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Special Issue "Select papers from UCAmI & IWAAL 2012 - the 6th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence & 4th International Workshop on Ambient Assisted Living (UCAmI & IWAAL 2012)"

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A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Ramón Hervás

MAml Research Lab, Castilla La-Mancha University, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 0034926295300-Ext96675
Interests: ambient intelligence; ubiquitous computing; context-awareness; information visualization; knowledge management; natural interaction
Guest Editor
Dr. Vladimir Villarreal

Technological University of Panamá, Panamá, Republic of Panama
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ambient assisted living; software architecture development; homecare; mobile patterns; medical ontologies design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 6th International Symposium on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence & 4th International Workshop on Ambient Assisted Living (UCAmI & IWAAL 2012) will be held on 3-5 December 2012, in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain).

Traditionally, the science and technology of sensors and biosensors has a remarkable influence on UCAmI & IWAAL conferences. Thus, both academia and industry are invited to submit papers about any of following topics of interest:

  • [SEN] Analytical methods, modelling, and software for sensors on Intelligent Environments.
  • [ECO] Use of sensors for environmental monitoring. Smart Control for eco-friendly devices and building. Green Computing.
  • [HCI] Human-Centric Interfaces for AmI environments (multi-modal, touch computing, NFC, 2D codes). Smart-objects-based interaction, persuasive computing and tangible interactions. Virtual and Augmented Reality.
  • [DIS] Ubiquitous and ambient displays environments, wall displays, urban displays, multi-screen Environments. Information Visualization.
  • [NET] Smart sensors. Mobile Ad-hoc networks and wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Middleware.
  • [ROB] Assistive & Social robotics.
  • [SEM] Identification and sensing for Context-awareness. Internet of things. Knowledge Representation and Management
  • [MON] Monitoring, Activity recognition and vital signs monitoring.
  • [AAL] Sensing for Ambient Assisted Living

Dr. Ramón Hervás
Dr. Vladimir Villarreal
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Ubiquitous Virtual Private Network: A Solution for WSN Seamless Integration
Sensors 2014, 14(1), 779-794; doi:10.3390/s140100779
Received: 5 November 2013 / Revised: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 6 January 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sensor networks are becoming an essential part of ubiquitous systems and applications. However, there are no well-defined protocols or mechanisms to access the sensor network from the enterprise information system. We consider this issue as a heterogeneous network interconnection problem, and as a
[...] Read more.
Sensor networks are becoming an essential part of ubiquitous systems and applications. However, there are no well-defined protocols or mechanisms to access the sensor network from the enterprise information system. We consider this issue as a heterogeneous network interconnection problem, and as a result, the same concepts may be applied. Specifically, we propose the use of object-oriented middlewares to provide a virtual private network in which all involved elements (sensor nodes or computer applications) will be able to communicate as if all of them were in a single and uniform network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On the Support of Scientific Workflows over Pub/Sub Brokers
Sensors 2013, 13(8), 10954-10980; doi:10.3390/s130810954
Received: 9 July 2013 / Revised: 7 August 2013 / Accepted: 14 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (655 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The execution of scientific workflows is gaining importance as more computing resources are available in the form of grid environments. The Publish/Subscribe paradigm offers well-proven solutions for sustaining distributed scenarios while maintaining the high level of task decoupling required by scientific workflows. In
[...] Read more.
The execution of scientific workflows is gaining importance as more computing resources are available in the form of grid environments. The Publish/Subscribe paradigm offers well-proven solutions for sustaining distributed scenarios while maintaining the high level of task decoupling required by scientific workflows. In this paper, we propose a new model for supporting scientific workflows that improves the dissemination of control events. The proposed solution is based on the mapping of workflow tasks to the underlying Pub/Sub event layer, and the definition of interfaces and procedures for execution on brokers. In this paper we also analyze the strengths and weaknesses of current solutions that are based on existing message exchange models for scientific workflows. Finally, we explain how our model improves the information dissemination, event filtering, task decoupling and the monitoring of scientific workflows. Full article
Open AccessArticle I Feel You: The Design and Evaluation of a Domotic Affect-Sensitive Spoken Conversational Agent
Sensors 2013, 13(8), 10519-10538; doi:10.3390/s130810519
Received: 20 June 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 31 July 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We describe the work on infusion of emotion into a limited-task autonomous spoken conversational agent situated in the domestic environment, using a need-inspired task-independent emotion model (NEMO). In order to demonstrate the generation of affect through the use of the model, we describe
[...] Read more.
