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Semantic and Fuzzy Modelling for Human Behaviour Recognition in Smart Spaces: A Case Study on Ambient Assisted Living

Natalia Díaz Rodríguez, Semantic and Fuzzy Modelling for Human Behaviour Recognition in Smart Spaces: A Case Study on Ambient Assisted Living. TUCS Dissertation Series 186. Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and University of Granada (Spain), 2015.


Human activity recognition in everyday environments is a critical, but challenging task in Ambient Intelligence applications to achieve proper Ambient Assisted Living, and key challenges still remain to be dealt with to realize robust methods. One of the major limitations of the Ambient Intelligence systems today is the lack of semantic models of those activities on the environment, so that the system can recognize the specific activity being performed by the user(s) and act accordingly. In this context, this thesis addresses the general problem of knowledge representation in Smart Spaces. The main objective is to develop knowledge-based models, equipped with semantics to learn, infer and monitor human behaviours in Smart Spaces. Moreover, it is easy to recognize that some aspects of this problem have a high degree of uncertainty, and therefore, the developed models must be equipped with mechanisms to manage this type of information.

A fuzzy ontology and a semantic hybrid system are presented to allow modelling and recognition of a set of complex real-life scenarios where vagueness and uncertainty are inherent to the human nature of the users that perform it. The handling of uncertain, incomplete and vague data (i.e., missing sensor readings and activity execution variations, since human behaviour is non-deterministic) is approached for the first time through a fuzzy ontology validated on real-time settings within a hybrid data-driven and knowledge-based architecture. The semantics of activities, sub-activities and real-time object interaction are taken into consideration. The proposed framework consists of two main modules: the low-level sub-activity recognizer and the high-level activity recognizer. The first module detects sub-activities (i.e., actions or basic activities) that take input data directly from a depth sensor (Kinect).

The main contribution of this thesis tackles the second component of the hybrid system, which lays on top of the previous one, in a superior level of abstraction, and acquires the input data from the first module's output, and executes ontological inference to provide users, activities and their influence in the environment, with semantics. This component is thus knowledge-based, and a fuzzy ontology was designed to model the high-level activities. Since activity recognition requires context-awareness and the ability to discriminate among activities in different environments, the semantic framework allows for modelling common-sense knowledge in the form of a rule-based system that supports expressions close to natural language in the form of fuzzy linguistic labels.
The framework advantages have been evaluated with a challenging and new public dataset, CAD-120, achieving an accuracy of 90.1% and 91.1% respectively for low and high-level activities. This entails an improvement over both, entirely data-driven approaches, and merely ontology-based approaches.

As an added value, for the system to be sufficiently simple and flexible to be managed by non-expert users, and thus, facilitate the transfer of research to industry, a development framework composed by a programming toolbox, a hybrid crisp and fuzzy architecture, and graphical models to represent and configure human behaviour in Smart Spaces, were developed in order to provide the framework with more usability in the final application. As a result, human behaviour recognition can help assisting people with special needs such as in healthcare, independent elderly living, in remote rehabilitation monitoring, industrial process guideline control, and many other cases. This thesis shows use cases in these areas.


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BibTeX entry:

  title = {Semantic and Fuzzy Modelling for Human Behaviour Recognition in Smart Spaces: A Case Study on Ambient Assisted Living},
  author = {Díaz Rodríguez, Natalia},
  number = {186},
  series = {TUCS Dissertation Series},
  school = {Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and University of Granada (Spain)},
  year = {2015},
  keywords = {Ambient Assisted Living, ontologies, fuzzy logic, Ambient Intelligence, Dynamic Time Warping, Knowledge Engineering, Semantic Web, Uncertainty, Activity Recognition},
  ISBN = {978-952-12-3138-4},
  ISSN = {1239-1883},

Belongs to TUCS Research Unit(s): Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESLAB)

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