Open AccessConcept Paper
How Thumbelina Knows
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 22; doi:10.3390/informatics3040022 -
Abstract
In this paper, I take the book by Michel Serres, “Thumbelina”, as an occasion for reflection on the conceptual basis of knowledge management, as was built by Nonaka and co-workers. The direct access to knowledge that Thumbelina practices together with her peers is,
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In this paper, I take the book by Michel Serres, “Thumbelina”, as an occasion for reflection on the conceptual basis of knowledge management, as was built by Nonaka and co-workers. The direct access to knowledge that Thumbelina practices together with her peers is, in fact, for me, and is a good observation point to bring Nonaka’s reflection further towards the discovery of a new understanding of knowledge and knowing processes. If the digital revolution is the third step, after writing and printing, regarding the soft changes in the relations between human beings and knowledge, then it highlights the urgent problem of deepening our understanding of what knowledge and intelligence are, changing our practices at the educational level, and designing new digital tools to support our knowledge management processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Supporting Sensemaking of Complex Objects with Visualizations: Visibility and Complementarity of Interactions
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 20; doi:10.3390/informatics3040020 -
Abstract
Making sense of complex objects is difficult, and typically requires the use of external representations to support cognitive demands while reasoning about the objects. Visualizations are one type of external representation that can be used to support sensemaking activities. In this paper, we
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Making sense of complex objects is difficult, and typically requires the use of external representations to support cognitive demands while reasoning about the objects. Visualizations are one type of external representation that can be used to support sensemaking activities. In this paper, we investigate the role of two design strategies in making the interactive features of visualizations more supportive of users’ exploratory needs when trying to make sense of complex objects. These two strategies are visibility and complementarity of interactions. We employ a theoretical framework concerned with human–information interaction and complex cognitive activities to inform, contextualize, and interpret the effects of the design strategies. The two strategies are incorporated in the design of Polyvise, a visualization tool that supports making sense of complex four-dimensional geometric objects. A mixed-methods study was conducted to evaluate the design strategies and the overall usability of Polyvise. We report the findings of the study, discuss some implications for the design of visualization tools that support sensemaking of complex objects, and propose five design guidelines. We anticipate that our results are transferrable to other contexts, and that these two design strategies can be used broadly in visualization tools intended to support activities with complex objects and information spaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Disabling and Enabling Technologies for Learning in Higher Education for All: Issues and Challenges for Whom?
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 21; doi:10.3390/informatics3040021 -
Abstract
Integration, inclusion, and equity constitute fundamental dimensions of democracy in post-World War II societies and their institutions. The study presented here reports upon the ways in which individuals and institutions both use and account for the roles that technologies, including ICT, play in
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Integration, inclusion, and equity constitute fundamental dimensions of democracy in post-World War II societies and their institutions. The study presented here reports upon the ways in which individuals and institutions both use and account for the roles that technologies, including ICT, play in disabling and enabling access for learning in higher education for all. Technological innovations during the 20th and 21st centuries, including ICT, have been heralded as holding significant promise for revolutionizing issues of access in societal institutions like schools, healthcare services, etc. (at least in the global North). Taking a socially oriented perspective, the study presented in this paper focuses on an ethnographically framed analysis of two datasets that critically explores the role that technologies, including ICT, play in higher education for individuals who are “differently abled” and who constitute a variation on a continuum of capabilities. Functionality as a dimension of everyday life in higher education in the 21st century is explored through the analysis of (i) case studies of two “differently abled” students in Sweden and (ii) current support services at universities in Sweden. The findings make visible the work that institutions and their members do through analyses of the organization of time and space and the use of technologies in institutional settings against the backdrop of individuals’ accountings and life trajectories. This study also highlights the relevance of multi-scale data analyses for revisiting the ways in which identity positions become framed or understood within higher education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ubiquitous Learning Architecture to Enable Learning Path Design across the Cumulative Learning Continuum
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 19; doi:10.3390/informatics3040019 -
Abstract
