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Informatics, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2017) – 6 articles

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Article
Visualizing 3D Terrain, Geo-Spatial Data, and Uncertainty
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4010006 - 08 Feb 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 7507
Abstract
Visualizing geo-spatial data embedded into a three-dimensional terrain is challenging. The problem becomes even more complex when uncertainty information needs to be presented as well. This paper addresses the question of how to visually communicate all three aspects: the 3D terrain, the geo-spatial [...] Read more.
Visualizing geo-spatial data embedded into a three-dimensional terrain is challenging. The problem becomes even more complex when uncertainty information needs to be presented as well. This paper addresses the question of how to visually communicate all three aspects: the 3D terrain, the geo-spatial data, and the data-associated uncertainty. We argue that visualizing all aspects with a high degree of detail will likely exceed the visual budget. Therefore, we propose a visualization strategy based on prioritizing a selected aspect and presenting the remaining two with less detail. We discuss various design options that allow us to obtain differently prioritized visual representations. Our approach has been implemented as a tool for rapid visualization prototyping in the context of avionics applications. Practical solutions are described for a use case related to the visualization of 3D terrain and uncertain weather data. Full article
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Article
Motivation and User Engagement in Fitness Tracking: Heuristics for Mobile Healthcare Wearables
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4010005 - 22 Jan 2017
Cited by 78 | Viewed by 16887
Abstract
Wearable fitness trackers have gained a new level of popularity due to their ambient data gathering and analysis. This has signalled a trend toward self-efficacy and increased motivation among users of these devices. For consumers looking to improve their health, fitness trackers offer [...] Read more.
Wearable fitness trackers have gained a new level of popularity due to their ambient data gathering and analysis. This has signalled a trend toward self-efficacy and increased motivation among users of these devices. For consumers looking to improve their health, fitness trackers offer a way to more readily gain motivation via the personal data-based insights the devices offer. However, the user experience (UX) that accompanies wearables is critical to helping users interpret, understand, gain motivation and act on their data. Despite this, there is little evidence as to specific aspects of fitness tracker user engagement and long-term motivation. We report on a 4-week situated diary study and Healthcare Technology Self-efficacy (HTSE) questionnaire assessment of 34 users of two popular American fitness trackers: JawBone and FitBit. The study results illustrate design implications and requirements for fitness trackers and other self-efficacy mobile healthcare applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Health 2016)
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Article
Player–Game Interaction and Cognitive Gameplay: A Taxonomic Framework for the Core Mechanic of Videogames
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4010004 - 13 Jan 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6276
Abstract
Cognitive gameplay—the cognitive dimension of a player’s experience—emerges from the interaction between a player and a game. While its design requires careful consideration, cognitive gameplay can be designed only indirectly via the design of game components. In this paper, we focus on one [...] Read more.
Cognitive gameplay—the cognitive dimension of a player’s experience—emerges from the interaction between a player and a game. While its design requires careful consideration, cognitive gameplay can be designed only indirectly via the design of game components. In this paper, we focus on one such component—the core mechanic—which binds a player and game together through the performance of essential interactions. Little extant research has been aimed at developing frameworks to support the design of interactions within the core mechanic with cognitive gameplay in mind. We present a taxonomic framework named INFORM (Interaction desigN For the cORe Mechanic) to address this gap. INFORM employs twelve micro-level elements that collectively give structure to any individual interaction within the core mechanic. We characterize these elements in the context of videogames, and discuss their potential influences on cognitive gameplay. We situate these elements within a broader framework that synthesizes concepts relevant to game design. INFORM is a descriptive framework, and provides a common vocabulary and a set of concepts that designers can use to think systematically about issues related to micro-level interaction design and cognitive gameplay. Full article
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Article
Alt-Splice Gene Predictor Using Multitrack-Clique Analysis: Verification of Statistical Support for Modelling in Genomes of Multicellular Eukaryotes
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4010003 - 12 Jan 2017
Viewed by 4557
Abstract
One of the main limitations of the typical hidden Markov model (HMM) implementation for gene structure identification is that a single structure is identified on a given sequence of genomic data—i.e., identification of overlapping structure is not directly possible, and certainly not possible [...] Read more.
One of the main limitations of the typical hidden Markov model (HMM) implementation for gene structure identification is that a single structure is identified on a given sequence of genomic data—i.e., identification of overlapping structure is not directly possible, and certainly not possible within the confines of the optimal Viterbi path evaluation. This is a huge limitation given that we now know that significant portions of eukaryotic genomes, particularly mammalian genomes, are alternatively spliced, and, thus, have overlapping structure in the sense of the mRNA transcripts that result. Using the general meta-state HMM approach developed in prior work, however, more than one ‘track’ of annotation can be accommodated, thereby allowing a direct implementation of an alternative-splice gene-structure identifier. In this paper we examine the representation of alternative splicing annotation in the multi-track context, and show that the proliferation on states is manageable, and has sufficient statistical support on the genomes examined (human, mouse, worm, and fly) that a full alt-splice meta-state HMM gene finder can be implemented with sufficient statistical support. In the process of performing the alternative splicing analysis on alt-splice event counts we expected to see an increase in alternative splicing complexity as the organism becomes more complex, and this is seen with the percentage of genes with alt-splice variants increasing from worm to fly to the mammalian genomes (mouse and human). Of particular note is an increase in alternative splicing variants at the start and end of coding with the more complex organisms studied (mouse and human), indicating rapid new first and last exon recruitment that is possibly spliceosome mediated. This suggests that spliceosome-mediated refinements (acceleration) of gene structure variation and selection, with increasing levels of sophistication, has occurred in eukaryotes and in mammals especially. Full article
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Editorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Informatics in 2016
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4010002 - 11 Jan 2017
Viewed by 4124
Abstract
The editors of Informatics would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Article
Preferences of Informal Carers on Technology Packages to Support Meal Production by People Living with Dementia, Elicited from Personalised AT and ICT Product Brochures
Informatics 2017, 4(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics4010001 - 05 Jan 2017
Viewed by 5653
Abstract
Assistive technology (AT) can help support the continued independence of people living with dementia, supported by informal carers. Opinions and preferences of informal carers towards a range of assistive and digital information and communication technologies (ICT) to support food purchase and menu selection, [...] Read more.
Assistive technology (AT) can help support the continued independence of people living with dementia, supported by informal carers. Opinions and preferences of informal carers towards a range of assistive and digital information and communication technologies (ICT) to support food purchase and menu selection, including navigation and online shopping, and safe meal-making by individuals living with dementia were investigated. General attitudes and experiences with assistive technologies were first probed by means of a focus group with carers (n = 6), organised through the Alzheimer’s Society in Nottingham, England. A series of AT/ICT product brochures were then produced, describing packages of technologies to enable meal production. Task-specific questions were asked of carers (n = 10) at local Memory Cafés as to the perceived capabilities of each individual for shopping and meal-making. Carers were asked to make pair-wise choices in order to select a personalised brochure and to complete a questionnaire to elicit the practicality, desirability and affordability of specific products and to probe for preferences amongst key features. Opinions on ease-of-use, aesthetics, expected safety-in-use, independence of use and stigma related to the technology packages were also collected. Results showed that carers are able to make detailed choices and express preferences about assistive and digital technologies for the individuals in their care, and customise their enabler package. Most believed that having an enabler package would improve safety. Greater exposure of carers to newer digital products would be beneficial. The brochure method could be employed on consumer websites and by AT assessors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Health 2016)
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