We describe the work on infusion of emotion into a limited-task autonomous spoken conversational agent situated in the domestic environment, using a need-inspired task-independent emotion model (NEMO). In order to demonstrate the generation of affect through the use of the model, we describe the work of integrating it with a natural-language mixed-initiative HiFi-control spoken conversational agent (SCA). NEMO and the host system communicate externally, removing the need for the Dialog Manager to be modified, as is done in most existing dialog systems, in order to be adaptive. The first part of the paper concerns the integration between NEMO and the host agent. The second part summarizes the work on automatic affect prediction, namely, frustration and contentment, from dialog features, a non-conventional source, in the attempt of moving towards a more user-centric approach. The final part reports the evaluation results obtained from a user study, in which both versions of the agent (non-adaptive and emotionally-adaptive) were compared. The results provide substantial evidences with respect to the benefits of adding emotion in a spoken conversational agent, especially in mitigating users’ frustrations and, ultimately, improving their satisfaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Infrastructure to Enable Lightweight Context-Awareness for Mobile Users
Sensors 2013, 13(8), 9635-9652; doi:10.3390/s130809635
Received: 10 June 2013 / Revised: 22 July 2013 / Accepted: 23 July 2013 / Published: 29 July 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (945 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mobile phones enable us to carry out a wider range of tasks every day, and as a result they have become more ubiquitous than ever. However, they are still more limited in terms of processing power and interaction capabilities than traditional computers, and
[...] Read more.
Mobile phones enable us to carry out a wider range of tasks every day, and as a result they have become more ubiquitous than ever. However, they are still more limited in terms of processing power and interaction capabilities than traditional computers, and the often distracting and time-constricted scenarios in which we use them do not help in alleviating these limitations. Context-awareness is a valuable technique to address these issues, as it enables to adapt application behaviour to each situation. In this paper we present a context management infrastructure for mobile environments, aimed at controlling context information life-cycle in this kind of scenarios, with the main goal of enabling application and services to adapt their behaviour to better meet end-user needs. This infrastructure relies on semantic technologies and open standards to improve interoperability, and is based on a central element, the context manager. This element acts as a central context repository and takes most of the computational burden derived from dealing with this kind of information, thus relieving from these tasks to more resource-scarce devices in the system. Full article
Open AccessArticle AmI and Deployment Considerations in AAL Services Provision for Elderly Independent Living: The MonAMI Project
Sensors 2013, 13(7), 8950-8976; doi:10.3390/s130708950
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 8 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The MonAMI project aims to investigate the feasibility of the deployment of open platforms for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) services provision based on Ambient Intelligence (AmI) and to test user acceptance and the usability of the services. Services were designed to provide support
[...] Read more.
The MonAMI project aims to investigate the feasibility of the deployment of open platforms for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) services provision based on Ambient Intelligence (AmI) and to test user acceptance and the usability of the services. Services were designed to provide support in the areas of environmental control, security, well-being and leisure. These services were installed and evaluated in a Spanish geriatric residence. The participants included elderly persons with disabilities, nursing home care givers and informal carers. The concept of the open platform proved to be satisfactory for the provision of the services in a context aware framework. Furthermore, the usability of the technology was viewed positively and the overall results indicate that this system has the potential to prolong independent living at home for elderly people with disabilities. Deployment was proven successful and awareness of open-platform AAL service delivery was raised in local communities throughout Europe. Full article
Open AccessArticle On the Use of Simple Geometric Descriptors Provided by RGB-D Sensors for Re-Identification
Sensors 2013, 13(7), 8222-8238; doi:10.3390/s130708222
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 7 June 2013 / Accepted: 20 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3494 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The re-identification problem has been commonly accomplished using appearance features based on salient points and color information. In this paper, we focus on the possibilities that simple geometric features obtained from depth images captured with RGB-D cameras may offer for the task, particularly
[...] Read more.