The past twelve years have seen ubiquitous learning (u-learning) emerging as a new learning paradigm based on ubiquitous technology. By integrating a high level of mobility into the learning environment, u-learning enables learning not only through formal but also through informal and social
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The past twelve years have seen ubiquitous learning (u-learning) emerging as a new learning paradigm based on ubiquitous technology. By integrating a high level of mobility into the learning environment, u-learning enables learning not only through formal but also through informal and social learning modalities. This makes it suitable for lifelong learners that want to explore, identify and seize such learning opportunities, and to fully build upon these experiences. This paper presents a theoretical framework for designing personalized learning paths for lifelong learners, which supports contemporary pedagogical approaches that can promote the idea of a cumulative learning continuum from pedagogy through andragogy to heutagogy where lifelong learners progress in maturity and autonomy. The framework design builds on existing conceptual and process models for pedagogy-driven design of learning ecosystems. Based on this framework, we propose a system architecture that aims to provide personalized learning pathways using selected pedagogical strategies, and to integrate formal, informal and social training offerings using two well-known learning and development reference models; the 70:20:10 framework and the 3–33 model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
AVIST: A GPU-Centric Design for Visual Exploration of Large Multidimensional Datasets
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 18; doi:10.3390/informatics3040018 -
Abstract
This paper presents the Animated VISualization Tool (AVIST), an exploration-oriented data visualization tool that enables rapidly exploring and filtering large time series multidimensional datasets. AVIST highlights interactive data exploration by revealing fine data details. This is achieved through the use of animation and
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This paper presents the Animated VISualization Tool (AVIST), an exploration-oriented data visualization tool that enables rapidly exploring and filtering large time series multidimensional datasets. AVIST highlights interactive data exploration by revealing fine data details. This is achieved through the use of animation and cross-filtering interactions. To support interactive exploration of big data, AVIST features a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)-centric design. Two key aspects are emphasized on the GPU-centric design: (1) both data management and computation are implemented on the GPU to leverage its parallel computing capability and fast memory bandwidth; (2) a GPU-based directed acyclic graph is proposed to characterize data transformations triggered by users’ demands. Moreover, we implement AVIST based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. In the implementation, we consider two aspects: (1) user interaction is highlighted to slice big data into small data; and (2) data transformation is based on parallel computing. Two case studies demonstrate how AVIST can help analysts identify abnormal behaviors and infer new hypotheses by exploring big datasets. Finally, we summarize lessons learned about GPU-based solutions in interactive information visualization with big data. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Direct Visual Editing of Node Attributes in Graphs
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 17; doi:10.3390/informatics3040017 -
Abstract
There are many expressive visualization techniques for analyzing graphs. Yet, there is only little research on how existing visual representations can be employed to support data editing. An increasingly relevant task when working with graphs is the editing of node attributes. We propose
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There are many expressive visualization techniques for analyzing graphs. Yet, there is only little research on how existing visual representations can be employed to support data editing. An increasingly relevant task when working with graphs is the editing of node attributes. We propose an integrated visualize-and-edit approach to editing attribute values via direct interaction with the visual representation. The visualize part is based on node-link diagrams paired with attribute-dependent layouts. The edit part is as easy as moving nodes via drag-and-drop gestures. We present dedicated interaction techniques for editing quantitative as well as qualitative attribute data values. The benefit of our novel integrated approach is that one can directly edit the data while the visualization constantly provides feedback on the implications of the data modifications. Preliminary user feedback indicates that our integrated approach can be a useful complement to standard non-visual editing via external tools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Opening up the Black Box of Sensor Processing Algorithms through New Visualizations
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 16; doi:10.3390/informatics3030016 -
Abstract
Vehicles and platforms with multiple sensors connect people in multiple roles with different responsibilities to scenes of interest. For many of these human–sensor systems there are a variety of algorithms that transform, select, and filter the sensor data prior to human intervention. Emergency
