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This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 7th International Work-Conference on Ambient Assisted Living, IWAAL 2015, held in Puerto Varas, Chile, in December 2015.
The 20 full papers presented with 7 short papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 31 submissions. The focus of the papers is on following topics: ambient assisted living for tele-care and tele-rehabilitation; ambient assisted living environments; behaviour analysis and activity recognition; sensing for health and wellbeing; human interaction and perspectives in ambient assisted living solutions.



Ambient Assisted Living for Tele-Care and Tele-Rehabilitation


An Android Telecare Prototype for a Low-SES Seniors Living Facility: A Case Study

Colombia is experiencing an important demographic growing trend, where the aging phenomena is more evident between the current populations. Most of the elders are affected by social situations. In addition, a lack of Telecare technology to support caring processes is exposed. In order to explore the introduction of Telecare approaches for elders in Colombia, a software prototype for a real low-SES Seniors Living Facility was developed. The main contribution of this work is the application of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) [8] principles and user-centered design (UCD) practices to formulate an Android software application for elders, taking into account all the challenges at this level of interaction, the kind of population under certain scenarios in Colombia, and also the creation of positive perceptions of the final software considering aspects of emotions, reliability of service and optimal user experience [4].
Fáber Danilo Giraldo, Santiago Granada Montes, Yonattan Pineda Olarte

A Method to Develop Interactive Environments to Support Occupational Therapies

Physical therapy is not limited to a simple rehabilitation procedure; this paper proposes a method for production of interactive environments in order to support the recovery process for people with temporary physical disability. The proposed method preconizes the rehabilitation as a set of ordered steps, taking into account best practices in occupational therapy coming from several actors involved in the rehabilitation process such as patients and specialists, but also those involved in the production and design of interactive environments. Then the proposed method is composed of models to design different levels of interaction that must be taken into account to produce interactive environments for users with different levels of ability/disability; these environments could represent an accessible mean with low cost and current trend of technology.
Héctor Cardona Reyes, Jaime Muñoz Arteaga, Juan Manuel González-Calleros, Francisco Acosta Escalante

Troyoculus: An Augmented Reality System to Improve Reading Capabilities of Night-Blind People

Our goal in this project was to develop an augmented reality system, called Troyoculus, to help night-blind people improve their reading capabilities. We developed two prototypes, one based on Oculus Rift and other based on a smartphone. We tested both prototypes using three variables: distance between the subject and the reading target, amount of light in the reading area, and font size. Two subjects participated in the testing. Results show an average improvement of at least 6 % points in reading performance and a maximum improvement of 43 % points using Oculus Rift at 12 lux. Test results of both prototypes were better than when subjects were not using any device.
Adrián Fernandez, Paul Fernandez, Gustavo López, Marta Calderón, Luis A. Guerrero

Contextualizing Tasks in Tele-Rehabilitation Systems for Older People

Nowadays, one of the most important issues in developed countries is the progressive aging of the population. Thus, governments are irrevocably forced to invest more and more money to take care of their citizens. Regarding healthcare, the attention is focused on those aspects derived from the physical and cognitive problems associated to older adults. Fortunately, fields of research, such as Gerontechnology, are showing promising results for improving quality of life of older people. These works have given rise to remarkable advances in tele-rehabilitation due to the appearance of new technologies and a better understanding of users and their diseases. However, to optimize the development process of these new systems and to take into account user’s features and the surrounding environment, existing modeling languages must evolve. Tele-rehabilitation systems cannot behave in the same way with every user and under every condition, rather they must be able to adapt themselves to the user needs, according to the condition of the environment. In this work, a context meta-model is presented which allows analysts to specify users’ features, devices and the environment, as well as relevant states for the system. Moreover, the relationship between context and task model is also addressed by a CSRML-based task meta-model.
Arturo C. Rodriguez, Cristina Roda, Pascual González, Elena Navarro

Pilot Evaluation of a Collaborative Game for Motor Tele-Rehabilitation and Cognitive Stimulation of the Elderly

In this paper the design, development and preliminary evaluation of a serious videogame for the motor rehabilitation of upper limb and cognitive stimulation of the elderly are presented. The game includes features that allow (i) performing collaborative therapy exercises between two patients, (ii) remote configuration of the session therapy, and (iii) monitoring/analyzing of the session results by the therapist. A pilot evaluation with 7 older adults and an expert therapist, suggest that the game is perceived as stimulating, useful, usable and even funny, while providing an effective way to support/monitor the patient, and to adjust the therapy programs.
Gilberto Borrego, Alberto L. Morán, Arturo LaFlor, Victoria Meza, Eloísa García-Canseco, Felipe Orihuela-Espina, Luis Enrique Sucar

