking Behavior
Double Visual Feedback in the Rehabilitation of Upper Limb BIBAKFull-Text 384-388
  Liu Enchen; Sui Jianfeng; Christopher Young; Ji Linhong
Stroke patients may have limb paralysis or disturbance of consciousness. In the rehabilitation system, the main task of human-computer interaction focused on visual interaction. In this study, it has been confirmed that the visual feedback system in the rehabilitation has played an important role. This robotic system combines a dual video to meet training needs. In the experiment, trainees trains in accordance with the planned trajectory. Through the combined visual system, motion analysis feeds back to trainees in real time. iIn comparing to traditional training without feedback, the combination of Visual feedback can enhance the trainee's consciousness of balance, train the neural sensitivity of the brain and nerve system, and can restore the movement ability.
Keywords: Visual Feedback; consciousness; rehabilitation
Can User Tagging Help Health Information Seekers? BIBAKFull-Text 389-397
  Malika Mahoui; Josette F. Jones; Andrew Meyerhoff; Syed Ahmed Toufeeq
The Web is becoming a regular source of information for health information (HI) seekers. In the United States for example, several studies report that more than 80% of Internet users routinely utilize the Web to obtain medical and health information. While Google searching is by far the default point of access for HI seekers, using expert Web sites such as Medline+ and WebMD is also another alternative for users that are looking for quality content. In addition, health expert Web sites are supported with several advanced querying such as browsing using categories organized either as a hierarchy or in an A-Z search list. This mode of searching supported by expert generated taxonomies or metadata is particularly suitable for discovery purposes. In parallel social Web sites such as Delicious and StumbleUpon are providing Web users with a new opportunity to participate in the process of annotating Web resources. This is particularly true for health data as supported by the large amount of health resources annotated by Delicious for example. In this paper we investigate the relationship between expert health metadata and user annotations where the objective is to determine how they can be combined to provide HI seekers with better means to finding their HI needs. The results of the study show that while there is noticeable overlapping between these two types of data, user tags are clearly a new type of metadata that will play an important role in supporting HI seekers searching/browsing health resources.
Keywords: Information Retrieval; User Tags; Expert Metadata; Social Networks
Interactive Medical Volume Visualizations for Surgical Online Applications BIBAFull-Text 398-405
  Konrad Mühler; Mathias Neugebauer; Bernhard Preim
For surgical planning, the exploration of 3d visualizations and 2d slice views is essential. We introduce a new technique to bring visualizations of 3d scenes of any kind and 2d image stacks generated by CT or MRI into the web. We pre-render 3d scenes from different perspectives and show these images during user interaction in a Flash based framework. Therewith we can create a 3d spatial relation. We support different zoom levels and can provide different presets for visualizations. The new technique is used to provide complex and enhanced 3d visualizations for surgical therapy planning and educational purposes as well as for evaluation of new visualization techniques.
Age-Adapted Psychoacoustics: Target Group Oriented Sound Schemes for the Interaction with Telemedical Systems BIBAKFull-Text 406-415
  Alexander Mertens; Philipp Przybysz; Alexander Groß; David Koch-Koerfges; Claudia Nick; Martin Kaethner; Christopher M. Schlick
For the interaction of elderly people with IT systems, an ergonomic and intuitive design as well as self-explanatory handling processes are particularly relevant. Herein adequate acoustic feedback, which accounts for the specific needs and experience of the target group, provides high efficacy and acceptance of technology with regard to Human-Computer Interaction. In this study, five different types of sound schemes are evaluated on their intuitive understanding and memorization by older users. The participants assign audible feedback to typical applications of telemedical monitoring and have to reminisce given classifications. This approach makes it possible to elicit the homogeneity of psychoacoustic models of elderly people and give recommendations for the design of acoustic feedback mechanisms for this audience. As a result, the use of familiar sounds from everyday situations has been found significantly better in terms of the consistency of the intuitive mapping and memorization for use cases in a telemedical context, in comparison to synthetic sounds that obtain their semantic denotation just by convention.
