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Representing and Reasoning about Complex Human Activities - an Activity-Centric Argumentation-Based Approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. (User Interaction and Knowledge Modelling)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6035-800X
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to develop theories and formal methods to endow a computing machinery with capabilities to identify, represent, reason and evaluate complex activities that are directed by an individual’s needs, goals, motives, preferences and environment, information which can be inconsistent and incomplete.

Current methods for formalising and reasoning about human activity are typically limited to basic actions, e.g., walking, sitting, sleeping, etc., excluding elements of an activity. This research proposes a new formal activity-centric model that captures complex human activity based on a systemic activity structure that is understood as a purposeful, social, mediated, hierarchically organized and continuously developing interaction between people and word.

This research has also resulted in a common-sense reasoning method based on argumentation, in order to provide defeasible explanations of the activity that an individual performs based on the activity-centric model of human activity. Reasoning about an activity is based on the novel notion of an argument under semantics-based inferences that is developed in this research, which allows the building of structured arguments and inferring consistent conclusions.

Structured arguments are used for explaining complex activities in a bottom-up manner, by introducing the notion of fragments of activity. Based on these fragments, consistent argumentation based interpretations of activity can be generated, which adhere to the activity-centric model of complex human activity.

For resembling the kind of deductive analysis that a clinician performs in the assessment of activities, two quantitative measurements for evaluating performance and capacity are introduced and formalized. By analysing these qualifiers using different argumentation semantics, information useful for different purposes can be generated. e.g., such as detecting risk in older adults for falling down, or more specific information about activity performance and activity completion. Both types of information can form the base for an intelligent machinery to provide tailored recommendation to an individual.