Supporting the Design of an Ambient Assisted Living System Using Virtual Reality Prototypes

APEX, a framework for prototyping ubiquitous environments, is used to design an Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) system to enhance a care home for older people. The environment allows participants in the design process to experience the proposed design and enables developers to explore the design by rapidly developing alternatives. APEX provided the means to explore alternative designs through a virtual environment. It provides a mediating representation (a boundary object) allowing users to be involved in the design process. A group of residents in a city-based care home were involved in the design. The paper describes the design process and lessons learnt for the design of AAL systems.
José C. Campos, Tiago Abade, José Luís Silva, Michael D. Harrison

Ambient Assisted Living Environments


A Mechanism for Nominating Video Clips to Provide Assistance for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

Current assistive smart homes have adopted a relatively rigid approach to modeling activities. The use of these activity models have introduced factors which block adoption of smart home technology. To address this, goal driven smart homes have been proposed, these are based upon more flexible activity structures. However, this goal-driven approach does have a disadvantage where flexibility in this activity modeling can lead to difficulty providing illustrative guidance. To address this, a video analysis and nomination mechanism is required to provide suitable assistive clips for a given goal. This paper introduces a novel mechanism for nominating a suitable video clip given a pool of automatically generated metadata. This mechanism was then evaluated using a voice based assistant application and a tool emulating assistance requests by a goal-driven smart home. The initial evaluation produced promising results.
Joseph Rafferty, Chris Nugent, Jun Liu, Liming Chen

Improving the Portability of Ambient Intelligence Systems

Ambient Intelligence and Ambient Assisted Living systems are required to provide a natural user experience, where the interaction is resolved by using devices and modalities adapted to the user abilities and preferences, and even to the environment conditions. Because of the variety of devices and technologies, and the diversity of scenarios, developing these interaction systems is a complicated task. This paper proposes an UI abstraction framework for the development of AmI and AAL systems that effectively improves the portability of those systems between different environments. It allows developers to design and implement a single UI capable of being deployed with different devices and modalities regardless the physical location.
Gervasio Varela, Alejandro Paz-Lopez, José A. Becerra, Richard J. Duro

Promoting Healthy Nutrition Behavior Using Mobile Devices and Ubiquitous Computing

Excessive weight and obesity are worldwide problems that are related to a variety of health issues. Several methods have been utilized recently to educate people and communities about topics related to nutrition behaviors. How can we develop educational mechanisms for healthy behaviors, focusing on a target group and their context? To reply to this question we developed a ubiquitous software called Ubinut, with the objective of sending messages through mobile devices. The software sends messages supervised by a nutritionist. These messages are related with specific contexts. To test the software we conducted a feasibility test with 40 random university students. During the trial period we received nearly 700 evaluations of the messages. With our first findings we developed a second version of the software including geofencing, called Geonut. The main contribution of this work is the launching of healthy messages when the users are more likely to make poor nutritional decisions.
Felipe Besoain, Antoni Perez-Navarro, Felipe Ojeda, Jose Antonio Reyes-Suarez

Combining Technical and User Requirement Analysis to Support Wellbeing at the Workplace

The development of a technical system in order to support wellbeing of the workplace (This work is supported by the EU and national funding organizations of EU member states under grant AAL 2013-6-063.) demands for considering the requirements of the user, while developing state-of-the-art technology. Hence, in a first step, the requirements of the end user need to be analyzed as well as sensor technology of state-of-the-art sensors in order to match technology according to the user’s needs. Within this paper different sensors technologies are compared and the requirements of end user at the workplace are analyzed. By matching both, technological as well as sociological aspects allows for the development of technical system, fitting to the demands of end user.
Anna Wanka, Sophie Psihoda, Rainer Planinc, Martin Kampel

Towards Resilient Services in the Home

A Home Service Platform with Support for Conflict Resolution
Commercially available automation systems for the home are enjoying rising popularity in recent years, promising the dream of a smart home environment. However they leave a lot to be desired in terms of device and network protocol interoperability as well as the sophistication of the services that they provide. As an avenue to realize the dream of a truly smart home, many research efforts have suggested middleware platforms which offer device access to software applications that incorporate intelligent decision making. In this paper, a home platform with support for run-time conflict resolution among smart services is introduced. The conflict resolution features of this platform include device access rights, service priorities, condition sets and notification events. The effectiveness of the above features is demonstrated in several scenarios in which services adapt to context changes. We conclude that such conflict resolution mechanisms are a necessity for every middleware platform that aims to have multiple services concurrently operating in the home environment.
Marios Sioutis, Kiyofumi Tanaka, Yuuto Lim, Yasuo Tan