Keywords: psychoacoustic; telemedicine; acoustic feedback
Bringing the Home into the Hospital: Assisting the Pre-Discharge Home Visit Process Using 3D Home Visualization Software BIBAFull-Text 416-426
  Arthur G. Money; Anne McIntyre; Anita Atwal; Georgia Spiliotopoulou; Tony Elliman; Tim French
The feasibility of using interactive 3D home visualization software (I3DHVS) as a tool to aid Occupational Therapists (OTs) in carrying out pre-discharge home visits (PDHV) is explored. Three focus groups involving 25 OTs from across the UK were carried out. Participants were asked to report their level of experience with Information Technology (IT) and gaming software. After a demonstration of the I3DHVS OTs were asked to discuss where, when, how and by whom this software may potentially be used, and to identify associated strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of use within the specified contacts. A thematic template analysis was then carried out on the transcribed focus group data which focused on two key Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) criteria which mediate users' behavioral intention and actual use of new technologies: (1) the Perceived Usefulness (PU) of the software within the PDHV process; (2) the Perceived Ease of Use (PEoU) of the software. The results revealed that although a number of adaptations to the existing application may be necessary, OTs are optimistic about the use of I3DHVS with a range of patient groups. The tool was also seen to have the potential to improve communication and collaboration across inter-agency care teams.
Design of a Paired Patient-Caregiver Support Application for People Coping with Cancer BIBAKFull-Text 427-436
  Christine M. Newlon; Robert Skipworth Comer; Kim Wagler-Ziner; Anna M. McDaniel
Smart medical interfaces have the potential to address the unique health needs of each individual user. However, they must be carefully designed and tested to provide a supportive and non-stressful experience for users who are ill or overloaded. This paper documents a design methodology used to develop such an application, describing issues that can be encountered during the development process. The paper also illustrates the use of patient-entered data to drive multiple processes, showing how a smart medical interface can mediate among multiple stakeholders.
Keywords: smart medical interface; human-computer interaction; iterative design; cancer; web-based intervention; symptom management
Importance of Physical Interaction between Human and Robot for Therapy BIBAKFull-Text 437-447
  Takanori Shibata
Mental health care of the elderly people is a common problem in advanced countries. Recently, high technology has developed robots for use not only in factories but also for our living environment. In particular, human interactive robots for psychological enrichment, which provide services by interacting with humans while stimulating their minds, is rapidly spreading. Such robots not only simply entertain but also render assistance, guide, provide therapy, educate, enable communication, and so on. Robot therapy, which uses robots as a substitution for animals in animal-assisted therapy and activity, is a new application of robots and is attracting the attention of many researchers and psychologists. The seal robot named Paro was developed especially for robot therapy and was used at hospitals and facilities for the elderly people in several countries. Recent research has revealed that robot therapy has the same effects on people as animal therapy.
Keywords: Mental Commitment Robot; Robot Therapy; Human-Robot Interaction; Elderly Care
The Relationships between Morphology and Work for the Nursing Performance of Hand Controls in Emergency Surgery BIBAKFull-Text 448-457
  Chao-Yuan Tseng; Fong-Gong Wu
Coming from the point of emergency room environment, this research studies the motion behavior, the control panel conformation, and the virtual operating movements of surgical nursing staff in the emergency room, in order to provide a reference for instrument design. The research began with professional interviews, followed by experiments on hand motion of surgical nursing staff in the emergency room. Test participants consist of surgical nursing staff from emergency rooms and the surgical department. A total of 20 participants, 10 females from each department were chosen to take the tests. The research is divided into three categories. Results of this study presented a difference in operation height range between different control panel directions amongst emergency room and non-emergency room surgical nursing staff. From the results we can see that participants with the same height do not necessary present the same wrist angles.