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Vehicles and platforms with multiple sensors connect people in multiple roles with different responsibilities to scenes of interest. For many of these human–sensor systems there are a variety of algorithms that transform, select, and filter the sensor data prior to human intervention. Emergency response, precision agriculture, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) are examples of these human–computation–sensor systems. The authors examined a case of the latter to understand how people in various roles utilize the algorithms output to identify meaningful properties in data streams given uncertainty. The investigations revealed: (a) that increasingly complex interactions occur across agents in the human–computation–sensor system; and (b) analysts struggling to interpret the output of “black box” algorithms given uncertainty and change in the scenes of interest. The paper presents a new interactive visualization concept designed to “open up the black box” of sensor processing algorithms to support human analysts as they look for meaning in feeds from sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Older People Using e-Health Services—Exploring Frequency of Use and Associations with Perceived Benefits for Spouse Caregivers
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 15; doi:10.3390/informatics3030015 -
Abstract
ICT, information- and communication technologies, and e-health services are essential for meeting future care demands. Greater knowledge regarding the implementation of e-health services in long-term care for older people is needed. The purpose of the study was to explore older people’s use of
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ICT, information- and communication technologies, and e-health services are essential for meeting future care demands. Greater knowledge regarding the implementation of e-health services in long-term care for older people is needed. The purpose of the study was to explore older people’s use of e-health services and associations between frequency of use and perceived benefits. In the longitudinal comparative intervention study (n = 65), intervention group participants (n = 42) used an e-health service for 1.5 years. A control group (n = 23) used similar services provided in a traditional manner. Data was collected through questionnaires and analyzed using linear and logistic regressions. Although general use of the Internet was similar in both groups, the e-health group perceived significantly higher benefits. The component information- and education programs, developed specifically for the e-health service, had the highest association with benefits. Conclusion: e-health services targeted at supporting older people who care for a spouse at home can provide benefits which most likely will not be obtained without participation in an organized e-service. Care professionals play an essential role in encouraging spouse caregivers to become e-service users. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Advancing the Direction of Health Information Management in Greek Public Hospitals: Theoretical Directions and Methodological Implications for Sharing Information in order to Obtain Decision-Making
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 14; doi:10.3390/informatics3030014 -
Abstract
Although consultants have long placed the use of research information at the centre of their activity, the extent that physicians use this information tends to vary widely. Despite this study and its recommendations, there is still a gap between the functions of a
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Although consultants have long placed the use of research information at the centre of their activity, the extent that physicians use this information tends to vary widely. Despite this study and its recommendations, there is still a gap between the functions of a manager and the use of the associated information, while the decision-making procedures vary according to the organization in which they work. The cost of IT remains the largest barrier, while some current IT solutions are not user friendly and out-of-date, particularly for public hospitals in Greece. The knowledge management is concerned not only with the facts and figures of production, but also with the know-how of staff. The information needs protocol should not be referred only to those who comply with formal computer-based information systems, but also to those who take into account other informal information and its flow within the organization. In a field such as medicine, where out-of-date information may be positively dangerous, doctors make heavy use of journals and several texts from the web. The decision-making process is a complex approach, particularly in human diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Therefore, it is very important to set priorities in the sector of health information management and promote education and training on information and communication technology (ICT). Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Socio-Economic Evaluation of a European Project: The DIYLab Case
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 13; doi:10.3390/informatics3030013 -
Abstract
This paper builds on the results of a 3-year long European project, the main aim of which was to deeply and sustainably transform teaching and learning practice in primary and secondary schools and higher education, by introducing Do it Yourself (DIY) philosophy in
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This paper builds on the results of a 3-year long European project, the main aim of which was to deeply and sustainably transform teaching and learning practice in primary and secondary schools and higher education, by introducing Do it Yourself (DIY) philosophy in order to expand digital competence and foster students’ agency and collaborative learning. Three universities and three primary and secondary schools have been involved in a Collaborative Action Research (CAR) process in order to analyse their current institutional context and perceive needs, strengths and weaknesses; to undertake professional development activities and the design of DIYLabs; implement DIYLabs in the selected courses; and reflect upon ways of improving the institution’s performance. This paper offers a global vision of the research and implementation processes and the results achieved, from the perspective of the socio-economic dimensions involved in a project aiming to make a difference in teaching and learning to meet the challenges of a society highly permeated by digital technology (DT). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
