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Informatics, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2019)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Computational Thinking and Down Syndrome: An Exploratory Study Using the KIBO Robot
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020025
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
Computational thinking and coding are key competencies in the 21st century. People with Down syndrome need to be part of this new literacy. For this reason, in this work, we present an exploratory study carried out with students with Down syndrome with cognitive [...] Read more.
Computational thinking and coding are key competencies in the 21st century. People with Down syndrome need to be part of this new literacy. For this reason, in this work, we present an exploratory study carried out with students with Down syndrome with cognitive ages of 3–6 years old using a tangible robot We applied the observational method during the sessions to analyze the participants’ emotional states, engagement, and comprehension of the programming sequences. Results show that people with cognitive disabilities can acquire basic programming and computational skills using tangible robots such as KIBO. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Improving the Translation Environment for Professional Translators
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020024
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
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Abstract
When using computer-aided translation systems in a typical, professional translation workflow, there are several stages at which there is room for improvement. The SCATE (Smart Computer-Aided Translation Environment) project investigated several of these aspects, both from a human-computer interaction point of view, as [...] Read more.
When using computer-aided translation systems in a typical, professional translation workflow, there are several stages at which there is room for improvement. The SCATE (Smart Computer-Aided Translation Environment) project investigated several of these aspects, both from a human-computer interaction point of view, as well as from a purely technological side. This paper describes the SCATE research with respect to improved fuzzy matching, parallel treebanks, the integration of translation memories with machine translation, quality estimation, terminology extraction from comparable texts, the use of speech recognition in the translation process, and human computer interaction and interface design for the professional translation environment. For each of these topics, we describe the experiments we performed and the conclusions drawn, providing an overview of the highlights of the entire SCATE project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Computer-Aided Translation Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Frame-Based Elicitation of Mid-Air Gestures for a Smart Home Device Ecosystem
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020023
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
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Abstract
If mid-air interaction is to be implemented in smart home environments, then the user would have to exercise in-air gestures to address and manipulate multiple devices. This paper investigates a user-defined gesture vocabulary for basic control of a smart home device ecosystem, consisting [...] Read more.
If mid-air interaction is to be implemented in smart home environments, then the user would have to exercise in-air gestures to address and manipulate multiple devices. This paper investigates a user-defined gesture vocabulary for basic control of a smart home device ecosystem, consisting of 7 devices and a total of 55 referents (commands for device) that can be grouped to 14 commands (that refer to more than one device). The elicitation study was conducted in a frame (general scenario) of use of all devices to support contextual relevance; also, the referents were presented with minimal affordances to minimize widget-specific proposals. In addition to computing agreement rates for all referents, we also computed the internal consistency of user proposals (single-user agreement for multiple commands). In all, 1047 gestures from 18 participants were recorded, analyzed, and paired with think-aloud data. The study reached to a mid-air gesture vocabulary for a smart-device ecosystem, which includes several gestures with very high, high and medium agreement rates. Furthermore, there was high consistency within most of the single-user gesture proposals, which reveals that each user developed and applied her/his own mental model about the whole set of interactions with the device ecosystem. Thus, we suggest that mid-air interaction support for smart homes should not only offer a built-in gesture set but also provide for functions of identification and definition of personalized gesture assignments to basic user commands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teaching HCI Skills in Higher Education through Game Design: A Study of Students’ Perceptions
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020022
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area with a wide range of concepts and knowledge. Therefore, a need to innovate in the teaching-learning processes to achieve an effective education arises. This article describes a proposal for teaching HCI through the development of projects that [...] Read more.
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area with a wide range of concepts and knowledge. Therefore, a need to innovate in the teaching-learning processes to achieve an effective education arises. This article describes a proposal for teaching HCI through the development of projects that allow students to acquire higher education competencies through the design and evaluation of computer games. Finally, an empirical validation (questionnaires and case study) with 40 undergraduate students (studying their fifth semester of software engineering) was applied at the end of the semester. The results indicated that this teaching method provides the students with the HCI skills (psychology of everyday things, involving users, task-centered system design, models of human behavior, creativity and metaphors, and graphical screen design) and, more importantly, they have a positive perception on the efficacy of the use of videogame design in a higher education course. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Co-Evolution Binary Particle Swarm Optimization with Multiple Inertia Weight Strategy for Feature Selection
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020021
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
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Abstract
Feature selection is a task of choosing the best combination of potential features that best describes the target concept during a classification process. However, selecting such relevant features becomes a difficult matter when large number of features are involved. Therefore, this study aims [...] Read more.