Keywords: emergency surgery; nursing; hand controller; motion analysis; virtual command
Upper Limb Contralateral Physiological Characteristic Evaluation for Robot-Assisted Post Stroke Hemiplegic Rehabilitation BIBAKFull-Text 458-463
  Lap-Nam Wong; Qun Xie; Linhong Ji
An innovative robot-aided quantitative evaluation method was established in order to evaluate disability level of post hemiplegic stroke patients. A sEMG-driven musculoskeletal model utilized the physiological characters of impaired limb and normalized by healthy limbs' physiological characters can be applied to calculate muscle strength and other dynamics data (such as elbow joint torque). By comparing physiological characters of impaired upper limb to contralateral healthy limb of same subject, researchers are able to investigate the difference of motor function between impaired and healthy. Comparing the comparability of both sides' with patients and healthy person may assist researchers and doctors to create more appropriate training or treatment plan to clinical needs.
Keywords: Rehabilitation robot; quantitative evaluation; stroke; hemiplegic
A Case Study of the Design and Evaluation of a Persuasive Healthy Lifestyle Assistance Technology: Challenges and Design Guidelines BIBAKFull-Text 464-471
  Jie Xu; Ping-yu Chen; Scott Uglow; Alison Scott; Enid N. H. Montague
Technology can be used as an intervention of unhealthy lifestyles, but designing such a technology is challenging -- usability as well as the ability of changing the user's behavior needs to be considered. The design and evaluation process of a future generation persuasive healthy lifestyle assistance technology which involves physiology, environment monitoring, and automation was studied in this paper. Several challenges were identified and design guidelines were developed for designing such a technology which is used as an intervention of the user's unhealthy lifestyle.
Keywords: persuasive technology; case study; lifestyle
Novel Human-Centered Rehabilitation Robot with Biofeedback for Training and Assessment BIBAKFull-Text 472-478
  Runze Yang; Linhong Ji; Hongwei Chen
We present the novel human-centered rehabilitation methods from the research as well as literature to provide the robot assisted rehabilitation control strategies and motor function assessment methods. The research is based on the upper extremity compound movements (UECM) rehabilitation training robot [1], which is applied to the rehabilitation of upper extremity functions in patients with movement disorders. So called "human-centered" [2] or "patient-cooperative" strategies can take into account the patient's individual situations, intentions and efforts rather than imposing predefined instructions. It is considered that such robot-assisted methods can improve the therapeutic outcome compared to classical rehabilitation methods.
Keywords: Human-centered; Rehabilitation robot; Control strategy; Biofeedback
Intensity Analysis of Surface Myoelectric Signals from Lower Limbs during Key Gait Phases by Wavelets in Time-Frequency BIBAFull-Text 479-488
  Jiangang Yang; Xuan Gao; Baikun Wan; Dong Ming; Xiaoman Cheng; Hongzhi Qi; Xingwei An; Long Chen; Shuang Qiu; Weijie Wang
This paper presented a time-frequency intensity analysis feature extraction approach of lower limb sEMG (Surface Electromyogram) to identify the key gait phases during walking. The proposed feature extraction method used a filter bank of non-linearly scaled wavelets with specified time-resolution to extract time-frequency aspects of the signal. The intensity analysis algorithm was tested on sEMG data collected from ten healthy young volunteers during 30 walking circles for each. Each walking cycle was made up of four key gait phases: L-DS (Left Double Stance), L-SS (Left Single Stance), R-DS (Right Double Stance), R-SS (Right Single Stance). The identification accuracy of 7 subjects using intensity analysis reached 97%, even up to 99.42%. The others were about 95%. The algorithm obviously achieved a higher accuracy of sEMG recognition than the other algorithms such as root mean square and AR Coefficient. In the future, the feature of sEMG signal under different key gait phases may be used in the control of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and other intelligent artificial limbs.