The re-identification problem has been commonly accomplished using appearance features based on salient points and color information. In this paper, we focus on the possibilities that simple geometric features obtained from depth images captured with RGB-D cameras may offer for the task, particularly working under severe illumination conditions. The results achieved for different sets of simple geometric features extracted in a top-view setup seem to provide useful descriptors for the re-identification task, which can be integrated in an ambient intelligent environment as part of a sensor network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Context Management Platform for Tourism Applications
Sensors 2013, 13(7), 8060-8078; doi:10.3390/s130708060
Received: 3 May 2013 / Revised: 14 June 2013 / Accepted: 17 June 2013 / Published: 24 June 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The notion of context has been widely studied and there are several authors that have proposed different definitions of context. However, context has not been widely studied in the framework of human mobility and the notion of context has been imported directly from
[...] Read more.
The notion of context has been widely studied and there are several authors that have proposed different definitions of context. However, context has not been widely studied in the framework of human mobility and the notion of context has been imported directly from other computing fields without specifically addressing the tourism domain requirements. In order to store and manage context information a context data model and a context management platform are needed. Ontologies have been widely used in context modelling, but many of them are designed to be applied in general ubiquitous computing environments, do not contain specific concepts related to the tourism domain or some approaches do not contain enough concepts to represent context information related to the visitor on the move. That is why we propose a new approach to provide a better solution to model context data in tourism environments, adding more value to our solution reusing data about tourist resources from an Open Data repository and publishing it as Linked Data. We also propose the architecture for a context information management platform based on this context data model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Deployment and Validation of a Smart System for Screening of Language Disorders in Primary Care
Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7522-7545; doi:10.3390/s130607522
Received: 19 April 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 4 June 2013 / Published: 10 June 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neuro-evolutive development from birth until the age of six years is a decisive factor in a child’s quality of life. Early detection of development disorders in early childhood can facilitate necessary diagnosis and/or treatment. Primary-care pediatricians play a key role in its detection
[...] Read more.
Neuro-evolutive development from birth until the age of six years is a decisive factor in a child’s quality of life. Early detection of development disorders in early childhood can facilitate necessary diagnosis and/or treatment. Primary-care pediatricians play a key role in its detection as they can undertake the preventive and therapeutic actions requested to promote a child’s optimal development. However, the lack of time and little specific knowledge at primary-care avoid to applying continuous early-detection anomalies procedures. This research paper focuses on the deployment and evaluation of a smart system that enhances the screening of language disorders in primary care. Pediatricians get support to proceed with early referral of language disorders. The proposed model provides them with a decision-support tool for referral actions to trigger essential diagnostic and/or therapeutic actions for a comprehensive individual development. The research was conducted by starting from a sample of 60 cases of children with language disorders. Validation was carried out through two complementary steps: first, by including a team of seven experts from the fields of neonatology, pediatrics, neurology and language therapy, and, second, through the evaluation of 21 more previously diagnosed cases. The results obtained show that therapist positively accepted the system proposal in 18 cases (86%) and suggested system redesign for single referral to a speech therapist in three remaining cases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Accurate Human Tissue Characterization for Energy-Efficient Wireless On-Body Communications
Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7546-7569; doi:10.3390/s130607546
Received: 29 March 2013 / Revised: 27 May 2013 / Accepted: 3 June 2013 / Published: 10 June 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1064 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The demand for Wireless Body Sensor Networks (WBSNs) is rapidly increasing due to the revolution in wearable systems demonstrated by the penetration of on-the-body sensors in hospitals, sports medicine and general health-care practices. In WBSN, the body acts as a communication channel for
[...] Read more.
The demand for Wireless Body Sensor Networks (WBSNs) is rapidly increasing due to the revolution in wearable systems demonstrated by the penetration of on-the-body sensors in hospitals, sports medicine and general health-care practices. In WBSN, the body acts as a communication channel for the propagation of electromagnetic (EM) waves, where losses are mainly due to absorption of power in the tissue. This paper shows the effects of the dielectric properties of biological tissues in the signal strength and, for the first time, relates these effects with the human body composition. After a careful analysis of results, this work proposes a reactive algorithm for power transmission to alleviate the effect of body movement and body type. This policy achieves up to 40.8% energy savings in a realistic scenario with no performance overhead. Full article
Open AccessArticle Semantic Framework for Social Robot Self-Configuration
Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7004-7020; doi:10.3390/s130607004
Received: 22 March 2013 / Revised: 14 May 2013 / Accepted: 15 May 2013 / Published: 28 May 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Healthcare environments, as many other real world environments, present many changing and unpredictable situations. In order to use a social robot in such an environment, the robot has to be prepared to deal with all the changing situations. This paper presents a robot
[...] Read more.