Feature selection is a task of choosing the best combination of potential features that best describes the target concept during a classification process. However, selecting such relevant features becomes a difficult matter when large number of features are involved. Therefore, this study aims to solve the feature selection problem using binary particle swarm optimization (BPSO). Nevertheless, BPSO has limitations of premature convergence and the setting of inertia weight. Hence, a new co-evolution binary particle swarm optimization with a multiple inertia weight strategy (CBPSO-MIWS) is proposed in this work. The proposed method is validated with ten benchmark datasets from UCI machine learning repository. To examine the effectiveness of proposed method, four recent and popular feature selection methods namely BPSO, genetic algorithm (GA), binary gravitational search algorithm (BGSA) and competitive binary grey wolf optimizer (CBGWO) are used in a performance comparison. Our results show that CBPSO-MIWS can achieve competitive performance in feature selection, which is appropriate for application in engineering, rehabilitation and clinical areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Conceptualization and Non-Relational Implementation of Ontological and Epistemic Vagueness of Information in Digital Humanities
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020020
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
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Abstract
Research in the digital humanities often involves vague information, either because our objects of study lack clearly defined boundaries, or because our knowledge about them is incomplete or hypothetical, which is especially true in disciplines about our past (such as history, archaeology, and [...] Read more.
Research in the digital humanities often involves vague information, either because our objects of study lack clearly defined boundaries, or because our knowledge about them is incomplete or hypothetical, which is especially true in disciplines about our past (such as history, archaeology, and classical studies). Most techniques used to represent data vagueness emerged from natural sciences, and lack the expressiveness that would be ideal for humanistic contexts. Building on previous work, we present here a conceptual framework based on the ConML modelling language for the expression of information vagueness in digital humanities. In addition, we propose an implementation on non-relational data stores, which are becoming popular within the digital humanities. Having clear implementation guidelines allow us to employ search engines or big data systems (commonly implemented using non-relational approaches) to handle the vague aspects of information. The proposed implementation guidelines have been validated in practice, and show how we can query a vagueness-aware system without a large penalty in analytical and processing power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uncertainty in Digital Humanities)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Semantic Similarity with Cross-Lingual Resources: A Study in Bangla—A Low Resourced Language
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020019
Received: 17 February 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
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Abstract
Semantic similarity is a long-standing problem in natural language processing (NLP). It is a topic of great interest as its understanding can provide a look into how human beings comprehend meaning and make associations between words. However, when this problem is looked at [...] Read more.
Semantic similarity is a long-standing problem in natural language processing (NLP). It is a topic of great interest as its understanding can provide a look into how human beings comprehend meaning and make associations between words. However, when this problem is looked at from the viewpoint of machine understanding, particularly for under resourced languages, it poses a different problem altogether. In this paper, semantic similarity is explored in Bangla, a less resourced language. For ameliorating the situation in such languages, the most rudimentary method (path-based) and the latest state-of-the-art method (Word2Vec) for semantic similarity calculation were augmented using cross-lingual resources in English and the results obtained are truly astonishing. In the presented paper, two semantic similarity approaches have been explored in Bangla, namely the path-based and distributional model and their cross-lingual counterparts were synthesized in light of the English WordNet and Corpora. The proposed methods were evaluated on a dataset comprising of 162 Bangla word pairs, which were annotated by five expert raters. The correlation scores obtained between the four metrics and human evaluation scores demonstrate a marked enhancement that the cross-lingual approach brings into the process of semantic similarity calculation for Bangla. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Motion Artifacts on Self-Avatar Agency
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020018
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
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Abstract
One way of achieving self-agency in virtual environments is by using a motion capture system and retargeting user’s motion to the virtual avatar. In this study, we investigated whether the self-agency is affected when motion artifacts appear on top of the baseline motion [...] Read more.