When Wiki Technology Meets Corporate Knowledge Management Routines: A Sociomateriality Perspective
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 12; doi:10.3390/informatics3030012 -
Abstract
There seems to be an inherent tension between wiki affordances—open boundaries, unconstrained editing, and transparency—and traditional knowledge management (KM) routines used in firms. The objective of this study is to investigate how users respond to these tensions during adoption of wiki technology at
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There seems to be an inherent tension between wiki affordances—open boundaries, unconstrained editing, and transparency—and traditional knowledge management (KM) routines used in firms. The objective of this study is to investigate how users respond to these tensions during adoption of wiki technology at the workplace. The theoretical lens of sociomateriality highlights the manner in which routines and materiality (namely, technology) relate to one another, providing a useful conceptualization for our investigation. In particular, we adopt Leonardi’s theory of human and material imbrication, which stresses the importance of a worker’s past experiences with technology in determining his future adoption decisions. Extending Leonardi’s conceptualization, we suggest that out-of-work experiences are also influential. Namely, we argue that attitudes towards Wikipedia influence one’s response to wiki deployment in the workplace. Using an online survey containing four open-ended questions, we assessed the perceptions of employees towards wiki deployment. Results from our qualitative analysis of 1032 responses reveal five approaches users take in responding to the tensions between wiki affordances and existing KM routines, highlighting the effect of users’ dispositions towards Wikipedia. Our findings inform the sociomateriality literature and shed light on the challenges faced by organizations trying to adopt social media tools. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Social Media Systems in the Workplace: Toward Understanding Employee Knowledge Creation via Microblogging within Shared Knowledge Domains
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 11; doi:10.3390/informatics3030011 -
Abstract
Adoption of social media systems (SMS), proprietary microblogging platforms in particular, for the purposes of information sharing has been increasingly on the rise among corporations. While Twitter is the preferred microblogging tool by the general public, there is scant research to address its
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Adoption of social media systems (SMS), proprietary microblogging platforms in particular, for the purposes of information sharing has been increasingly on the rise among corporations. While Twitter is the preferred microblogging tool by the general public, there is scant research to address its viability as a conduit to facilitate knowledge creation among corporate users. As a result, this conceptual paper explores seven crucial Twitter features and derives to seven propositions that demonstrate how microblogging can enable knowledge creation among employees within shared knowledge domain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tagging Users’ Social Circles via Multiple Linear Regression
Informatics 2016, 3(3), 10; doi:10.3390/informatics3030010 -
Abstract
A social circle is a category of strong social relationships, such as families, classmates and good friends and so on. The information diffusion among members of online social circles is frequent and credible. The research of users’ online social circles has become popular
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A social circle is a category of strong social relationships, such as families, classmates and good friends and so on. The information diffusion among members of online social circles is frequent and credible. The research of users’ online social circles has become popular in recent years. Many scholars propose methods for detecting users’ online social circles. On the other hand, the social meanings and the tags of a social circle are also important for the analysis of a social circle. However, little work involves the tags discovery of social circles. This paper proposes an algorithm for social circle tag detection by multiple linear regression. The model solves the data sparse problem of tags in social circles and successfully combines different categories of features in social circles. We also redmap the concept of the social circle into "reference circles" of an academic paper. We evaluate our method in datasets of both Facebook and Microsoft Academic Search, and prove that it is more effective than other relevant methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Back-Off Time Calculation Algorithms in WSN
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 9; doi:10.3390/informatics3020009 -
Abstract
In a Mobile Wireless Sensor Mesh Network (MWSMN), based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, low power consumption is vitally important since the network devices are mostly battery driven. This is especially true for devices dependent on small form factors, such as those used