Introducing Ambient Assisted Living Technology at the Home of the Elderly: Challenges and Lessons Learned

The promise of pervasive computing applications is to surround people with affordable, transparent and unobtrusive technology. However, several barriers including usability concerns, a lack of perceived usefulness, and low technology self-efficacy may jeopardize the successful adoption of ambient assisted living (AAL) systems, particularly by the elderly. Following the development of the SocialConnector system, which mediates and coordinates the communication effort of family members with their elders, this paper describes the iterative design process conducted to help improve the acceptance of the system by end-users. This process considered the implicit and explicit concerns and expectations of the intended target users, and it involved three improvement cycles along an action research approach. Through this process, we obtained a set of lessons learned that aim to describe how to unobtrusively introduce sensing and monitoring technology at the home of the elderly. Keeping simple yet meaningful interaction metaphors helps increase the learnability and perceived usefulness of AAL technology by the elderly.If older adults perceive the value of having such kinds of tools installed in their homes, then they are prone to assume them as part of their lives. Likewise, situational and activity awareness mechanisms, such as visual notification badges and audio-enhanced user interfaces, can be used to persuade the elderly to approach the system and eventually use it. Finally, the design of AAL solutions also requires active consideration of the needs and attitudes of other family members, particularly those who assume an active role in the caring process of their elders.
Diego Muñoz, Francisco J. Gutierrez, Sergio F. Ochoa

Behaviour Analysis and Activity Recognition


An Approach for Agitation Detection and Intervention in Sufferers of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that is being diagnosed in a growing portion of the population. ASD represents a range of complex disorders with a number of symptoms including social difficulties and behavioral issues. Some individuals suffering from ASD are prone to incidents of agitation that can lead to escalation and meltdowns. Such incidents represent a risk to the individuals with ASD and others who share their environment. This paper introduces a novel approach to monitor triggers for these incidents with an aim to detect and predict an incident happening. Non-invasive sensors monitor factors within an environment that may indicate such an incident. Combined with an NFC and smart phone based mechanism to report incidents in a relatively friction free manner. These reports will be combined with sensor records to train a prediction system based on supervised machine learning. Future work will identify the best performing machine-learning technique and will evaluate the approach.
Joseph Rafferty, Jonathan Synnott, Chris Nugent

Influence of Seasons on Human Behavior in Smart Environments

The aim of the presented work is to give an operational solution to model and to monitor the behavior of peoples in smart buildings together with the power consumption optimization of the environment resources. The proposed solution is based on the discovery, the modeling and the validation of behavioral knowledge with an unsupervised learning process included in a whole Knowledge Discovery in Database process. The particularity of the proposed approach is that the learning process has been design to work on the timed data directly provided by a smart environment. This paper describes the approach and its application to a real world building of offices. The application puts on the light one of the most difficult problem in this kind of approach, the seasonality of human behavior, that changes the behavior models over time, making the usual approaches difficultly practicable.
Fabien Barthelot, Marc Le Goc, Eric Pascual

The HELICOPTER Project: A Heterogeneous Sensor Network Suitable for Behavioral Monitoring

In this paper, the infrastructure supporting the HELICOPTER AAL-JP project is described. The project aims at introducing behavioral analysis features for early detection of age-related diseases: to this purpose, a heterogeneous sensor network has been designed and implemented, encompassing in the same vision environmental, wearable and clinical sensors. In order to make environmental sensors suitable for behavioral inference, the issue of activity tagging (i.e., attribution to a given user of the action detected by the sensors) needs to be tackled. Within the HELICOPTER scenario, cooperation between environmental and wearable sensors is exploited to this aim. Preliminary results offer encouraging perspectives: piloting phase, which will validate the approach on a larger scale, is close to start.
Claudio Guerra, Valentina Bianchi, Ferdinando Grossi, Niccolὸ Mora, Agostino Losardo, Guido Matrella, Ilaria De Munari, Paolo Ciampolini