One way of achieving self-agency in virtual environments is by using a motion capture system and retargeting user’s motion to the virtual avatar. In this study, we investigated whether the self-agency is affected when motion artifacts appear on top of the baseline motion capture data assigned to the self-avatar. For this experiment, we implemented four artifacts: noise, latency, motion jump, and offset rotation of joints. The data provided directly from the motion capture system formed the baseline of the study. We developed three observation tasks to assess self-agency: self-observation, observation through a virtual mirror, and observation during locomotion. A questionnaire was adopted and used to capture the self-agency of participants. We analyzed the collected responses of participants to determine whether the motion artifacts significantly altered the participants’ sense of self-agency. The obtained results indicated that participants are not always sensitive to the motion artifacts assigned to the self-avatar, but the sense of self-agency is dependent on the observation task they were asked to perform. Implications for further research are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Evidence Transfer on Latent Feature Relevance for Clustering
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020017
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Evidence transfer for clustering is a deep learning method that manipulates the latent representations of an autoencoder according to external categorical evidence with the effect of improving a clustering outcome. Evidence transfer’s application on clustering is designed to be robust when introduced with [...] Read more.
Evidence transfer for clustering is a deep learning method that manipulates the latent representations of an autoencoder according to external categorical evidence with the effect of improving a clustering outcome. Evidence transfer’s application on clustering is designed to be robust when introduced with a low quality of evidence, while increasing the effectiveness of the clustering accuracy during relevant corresponding evidence. We interpret the effects of evidence transfer on the latent representation of an autoencoder by comparing our method to the information bottleneck method. Information bottleneck is an optimisation problem of finding the best tradeoff between maximising the mutual information of data representations and a task outcome while at the same time being effective in compressing the original data source. We posit that the evidence transfer method has essentially the same objective regarding the latent representations produced by an autoencoder. We verify our hypothesis using information theoretic metrics from feature selection in order to perform an empirical analysis over the information that is carried through the bottleneck of the latent space. We use the relevance metric to compare the overall mutual information between the latent representations and the ground truth labels before and after their incremental manipulation, as well as, to study the effects of evidence transfer regarding the significance of each latent feature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Selection Meets Deep Learning)
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Open AccessArticle
RadViz++: Improvements on Radial-Based Visualizations
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020016
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1463 | PDF Full-text (17081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
RadViz is one of the few methods in Visual Analytics able to project high-dimensional data and explain formed structures in terms of data variables. However, RadViz methods have several limitations in terms of scalability in the number of variables, ambiguities created in the [...] Read more.
RadViz is one of the few methods in Visual Analytics able to project high-dimensional data and explain formed structures in terms of data variables. However, RadViz methods have several limitations in terms of scalability in the number of variables, ambiguities created in the projection by the placement of variables along the circular design space, and ability to segregate similar instances into visual clusters. To address these limitations, we propose RadViz++, a set of techniques for interactive exploration of high-dimensional data using a RadViz-type metaphor. We demonstrate the added value of our method by comparing it with existing high-dimensional visualization methods, and also by analyzing a complex real-world dataset having over a hundred variables. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Understanding the EMR-Related Experiences of Pregnant Japanese Women to Redesign Antenatal Care EMR Systems
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020015
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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Abstract
Woman-centered antenatal care necessitates Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems that respect women’s preferences. However, women’s preferences regarding EMR systems in antenatal care remain unknown. This work aims to understand the EMR-related experiences that pregnant Japanese women want. First, we conducted a field-based observational [...] Read more.
Woman-centered antenatal care necessitates Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems that respect women’s preferences. However, women’s preferences regarding EMR systems in antenatal care remain unknown. This work aims to understand the EMR-related experiences that pregnant Japanese women want. First, we conducted a field-based observational study at an antenatal care clinic at a Japanese university hospital. We analyzed the data following a thematic analysis approach and found multiple EMR-related experiences that pregnant women encounter during antenatal care. Based on the observations’ findings, we administered a web survey to 413 recently pregnant Japanese women to understand their attitudes regarding the EMR-related experiences. Our results show that pregnant Japanese women want accessible, exchangeable, and biopsychosocial EMRs. They also want EMR-enabled explanations and summaries. Interestingly, differences in their demographics and stages of pregnancy affected their attitudes towards some EMR-related experiences. To respect their preferences, we propose amplifying the roles of EMR systems as tools that promote communication and woman-centeredness in antenatal care. We also propose expanding the EMR design mindset from a biomedical to a biopsychosocial-oriented one. Finally, to accommodate the differences in individual needs and preferences, we propose the design of adaptable person-centered EMR systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data-Driven Healthcare Research)
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