Handle Reaction Vector Analysis with Fuzzy Clustering and Support Vector Machine during FES-Assisted Walking Rehabilitation BIBAFull-Text 489-498
  Weixi Zhu; Dong Ming; Baikun Wan; Xiaoman Cheng; Hongzhi Qi; Yuanyuan Chen; Rui Xu; Weijie Wang
This paper proposed Fuzzy clustering of C means and K means methods to extract the lateral features of lower limbs movement from handle reaction vector (HRV) data. With C-means clustering, the SVM recognition rate of lateral features was usually above 90% while, with K-means clustering, the recognition rate was close to 85%. The best recognition rate was even reaching up to 97% for some individual subject. Then the samples from all subjects were processed together with the cross-validation. Our experimental results showed that the HRV signal could be used with fuzzy clustering and support vector machine to effectively classify the lateral features of lower limbs movement. It may provide a new choice for FES control signal. The optimizing of the algorithm parameters can be introduced to get better control in the future.

Universal Access to Education and Learning

From "Reading" Math to "Doing" Math: A New Direction in Non-visual Math Accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 501-510
  Nancy Alajarmeh; Enrico Pontelli; Tran Cao Son
The ability to understand, apply, and manipulate mathematical concepts is a cornerstone of any scientific discipline; as such it is an irreplaceable component of the training and education of any students. While the advent of online and e-learning technologies has enabled the breaking of several barriers and promoted wider access to educational opportunities, it has also furthered the disenfranchisement of visually impaired students. Despite the several efforts in the field of enhancing accessibility for those with visual impairments especially in the educational discipline, it is obvious that there is still a lack of contributions in making mathematics manipulation processes accessible. This paper presents a framework that facilitates doing and manipulating mathematical algebraic content in a way that is convenient, accessible, and usable as well for students with visual impairments.
Keywords: Accessibility; Math manipulation; Visual impairments
Accessible Education for Autistic Children: ABA-Based Didactic Software BIBAKFull-Text 511-520
  Silvia Artoni; Maria Claudia Buzzi; Marina Buzzi; Claudia Fenili; Simona Mencarini
Behavior Analysis is the science that studies human behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a process of systematic application of interventions whose principles are based on Learning Theory. The aim is to improve socially significant behaviors; the interventions are responsible for changing the behavior. ABA is successfully applied for educating autistic children. This paper discusses the design of an eLearning environment, based on ABA principles, for delivering accessible education to autistic children. ABA is a complex methodology and it is crucial to maintain therapy coherence between all the caregivers while allowing them maximum flexibility on the ABA application to better adapt to individual child responses.
Keywords: autism; ABA; didactic software; usability; accessibility; design
Educational Impact of Structured Podcasts on Blind Users BIBAKFull-Text 521-529
  Maria Claudia Buzzi; Marina Buzzi; Barbara Leporini; Giulio Mori
Podcasts are increasingly present in education. However, sequential and continuous listening to didactic material might not be the most appropriate form for learning. For instance, if not well-organized, it can be frustrating to retrieve specific information from educational podcasts. We believe that structured podcasts (i.e., audio files that exploit the document structure) could facilitate navigation and search of content. In this paper we investigate the impact of structured podcasts on blind users, through a user test and satisfaction questionnaire administered to eighteen visually-impaired persons. Results confirm that structured podcasts are simple to use, rapid to explore and are greatly appreciated by blind users.
Keywords: audio podcast; mp3; learning; blind; screen reader
A New Structure of Online Learning Environment to Support the Professional Learning BIBAKFull-Text 530-537
  Wenzhi Chen; Yu-How Lin
The online learning environment (OLE) is an essential element in using information and communication technology (ICT) for learning and instruction. This paper proposed a new structure of an OLE for design professional domain that tried to integrate the learning community (forum) and courseware for increasing the using motivation and learning efficiency. First, a framework consisted with four components -- Instructor, Learner, Course, and Internet, was formulated. Then, the OLE was developed based on the framework that constructed by 3 levels -- Community, Classroom, and Studio. Community provides an open space for users to interact and exchange the information. Classroom provides various design courses, while Studio provides several communication tools for design studio activities. The experiment courses and surveys were conducted to evaluate the need-ness and satisfaction of the OLE. The results show the positive responses from the learners that regarded the Community can help their learning.