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In a Mobile Wireless Sensor Mesh Network (MWSMN), based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, low power consumption is vitally important since the network devices are mostly battery driven. This is especially true for devices dependent on small form factors, such as those used in wireless sensor network. This paper proposes four new approaches to reduce the Back-Off Time in ZigBee standard in order to minimize the collisions caused by transmission between neighbouring nodes within the mesh network. The four alternate algorithms for the Back-Off Time calculation are compared to the ZigBee standard Back-Off Time algorithm regarding their energy needs using the simulation suite OPNET Modeler. To study the behaviour of the parameters of all algorithms in all scenarios, the statistical Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) has been used and it shows that the null hypotheses are rejected except for one case. The results show that the two passive algorithms Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing search techniques are suitable for battery-driven, energy-sensible networks. The Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) approaches increase throughput and reduce the packet loss but cost more in terms of energy due to the implementation of additional control packets. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first approach for MWSMN that uses the Swarm Intelligence technique and the search solution algorithm for the Back-Off Time optimization. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Choosing a Model for eConsult Specialist Remuneration: Factors to Consider
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 8; doi:10.3390/informatics3020008 -
Abstract
Electronic consultation (eConsult) is an innovative solution that allows specialists and primary care providers to communicate electronically, improving access to specialist care. Understanding the cost implications of different remuneration models available to pay specialists is of critical importance as adoption of these services
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Electronic consultation (eConsult) is an innovative solution that allows specialists and primary care providers to communicate electronically, improving access to specialist care. Understanding the cost implications of different remuneration models available to pay specialists is of critical importance as adoption of these services continues to increase. We used data collected through the Champlain BASE (Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation) eConsult service to simulate the cost implications of different remuneration models in Canada. The prorated hourly rate model averaged $45.72 CAD (Canadian Dollar) per eConsult while the prorated hourly rate with incentive averaged $51.90 CAD per eConsult, and the fee for service cost $60.50 CAD per eConsult. Paying all specialty groups to block three hours per week for eConsults averaged $337.44 CAD per eConsult and paying for 1-h blocks averaged $133.41 CAD per eConsult. As the remuneration of specialists is the largest cost driver of an established eConsult service, our findings can inform policymakers considering the implementation of eConsult or wishing to further develop an existing service. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Developing and Improving Student Non-Technical Skills in IT Education: A Literature Review and Model
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 7; doi:10.3390/informatics3020007 -
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to identify portions of the literature in the areas of Information Technology (IT) management, skills development, and curriculum development that support the design of a holistic conceptual framework for instruction in non-technical skills within the IT higher
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The purpose of this paper is to identify portions of the literature in the areas of Information Technology (IT) management, skills development, and curriculum development that support the design of a holistic conceptual framework for instruction in non-technical skills within the IT higher education context. This article review provides a framework for understanding how the critical success factors related to IT and Information Systems (IS) professional success is impacted by developing students’ non-technical skills. The article culminates in a holistic conceptual framework for developing non-technical skills within the IT higher education context. Implications for theory and research are provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designing a Situational Awareness Information Display: Adopting an Affordance-Based Framework to Amplify User Experience in Environmental Interaction Design
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 6; doi:10.3390/informatics3020006 -
Abstract
User experience remains a crucial consideration when assessing the successfulness of information visualization systems. The theory of affordances provides a robust framework for user experience design. In this article, we demonstrate a design case that employs an affordance-based framework and evaluate the information