High-Level Context Inference for Human Behavior Identification

This work presents the Mining Minds Context Ontology, an ontology for the identification of human behavior. This ontology comprehensively models high-level context based on low-level information, including the user activities, locations, and emotions. The Mining Minds Context Ontology is the means to infer high-level context from the low-level information. High-level contexts can be inferred from unclassified contexts by reasoning on the Mining Minds Context Ontology. The Mining Minds Context Ontology is shown to be flexible enough to operate in real life scenarios in which emotion recognition systems may not always be available. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the activity and the location might not be enough to detect some of the high-level contexts, and that the emotion enables a more accurate high-level context identification. This work paves the path for the future implementation of the high-level context recognition system in the Mining Minds project.
Claudia Villalonga, Oresti Banos, Wajahat Ali Khan, Taqdir Ali, Muhammad Asif Razzaq, Sungyoung Lee, Hector Pomares, Ignacio Rojas

On the Development of a Real-Time Multi-sensor Activity Recognition System

There exist multiple activity recognition solutions offering good results under controlled conditions. However, little attention has been given to the development of functional systems operating in realistic settings. In that vein, this work aims at presenting the complete process for the design, implementation and evaluation of a real-time activity recognition system. The proposed recognition system consists of three wearable inertial sensors used to register the user body motion, and a mobile application to collect and process the sensory data for the recognition of the user activity. The system not only shows good recognition capabilities after offline evaluation but also after analysis at runtime. In view of the obtained results, this system may serve for the recognition of some of the most frequent daily physical activities.
Oresti Banos, Miguel Damas, Alberto Guillen, Luis-Javier Herrera, Hector Pomares, Ignacio Rojas, Claudia Villalonga, Sungyoung Lee

Sensing for Health and Wellbeing


Fall Risk Assessment and Prevention Using Wearables

Each year about 1/3 of elderly aged 65 or older experience a fall. Many of these falls may have been avoided if fall risk assessment and prevention tools where available in a daily living situation. We identify what kind of information is relevant to do fall risk assessment using wearable sensors in a daily living environment by investigating current research. Based on our findings we propose a fall risk awareness protocol as a fall prevention tool.
Asbjørn Danielsen, Bernt Arild Bremdal, Hans Olofsen

Big Data Processing Using Wearable Devices for Wellbeing and Healthy Activities Promotion

The aging population and economic crisis specially in developed countries have as a consequence the reduction in funds dedicated to healthcare, is then desirable to optimize the costs of public and private healthcare systems reducing the affluence of chronic and dependent people to care centers; promoting healthy lifestyle and activities can allow people to avoid chronic diseases as for example hypertension. In this paper we describe a system for promoting an active and healthy lifestyle for people and to recommend with guidelines and valuable information about their habits. The proposed system is being developed around the Big Data parading using bio-signals sensors and machine learning algorithms for recommendations.
Diego Gachet Páez, Manuel de Buenaga Rodríguez, Enrique Puertas Sánz, María Teresa Villalba, Rafael Muñoz Gil

A Dual Approach for Quantitative Gait Analysis Based on Vision and Wearable Pressure Systems

This paper proposes two approaches to characterize gait taking into account only quantitative measurements of dynamic nature. A pair of wireless sensorized insoles are used to obtain gait phases based on the involved forces, and a computer vision system externally estimates measurements through movement analysis. The wearable approach is composed of a pair of insoles, consisting of an assembly of FSRs and an inertial measurement unit. A micro-controller provides the captured data to a Bluetooth module that transmits it to be processed. The vision system obtains gait features using a single RGB camera. We have developed an algorithm to extract the silhouette using background subtraction, and locating heel and toe of each foot using the shape of the silhouettes. Detection of Heel-strike and Toe-off is based on gradient. Gait phases and other spatio-temporal parameters are derived from them.
Iván González, Mario Nieto-Hidalgo, Jerónimo Mora, Juan Manuel García-Chamizo, José Bravo

Mobile Monitoring Review: Comparative with MoMo Framework Solution

The systematic review allows us to identify, assess, and interpret all possible relevant work associated with a question in particular or subject of an area. In this paper we will use the Kitchenham protocol, which allow for the proper selection of primary and secondary research related to mobile monitoring solution. The main objective of this review is to identify work, research and publications made in the field of mobile monitoring of patients through a framework or application generators. Next, we compare the different solutions with our solution: MoMo Framework. Our systematic review is based on the methodology B. Kitchenham. She proposes specific guidelines to carry out the systematic review in software engineering.
Vladimir Villarreal, Ramón Hervás, Jose Bravo

A Gesture-Based Interaction Approach for Manipulating Augmented Objects Using Leap Motion