Keywords: e-learning; online community; online learning environment; social network
Behaviour Computer Animation, Communicability and Education for All BIBAKFull-Text 538-547
  Francisco V. Cipolla Ficarra; Jacqueline Alma; Miguel Cipolla-Ficarra
We are making a heuristic study to determine the benefits of computer animation to improve communicability in the educational processes. A diachronic analysis allows to research the influence of the design of the first animations of the 20th century on the current 2D and/or 3D characters. We are also examining the existing link between the artistic and technical context at the moment of carrying out computer animations. Finally, the results of a heuristic assessment of 2D and/or 3D characters with and without artificial intelligence components in the last two decades in Spain and Italy are presented.
Keywords: Behaviour Computer Animation; Education; Communicability; Computer Graphics; Multimedia; Evaluation
An Intelligent Task Assignment and Personalization System for Students' Online Collaboration BIBAKFull-Text 548-557
  Asterios Leonidis; George Margetis; Margherita Antona; Constantine Stephanidis
This paper discusses a framework that supports collaborative learning activities in smart environments. When designing or developing collaborative environments numerous fundamental requirements should be taken into consideration to maximize their potentials. These best-practices outline strategies regarding (i) group formation, (ii) role assignment, (iii) personalized support, and (iv) activity monitoring. A multi-tier architecture scheme is employed, on top of the "ClassMATE" system, where every module addressees some of these aspects and their combination results in a complete framework that enables both online and offline collaboration in the smart classroom.
Keywords: ambient intelligence; education; smart classroom; collaborative learning
Using Interface Design with Low-Cost Interactive Whiteboard Technology to Enhance Learning for Children BIBAKFull-Text 558-566
  Chien-Yu Lin; Fong-Gong Wu; Te-Hsiung Chen; Yan-Jin Wu; Kenendy Huang; Chia-Pei Liu; Shu-Ying Chou
This study attempts to make use of interactive whiteboard as an interface for children with learning disabilities. Using flash software to design teaching materials with the assistance of interactive whiteboard could also be developed in the children's learning. When detected by a Wiimote and infrared light device, corresponding information appears on a screen to increase the interaction aimed at children with learning disabilities by adopting an enhanced intuitive learning method. This study is divided into training and testing steps. The training step allows researchers involved in special education to acquire low-cost interactive whiteboard skills and to develop a unit course for children with learning disabilities. The participants are children with disabilities in the testing step. In this study, the application of technological innovations relies upon user-interface design, which facilitates users' control ability and interaction with an innovation, to convert the technical capabilities into a usable and friendly teaching material.
Keywords: interactive; assistive technology; teaching materials; children; Wiimote
Integration of a Spanish-to-LSE Machine Translation System into an e-learning Platform BIBAKFull-Text 567-576
  Fernando J. López-Colino; Javier Tejedor; Jordi Porta; José Colás
This paper presents the first results of the integration of a Spanish-to-LSE Machine Translation (MT) system into an e-learning platform. Most e-learning platforms provide speech-based contents, which makes them inaccessible to the Deaf. To solve this issue, we have developed a MT system that translates Spanish speech-based contents into LSE.
   To test our MT system, we have integrated it into an e-learning tool. The e-learning tool sends the audio to our platform. The platform sends back the subtitles and a video stream with the signed translation to the e-learning tool.
   Preliminary results, evaluating the sign language synthesis module, show an isolated sign recognition accuracy of 97%. The sentence recognition accuracy was of 93%.