Healthcare environments, as many other real world environments, present many changing and unpredictable situations. In order to use a social robot in such an environment, the robot has to be prepared to deal with all the changing situations. This paper presents a robot self-configuration approach to overcome suitably the commented problems. The approach is based on the integration of a semantic framework, where a reasoner can take decisions about the configuration of robot services and resources. An ontology has been designed to model the robot and the relevant context information. Besides rules are used to encode human knowledge and serve as policies for the reasoner. The approach has been successfully implemented in a mobile robot, which showed to be more capable of solving situations not pre-designed. Full article
Open AccessArticle On the Selection of Non-Invasive Methods Based on Speech Analysis Oriented to Automatic Alzheimer Disease Diagnosis
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6730-6745; doi:10.3390/s130506730
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The work presented here is part of a larger study to identify novel technologies and biomarkers for early Alzheimer disease (AD) detection and it focuses on evaluating the suitability of a new approach for early AD diagnosis by non-invasive methods. The purpose is
[...] Read more.
The work presented here is part of a larger study to identify novel technologies and biomarkers for early Alzheimer disease (AD) detection and it focuses on evaluating the suitability of a new approach for early AD diagnosis by non-invasive methods. The purpose is to examine in a pilot study the potential of applying intelligent algorithms to speech features obtained from suspected patients in order to contribute to the improvement of diagnosis of AD and its degree of severity. In this sense, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) have been used for the automatic classification of the two classes (AD and control subjects). Two human issues have been analyzed for feature selection: Spontaneous Speech and Emotional Response. Not only linear features but also non-linear ones, such as Fractal Dimension, have been explored. The approach is non invasive, low cost and without any side effects. Obtained experimental results were very satisfactory and promising for early diagnosis and classification of AD patients. Full article
Open AccessArticle IPv6 Addressing Proxy: Mapping Native Addressing from Legacy Technologies and Devices to the Internet of Things (IPv6)
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6687-6712; doi:10.3390/s130506687
Received: 19 March 2013 / Revised: 24 April 2013 / Accepted: 10 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sensors utilize a large number of heterogeneous technologies for a varied set of application environments. The sheer number of devices involved requires that this Internet be the Future Internet, with a core network based on IPv6 and a higher scalability in order to
[...] Read more.
Sensors utilize a large number of heterogeneous technologies for a varied set of application environments. The sheer number of devices involved requires that this Internet be the Future Internet, with a core network based on IPv6 and a higher scalability in order to be able to address all the devices, sensors and things located around us. This capability to connect through IPv6 devices, sensors and things is what is defining the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). IPv6 provides addressing space to reach this ubiquitous set of sensors, but legacy technologies, such as X10, European Installation Bus (EIB), Controller Area Network (CAN) and radio frequency ID (RFID) from the industrial, home automation and logistic application areas, do not support the IPv6 protocol. For that reason, a technique must be devised to map the sensor and identification technologies to IPv6, thus allowing homogeneous access via IPv6 features in the context of the IoT. This paper proposes a mapping between the native addressing of each technology and an IPv6 address following a set of rules that are discussed and proposed in this work. Specifically, the paper presents a technology-dependent IPv6 addressing proxy, which maps each device to the different subnetworks built under the IPv6 prefix addresses provided by the internet service provider for each home, building or user. The IPv6 addressing proxy offers a common addressing environment based on IPv6 for all the devices, regardless of the device technology. Thereby, this offers a scalable and homogeneous solution to interact with devices that do not support IPv6 addressing. The IPv6 addressing proxy has been implemented in a multi-protocol Sensors 2013, 13 6688 card and evaluated successfully its performance, scalability and interoperability through a protocol built over IPv6. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Easy to Deploy Street Light Control System Based on Wireless Communication and LED Technology
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6492-6523; doi:10.3390/s130506492
Received: 21 March 2013 / Revised: 23 April 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 16 May 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1981 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an intelligent streetlight management system based on LED lamps, designed to facilitate its deployment in existing facilities. The proposed approach, which is based on wireless communication technologies, will minimize the cost of investment of traditional wired systems, which always need
[...] Read more.