The contributions were implemented in different proof-of-concept systems, designed for evaluating complex activities and improving individual’s health in daily life. These systems were empirically evaluated with the purpose of evaluating theories and methodologies with potential users. The results have the potential to be utilized in domains such as ambient assisted living, assistive technology, activity assessment and self-management systems for improving health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2016. , 60 p.
Series
Report / UMINF, ISSN 0348-0542 ; 16.15
Keyword [en]
Complex activity, Argumentation Theory, Activity Theory, Logic programming, Knowledge representation, Common-sense reasoning, Artificial Intelligence
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120272ISBN: 978-91-7601-503-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120272DiVA: diva2:927778
Public defence
2016-06-07, MA121, MIT Huset, Umeå University campus, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-13 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Reasoning about human activities: an argumentative approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reasoning about human activities: an argumentative approach
2013 (English)In: 12th Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence (SCAI 2013), IOS Press, 2013, 195-204 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Recognizing and supporting human activities is an important challenge for ambient assisted living. In this paper we introduce a novel argumentation-based approach for dealing with human activity recognition. By considering a model of the world and a set of observations of the world, hypothetical fragments of activities are built. The hypothetical fragments of activities will be goal-oriented actions and they will be considered defeasible. Therefore we consider extension-based argumentation semantics for local selection of hypothetical fragments of activities. By considering degrees of fulfillment of activities and local selection, a global selection of hypothetical fragments of the activities is defined. Therefore, we can make explicit statements about why one hypothetical activity was performed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press: , 2013
Series
Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, ISSN 0922-6389 ; 257
Keyword
human activities recognition, argumentation reasoning
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79715 (URN)10.3233/978-1-61499-330-8-195 (DOI)000343477100021 ()978-1-61499-330-8 (ISBN)978-1-61499-329-2 (ISBN)
Conference
12th Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence (SCAI 2013), Aalborg, Denmark, November 20-22, 2013
Available from: 2013-09-16 Created: 2013-08-29 Last updated: 2016-05-13Bibliographically approved
2. Semantic-based construction of arguments: an answer set programming approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semantic-based construction of arguments: an answer set programming approach
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, ISSN 0888-613X, E-ISSN 1873-4731, Vol. 64, 54-74 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we introduce an argumentation approach which takes an extended logic program as input and gives a set of arguments with the respective disagreements among them as output. We establish the notion of an argument under the Well-Founded semantics and Stable semantics inferences, allowing us to identify arguments with stratified programs as support, even when the input for the argument engine is a non-stratified program. We propose a set of rationality postulates for argument-based systems under extended logic programs, which are based on a definition of closure for a set of clauses that consider the well-known Gelfond-Lifschitz reduction. We establish the conditions under which our approach satisfies these principles. In addition, we present a standalone argumentation-tool based on the XSB system which implements our argumentation approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Argumentation, Logic programming, Well-founded semantics, Argumentation tools, Stable model semantics, Answer set programming
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101451 (URN)10.1016/j.ijar.2015.06.009 (DOI)000359175800004 ()
Available from: 2015-03-30 Created: 2015-03-30 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Activity qualifiers in an argumentation framework as instruments for agents when evaluating human activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Activity qualifiers in an argumentation framework as instruments for agents when evaluating human activity
2016 (English)In: Advances in Practical Applications of Scalable Multi-agent Systems. The PAAMS Collection: 14th International Conference, PAAMS 2016, Sevilla, Spain, June 1-3, 2016, Proceedings / [ed] Yves Demazeau, Takayuki Ito, Javier Bajo, Maria José Escalona, Springer, 2016, Vol. 9662, 133-144 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Theoretical frameworks have been developed for enabling software agents to evaluate simple activities such as walking and sitting. However, such frameworks typically do not include methods for how practically dealing with uncertain sensor information. We developed an argument-based method for evaluating complex goal-based activities by adapting two qualifiers: Performance and Capacity defined in the health domain. The first one evaluates what a person does, and the second one how "well" or "bad" an activity is executed. Our aim is to deal with uncertainty and inconsistent information; generate consistent hypotheses about the activity execution; and resemble an expert therapist judgment, where an initial hypothesis assessment can be retracted under new evidence. We conducted a pilot test in order to evaluate our approach using a Physiotherapy assessment test as a goal-based activity. Results show that skeptic argumentation semantics are may be useful for discriminating individuals without physical issues by considering Performance and Capacity; conversely, credulous semantics may be suitable for obtaining information in the evaluation of activity, which an intelligent agent may use for providing personalized assistance in an ambient assisted living environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016
Series
Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9662
Keyword
Ambient assisted living, Intelligent agents, Argumentation theory, Argumentation semantics, Complex activities, Evaluation
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120277 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-39324-7_12 (DOI)000378992400012 ()978-3-319-39323-0 (ISBN)978-3-319-39324-7 (ISBN)
Conference
14th International Conference, PAAMS 2016, Sevilla, Spain, June 1-3, 2016
Available from: 2016-05-13 Created: 2016-05-13 Last updated: 2016-08-01Bibliographically approved
4. ALI, an ambient assisted living system for supporting behavior change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ALI, an ambient assisted living system for supporting behavior change
2013 (English)In: VIII Workshop on Agents Applied in Health Care (A2HC 2013), 2013, 81-92 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79520 (URN)
External cooperation:
Conference
VIII Workshop on Agents Applied in Health Care (A2HC 2013)
Available from: 2013-08-21 Created: 2013-08-21 Last updated: 2016-09-07Bibliographically approved
5. An activity-centric argumentation framework for assistive technology aimed at improving health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An activity-centric argumentation framework for assistive technology aimed at improving health
2016 (English)In: Argument & Computation, ISSN 1946-2174, Vol. 7, no 1, 5-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tailoring assistive systems for guiding and monitoring an individual in daily living activities is a complex task. This paper presents ALI, an assistive system combining a formal possibilistic argumentation system and an informal model of human activity: the Cultural-Historic Activity Theory, facilitating the delivery of tailored advices to a human actor. We follow an activity-centric approach, taking into consideration the human’s motives, goals and prioritized actions. ALI tracks a person in order to I) determine what activities were performed over a period of time (activity recognition tracking), and II) send personalized notifications suggesting the most suitable activities to perform (decision-making monitoring). The ALI system was evaluated in a formative pilot study related to promote social activities and physical exercise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2016
Keyword
Argumentation, decision-making, assisted living systems, activity theory, mobile, Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, activity recognition
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120278 (URN)10.3233/AAC-160004 (DOI)000390247800003 ()
Available from: 2016-05-13 Created: 2016-05-13 Last updated: 2017-01-14Bibliographically approved

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