Keywords: Machine Translation; Sign Language; LSE; Accessibility
Towards Ambient Intelligence in the Classroom BIBAKFull-Text 577-586
  George Margetis; Asterios Leonidis; Margherita Antona; Constantine Stephanidis
This paper discusses an education-centric approach towards ambient intelligence in the classroom, raising fundamental requirements that should be taken into consideration, in order to efficiently provide genuine students' education enhancement. These requirements are addressed by an integrated architecture for pervasive computing environments, named ClassMATE, which facilitates all necessary mechanisms for context -- aware ubiquitous computing in the classroom. Furthermore, a smart classroom prototype, incorporating the ClassMATE's infrastructure, is presented constituting the first test -- bed for the study of the educational process in intelligent classrooms.
Keywords: ambient intelligence; education; smart classroom
Learning Styles and Navigation Patterns in Web-Based Education BIBAKFull-Text 587-596
  Jelena Nakic; Nikola Marangunic; Andrina Granic
Researchers agree that it is possible to diagnose student's learning style and that learners with a dominant preference for certain learning style may have difficulties in knowledge acquisition in conditions where teaching strategy is not compatible with it. This paper presents an experimental work conducted in order to determine if students with different learning styles have different navigational needs while using web-based learning environment. Correlations between learning styles and students' learning performance are also observed and discussed. A group of 102 graduate and postgraduate students were involved in the study. Learning styles according to Felder-Silverman learning style model have been explored in the context of an e-learning course delivered through a Learning Management System. The main results show that the course supports global learners to some extent. The methods for meeting the needs of sequential learners are proposed.
Keywords: learning styles; learning behaviour; navigation patterns; web based environment; empirical study
Phynocation: A Prototyping of a Teaching Assistant Robot for C Language Class BIBAKFull-Text 597-604
  Akihiro Ogino; Haruaki Tamada; Hirotada Ueda
This paper shows a system that supports students who learn programing language in a class using a robot. We found out that it would help students to solve the error that the robot talks hints with gestures.
Keywords: Human-Robot Interaction; Educational Technology
A Generic OSGi-Based Model Framework for Delivery Context Properties and Events BIBAKFull-Text 605-611
  Jaroslav Pullmann; Yehya Mohamad; Carlos A. Velasco; Stefan Carmien
Content adaptation systems rely on standards-based modeling of user needs and preferences, rendering platforms, assistive technologies and other relevant aspects of the overall delivery context. Despite their differing domains, these models overlap largely in respect of their digital representation and handling. We present hereby our work on a generic model framework exhibiting a novel set of features developed to tackle commonly found requirements in the area of user and delivery context modeling.
Keywords: delivery context model; user preferences; content adaptation; OSGi; reactive systems
Inclusive Scenarios to Evaluate an Open and Standards-Based Framework that Supports Accessibility and Personalisation at Higher Education BIBAKFull-Text 612-621
  Alejandro Rodríguez-Ascaso; Jesus Boticario; Cecile Finat; Elena del Campo; Mar Saneiro; Eva Alcocer; Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo; Emanuela Mazzone
An extensive number of students with disability who are increasingly choosing either distance or blended learning are in the need of accessible learning contents and services, as well as of psycho-educational support. To cope with their needs a general framework implemented through a standards-based open architecture focused on supporting inclusive learning at Higher Education has been developed in the EU4ALL project. The framework is implemented through an open service oriented architecture that can be integrated into current learning platforms. Services involving stakeholders (students and professionals) to attend users' needs are provided through standards-based framework components, which combine user-centred design tools with modelling techniques based on the state-of-the-art on semantic web technologies. The framework, the architecture and its components are being evaluated at large, medium and small universities to show their flexibility and appropriateness. In this paper, after introducing the framework we focus on the evaluation scenarios at one large university and their first evaluations outcomes.
Keywords: Accessibility; personalisation; adaptation; learning; higher education; information and communications technology; ICT; learning materials; virtual learning environments; VLE
Relationship between BPM Education and Business Process Solutions: Results of a Student Contest BIBAKFull-Text 622-631
  Werner Schmidt
In order to optimize academic and outside-university education in BPM it is necessary to know how educational aspects influence the quality of BPM solutions. Information regarding this topic can rarely be found. In this paper we report on a student contest which was carried out to address this problem and gather related information. An introduction is followed by information on the contest setting, the results and findings, before concluding with a summary and a description of research to be done in the future.