This paper presents an intelligent streetlight management system based on LED lamps, designed to facilitate its deployment in existing facilities. The proposed approach, which is based on wireless communication technologies, will minimize the cost of investment of traditional wired systems, which always need civil engineering for burying of cable underground and consequently are more expensive than if the connection of the different nodes is made over the air. The deployed solution will be aware of their surrounding’s environmental conditions, a fact that will be approached for the system intelligence in order to learn, and later, apply dynamic rules. The knowledge of real time illumination needs, in terms of instant use of the street in which it is installed, will also feed our system, with the objective of providing tangible solutions to reduce energy consumption according to the contextual needs, an exact calculation of energy consumption and reliable mechanisms for preventive maintenance of facilities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mobile Monitoring and Reasoning Methods to Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6524-6541; doi:10.3390/s130506524
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 May 2013 / Published: 16 May 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the recent technological advances, it is possible to monitor vital signs using Bluetooth-enabled biometric mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or electric wristbands. In this manuscript, we present a system to estimate the risk of cardiovascular diseases in Ambient Assisted Living environments.
[...] Read more.
With the recent technological advances, it is possible to monitor vital signs using Bluetooth-enabled biometric mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or electric wristbands. In this manuscript, we present a system to estimate the risk of cardiovascular diseases in Ambient Assisted Living environments. Cardiovascular disease risk is obtained from the monitoring of the blood pressure by means of mobile devices in combination with other clinical factors, and applying reasoning techniques based on the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation Project charts. We have developed an end-to-end software application for patients and physicians and a rule-based reasoning engine. We have also proposed a conceptual module to integrate recommendations to patients in their daily activities based on information proactively inferred through reasoning techniques and context-awareness. To evaluate the platform, we carried out usability experiments and performance benchmarks. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Ubiquitous NFC Solution for the Development of Tailored Marketing Strategies Based on Discount Vouchers and Loyalty Cards
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6334-6354; doi:10.3390/s130506334
Received: 4 March 2013 / Revised: 15 April 2013 / Accepted: 9 May 2013 / Published: 14 May 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (792 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because of the global economic turmoil, nowadays a lot of companies are adopting a “deal of the day” business model, some of them with great success. Generally, they try to attract and retain customers through discount coupons and gift cards, using, generally, traditional
[...] Read more.
Because of the global economic turmoil, nowadays a lot of companies are adopting a “deal of the day” business model, some of them with great success. Generally, they try to attract and retain customers through discount coupons and gift cards, using, generally, traditional distribution media. This paper describes a framework, which integrates intelligent environments by using NFC, oriented to the full management of this kind of businesses. The system is responsible for diffusion, distribution, sourcing, validation, redemption and managing of vouchers, loyalty cards and all kind of mobile coupons using NFC, as well as QR codes. WingBonus can be fully adapted to the requirements of marketing campaigns, voucher providers, shop or retailer infrastructures and mobile devices and purchasing habits. Security of the voucher is granted by the system by synchronizing procedures using secure encriptation algorithms. The WingBonus website and mobile applications can be adapted to any requirement of the system actors. Full article
Open AccessArticle FTT-MA: A Flexible Time-Triggered Middleware Architecture for Time Sensitive, Resource-Aware AmI Systems
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6229-6253; doi:10.3390/s130506229
Received: 21 March 2013 / Revised: 4 May 2013 / Accepted: 7 May 2013 / Published: 13 May 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is an increasing number of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) systems that are time-sensitive and resource-aware. From healthcare to building and even home/office automation, it is now common to find systems combining interactive and sensing multimedia traffic with relatively simple sensors and actuators (door
[...] Read more.