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User experience remains a crucial consideration when assessing the successfulness of information visualization systems. The theory of affordances provides a robust framework for user experience design. In this article, we demonstrate a design case that employs an affordance-based framework and evaluate the information visualization display design. SolarWheels is an interactive information visualization designed for large display walls in computer network control rooms to help cybersecurity analysts become aware of network status and emerging issues. Given the critical nature of this context, the status and performance of a computer network must be precisely monitored and remedied in real time. In this study, we consider various aspects of affordances in order to amplify the user experience via visualization and interaction design. SolarWheels visualizes the multilayer multidimensional computer network issues with a series of integrated circular visualizations inspired by the metaphor of the solar system. To amplify user interaction and experience, the system provides a three-zone physical interaction that allows multiple users to interact with the system. Users can read details at different levels depending on their distance from the display. An expert evaluation study, based on a four-layer affordance framework, was conducted to assess and improve the interactive visualization design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Gateway-Based Energy Holes Avoidance Routing Protocol for WSN
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 5; doi:10.3390/informatics3020005 -
Abstract
In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), efficient energy conservation is required to prolong the lifetime of the network. In this work, we have given emphasis on balanced energy consumption and energy holes avoidance. This paper proposes a multi-gateway-based approach to reduce the transmission distance
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In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), efficient energy conservation is required to prolong the lifetime of the network. In this work, we have given emphasis on balanced energy consumption and energy holes avoidance. This paper proposes a multi-gateway-based approach to reduce the transmission distance between the sender and the sink node. The area to be monitored is divided into regions and gateway nodes are deployed at optimal positions. We have designed a transmission scheme, in which sensors in the sink region communicate directly to the sink, sensors in the gateway region communicate directly to the gateway, and sensors in the cluster region transmit their data directly to their respective cluster head which transmits data to the gateway in its region. If the distance between a cluster head and the sink is less than the distance between the cluster head and the gateway node, the cluster head transmits data to the sink instead of the gateway node. We have compared the proposed protocol with Low-Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy (LEACH), Gateway Based Energy Aware Multi-Hop Routing (M-GEAR), and Gateway Based Stable Election Protocol (GSEP) protocols. The protocol performs better than other protocols in terms of throughput, stability period, lifetime, residual energy, and the packet transmitted to the sink. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interactive Spatiotemporal Analysis of Oil Spills Using Comap in North Dakota
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 4; doi:10.3390/informatics3020004 -
Abstract
The aim of the study is to analyze the oil spill pattern from various types of incidents and contaminants to determine the extent that incident data can be used as a baseline to prevent hazardous material releases and improve response activities at a
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The aim of the study is to analyze the oil spill pattern from various types of incidents and contaminants to determine the extent that incident data can be used as a baseline to prevent hazardous material releases and improve response activities at a state level. This study addresses the importance of collecting and sharing oil spill incidents as well as analytics using the data. Temporal, spatial and spatiotemporal analysis techniques are employed for the oil-spill related environmental incidents observed in the state of North Dakota, United States of America, from 2000 to 2014, as a result of the oil boom. Specifically, spatiotemporal methods are used to examine how the patterns of environmental incidents in North Dakota, which vary with the time of day, the day, the month, and the season. Results indicate that there were critical spatial and time variations in the distribution of environmental incidents. Application of spatiotemporal interaction visualization techniques, called comap has the potential to help planners and decision makers formulate policy to mitigate the risks associated with environmental incidents, improve safety, and allocate resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enabling Virtual Sensing as a Service
Informatics 2016, 3(2), 3; doi:10.3390/informatics3020003 -
Abstract
In many situations, placing a physical sensor in the ideal position in or on the human body to acquire sensing data is incredibly difficult. Virtual sensors, in contrast to physical sensors, can provide indirect measurements by making use of other available sensor data.
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In many situations, placing a physical sensor in the ideal position in or on the human body to acquire sensing data is incredibly difficult. Virtual sensors, in contrast to physical sensors, can provide indirect measurements by making use of other available sensor data. In this paper, we demonstrate a virtual sensing application developed as a service on top of a cloud-based health sensor data management platform called Wiki-Health. The proposed application “implants” virtual sensors in the human body by integrating environmental, geographic and personal sensor data with physiological models to compute temperature estimations of various parts of the body. The feasibility of the proposed virtual sensing service is supported by a case study. The ability to share computational models relevant to do calculations on measured data on the go is also discussed. Full article