Keywords: BPM; S-BPM; academic education; professional experience; BPM methods; BPM tools
Design of a Multi-interface Creativity Support Tool for the Enhancement of the Creativity Process BIBAKFull-Text 632-641
  George A. Sielis; George A. Papadopoulos; Andrina Granic
This work examines the influence of the different working environments during the execution of a creativity process. The selection factor used for the decision is each user's learning style. For the examination of how this is perceived by the users and to test how this influences the creativity process within a Creativity Support Tool a prototype has been developed. The paper describes the prototype as well as its pilot testing by a group of users.
Keywords: Learning Styles; Creativity; Creativity Support Tools; Context
Shadow Expert Technique (SET) for Interaction Analysis in Educational Systems BIBAKFull-Text 642-651
  Christian Stickel; Martin Ebner; Andreas Holzinger
This paper describes a novel usability method called Shadow Expert Technique (SET), which was applied on the learning management system of the Graz University of Technology in two different trials, with focus on consistency and visual complexity. This is the summary of the development of this new method and the approach to generalize it as a new way to get deeper insight into interaction processes.
Keywords: Shadow Expert Technique; Usability Test; LMS; Methods
On Interactive Interfaces for Learning Chinese Character Writing Online BIBAKFull-Text 652-661
  Manlai You; Yu-Jie Xu; Cherng Chin
Learning to write Chinese character is a crucial process for non-native speakers in Chinese learning and a big stumbling block also. Luckily there are numbers of websites providing online learning of Chinese character writing which may benefit learners in overcoming the barriers. In this study we focus on these websites and emphasizes on the instruction of Chinese character writing. There were 24 of the websites screened from the Internet for further investigation. After intensive analysis and comparison, eight main factors in interface design of Chinese character writing were identified. They are: Media of presentation, Grid pattern, Tracing outline, Color coding, Stroke labeling, Play control, Stroke speed, and Writing exercise. Based on the analysis of the advantage and disadvantage of different implementations of these 8 main factors, an improved interface design proposal for Chinese character writing instruction is then propose to the follow-up research.
Keywords: Chinese characters; Chinese learning; Chinese character writing; Interactive interface; Interface design
Personalization in Mobile Learning for People with Special Needs BIBAKFull-Text 662-669
  Saeed Zare
The domain of learning context for people with special needs is a big challenge for digital media in education. Usage of mobile technology is growing, and it affects other technologies by bringing in new innovation and methods. The reason for this growth is not only ease of use and mobility, but also improvements in interaction and functionality in different contexts. Meanwhile, the difference between cell phones and handheld computers is becoming less and less evident. Such convergence offers the opportunity of ubiquitous learning "anytime, anywhere", so that the learners do not have to wait for a fixed time and place for learning to take place. Mobile learning can be seen as a bridge between higher level of abstracted knowledge and practical experiences, which supports the personalization in a learning process.
Keywords: Personalization; Mobile Learning; Inclusive Design; Learning Disabilities
Intelligent Provision of Semantic Web Services in Educational Systems BIBAKFull-Text 670-679
  Marija Zelic; Marko Rosic; Vlado Glavinic
The developed adaptation techniques in adaptive educational systems can be quite efficient; however, the systems' learning resources are usually stored in closed environments. This seems insufficient considering that the present-day learning environment encompasses large volumes of data and services on the Web. Our research focuses on the development of open, dynamic and adaptive systems that provide universal access to knowledge. This paper presents a novel unifying architecture for e-learning systems that enables intelligent provision of semantic Web services pertinent to the field of e-learning. The SWEA architecture enables the complete automation of the learning process by using a set of different agent types that perform semantic matchmaking of the required services.
Keywords: Semantic Web; semantic Web services; agent technology; e-learning systems