There is an increasing number of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) systems that are time-sensitive and resource-aware. From healthcare to building and even home/office automation, it is now common to find systems combining interactive and sensing multimedia traffic with relatively simple sensors and actuators (door locks, presence detectors, RFIDs, HVAC, information panels, etc.). Many of these are today known as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Quite frequently, these systems must be capable of (1) prioritizing different traffic flows (process data, alarms, non-critical data, etc.), (2) synchronizing actions in several distributed devices and, to certain degree, (3) easing resource management (e.g., detecting faulty nodes, managing battery levels, handling overloads, etc.). This work presents FTT-MA, a high-level middleware architecture aimed at easing the design, deployment and operation of such AmI systems. FTT-MA ensures that both functional and non-functional aspects of the applications are met even during reconfiguration stages. The paper also proposes a methodology, together with a design tool, to create this kind of systems. Finally, a sample case study is presented that illustrates the use of the middleware and the methodology proposed in the paper. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Methodology and a Web Platform for the Collaborative Development of Context-Aware Systems
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 6032-6053; doi:10.3390/s130506032
Received: 21 March 2013 / Revised: 24 April 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Information and services personalization is essential for an optimal user experience. Systems have to be able to acquire data about the user’s context, process them in order to identify the user’s situation and finally, adapt the functionality of the system to that situation,
[...] Read more.
Information and services personalization is essential for an optimal user experience. Systems have to be able to acquire data about the user’s context, process them in order to identify the user’s situation and finally, adapt the functionality of the system to that situation, but the development of context-aware systems is complex. Data coming from distributed and heterogeneous sources have to be acquired, processed and managed. Several programming frameworks have been proposed in order to simplify the development of context-aware systems. These frameworks offer high-level application programming interfaces for programmers that complicate the involvement of domain experts in the development life-cycle. The participation of users that do not have programming skills but are experts in the application domain can speed up and improve the development process of these kinds of systems. Apart from that, there is a lack of methodologies to guide the development process. This article presents as main contributions, the implementation and evaluation of a web platform and a methodology to collaboratively develop context-aware systems by programmers and domain experts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Activity Recognition Using Hybrid Generative/Discriminative Models on Home Environments Using Binary Sensors
Sensors 2013, 13(5), 5460-5477; doi:10.3390/s130505460
Received: 27 February 2013 / Revised: 18 April 2013 / Accepted: 22 April 2013 / Published: 24 April 2013
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Activities of daily living are good indicators of elderly health status, and activity recognition in smart environments is a well-known problem that has been previously addressed by several studies. In this paper, we describe the use of two powerful machine learning schemes, ANN
[...] Read more.
Activities of daily living are good indicators of elderly health status, and activity recognition in smart environments is a well-known problem that has been previously addressed by several studies. In this paper, we describe the use of two powerful machine learning schemes, ANN (Artificial Neural Network) and SVM (Support Vector Machines), within the framework of HMM (Hidden Markov Model) in order to tackle the task of activity recognition in a home setting. The output scores of the discriminative models, after processing, are used as observation probabilities of the hybrid approach. We evaluate our approach by comparing these hybrid models with other classical activity recognition methods using five real datasets. We show how the hybrid models achieve significantly better recognition performance, with significance level p < 0:05, proving that the hybrid approach is better suited for the addressed domain. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis and Description of HOLTIN Service Provision for AECG monitoring in Complex Indoor Environments
Sensors 2013, 13(4), 4947-4960; doi:10.3390/s130404947
Received: 11 March 2013 / Revised: 9 April 2013 / Accepted: 10 April 2013 / Published: 12 April 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (2421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, a novel ambulatory ECG monitoring device developed in-house called HOLTIN is analyzed when operating in complex indoor scenarios. The HOLTIN system is described, from the technological platform level to its functional model. In addition, by using in-house 3D ray launching
[...] Read more.
In this work, a novel ambulatory ECG monitoring device developed in-house called HOLTIN is analyzed when operating in complex indoor scenarios. The HOLTIN system is described, from the technological platform level to its functional model. In addition, by using in-house 3D ray launching simulation code, the wireless channel behavior, which enables ubiquitous operation, is performed. The effect of human body presence is taken into account by a novel simplified model embedded within the 3D Ray Launching code. Simulation as well as measurement results are presented, showing good agreement. These results may aid in the adequate deployment of this novel device to automate conventional medical processes, increasing the coverage radius and optimizing energy consumption. Full article

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