Ambient Intelligence and Ubiquitous Computing are carrying the world to a reality where almost every object interacts with the environment, either via sensors or actuators, and users must learn how to interact with such systems. This paper presents a gesture-based interaction approach to manipulate such objects. We developed a prototype using a leap motion controller as a hand-tracking device, and a Support Vector Machine as a classifier to distinguish between gestures. Our system was evaluated by 12 users with over 10 commands. We also show a review on gesture-based interaction and compare other proposals with ours.
Gustavo López, Luis Quesada, Luis A. Guerrero

Human Interaction and Perspectives in Ambient Assisted Living Solutions


Characterizing Ubiquitous Systems Privacy Issues by Gender and Age

Characterizing ubiquitous systems privacy issues by gender and age was our goal. We selected two ubiquitous systems: a wearable system (Google Glass) and an embedded in context system (Smart Office). An online survey, with 400+ participants, which included questions about how people perceive privacy issues related to the use of these two different ubiquitous systems, was conducted. Results show that Google Glass generates a higher degree of concern than the Smart Office. Female participants tend to be more worried than male, independently of the ubiquitous system considered. Finally, the youngest participants (16 to 25 years old) are the most concerned about privacy threats, which was unexpected.
Gustavo López, Gabriela Marín, Marta Calderón

Do Technology-Related Stimuli Affect Age Estimation?

The potential for ubiquitous ambient technology to assist older adults to sustain an active life, raises questions about whether this can bring transformational effects for users including those related to modifying ageing perception. We aim to investigate the effects that technology related priming has in the perception of ageing via age estimation. Sixty participants, exposed to technology, ageing and neutral related stimuli, were asked to perform a priming activity and to estimate the age of a set of persons depicted in different photographs. We found that neither the estimation of the participants from ‘Technology’ nor ‘Ageing’ group differ from the estimation of participants from the ‘Neutral’ group. Evidence suggests that exposing participants to technology concepts by itself does not alter age perception. However, previous works show that the usage of technology can modify ageing perception. Therefore, we define a longitudinal second experiment in which we will provide different devices to older adults for them to use and through qualitative methods study this phenomenon.
M. A. Rodrigo Juarez, Jesús Favela, Víctor M. González

Experimentation on Emotion Regulation with Single-Colored Images

This paper introduces a series of experiments with the objective of assessing the influence of color in emotion regulation. For this sake, images with one single color or one single dominant color are shown to a set of participants who take part in the experimentation. Firstly, the architecture of the color emotion regulation system is introduced. The methodology for color emotion recognition is based on a novel approach of both direct and indirect emotion evaluation. Then, the experimental setup is discussed together with the testing procedure. The tests are based on questionnaires for emotional state evaluation, color preference and personality. Lastly, the experimental results are described and discussed.
Marina V. Sokolova, Antonio Fernández-Caballero, Laura Ros, Luz Fernández-Aguilar, José Miguel Latorre

LED Strips for Color- and Illumination-Based Emotion Regulation at Home

An experimental setup for emotion regulation at home is introduced in this paper. The experimentation starts from the premise that changes in the ambience in terms of illumination and color are able to produce alterations in inhabitants’ emotional state. The proposal uses RGB LED strips that are regulable in color and intensity to control the ambience. The full details of the assembly of a circuit that includes a micro-controller and a number of strips are provided. Afterwards, a novel approach for complex color emotion evaluation based on lexical semantic scales and self-evaluation is discussed. Then, the experimental results of a pilot test with 27 participants are discussed.
Vicente Ortiz-García-Cervigón, Marina V. Sokolova, Rosa María García-Muñoz, Antonio Fernández-Caballero

Landmark-Based Histograms of Oriented Gradients for Facial Emotion Recognition

The automatic recognition of human emotions is used to support several computing paradigms, like affective, positive and pervasive computing. Histograms of oriented gradients (HOG) have been successfully used with such a purpose, by processing facial images. However, the results of using HOG vary depending on the position of the facial components in the image used as input. This paper presents an extension to the HOG method, which was named Landmark-based Histograms of Oriented Gradients (LaHOG), that not only calculates HOG blocks in the whole face, but also in specific positions around selected facial landmarks. In this sense, the new method is more robust than its predecessor. In order to evaluate the capabilities and limitations of this proposal, we used it to recognize emotions in face images from the FACES database. In such a process we used two classification strategies: support vector machines and logistic regression. The results show that the extended method significantly surpasses the performance of HOG in the tested database.
Pablo Guerrero, Matías Pavez, Diego Chávez, Sergio F. Ochoa


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