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  • 1.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Adaptive human-agent dialogues for reasoning about health2014Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this research is to develop new theories, methods and technology, which enables adaptive and personalised dialogues between a human and a software agent, to handle everyday queries about health that are perceived as meaningful and useful to the human. Some of the challenges to build such human-agent dialogue system are the following. The agent needs to have knowledge about the human, the topic of the dialogue, the knowledge domain of the topic, and also about the physical and social environment. Moreover, the agent must know about itself, its role, purpose and limitations. It must know how to be cooperative and be able to behave and express with empathy while conducting a dialogue activity. In some situations, it needs to reason and make decisions about a topic together with the human and about its own behavior. To be able to do this, it needs the capability to evaluate its behavior in the context in which the dialogue takes place. These challenges are addressed by developing formal semantic models to provide the agent with tools to build their knowledge and to be able to reason and make decisions. These models were developed based on literature studies, theories of human activity, argumentation theory, personas and scenarios.

    The models were formalised and implemented using Semantic Web technology, and integrated into a human-agent dialogue system. The system was evaluated with a group of therapists and a group of elderly people, who showed curiosity and interest in having dialogues with a software agent on various topics.

    The formal models that the agent constructs are adapted to the specific situation and to the human actor participating in a dialogue. They are based on four models: a model with knowledge about the human actor, a model of itself, a domain model, and a dialogue activity model. The dialogue activity is based on argumentation schemes, which function as patterns of reasoning and for the dialogue execution. These models allow the agent and the human actor to conduct flexible and nested sub-dialogues with different purposes within a main dialogue about a topic. The agent can adapt its moves to the human actor's trail of reasoning, to the human's priorities and goals, and to some human's emotional state. A method for the agent to be able to evaluate its behavior was also developed and evaluated. The proportion of appropriate moves in relation to the local context of earlier moves in the dialogue was 90% in the pilot study, which indicates that the agent's strategies for selecting moves can be improved.

    Future research will focus on further development of reasoning methods, learning and assessment methods, and interface design. The results will be applied to additional knowledge domains to test its domain independence and will be evaluated with different groups of potential users.

  • 2.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Janols, Rebecka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Guerrero, Esteban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    A Multipurpose Goal Model for Personalised Digital Coaching2017In: Agents and Multi-Agent Systems for Health Care: 10th International Workshop, A2HC 2017, São Paulo, Brazil, May 8, 2017, and International Workshop, A-HEALTH 2017, Porto, Portugal, June 21, 2017, Revised and Extended Selected Papers, Springer, 2017, Vol. 10685, p. 94-116Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Supporting human actors in daily living activities for improving health and wellbeing is a fundamental goal for assistive technology. The personalisation of the support provided by assistive technology in the form of digital coaching requires user models that handle potentially conflicting goals and motives. The aim of this research is to extend a motivational model implemented in an assistive technology, into a multipurpose motivational model for the human actor who is to be supported, which can be translated into a multipurpose goal model for a team of assistive agents. A team of assistive agents is outlined with supplementary goals following the human’s different properties. A method for generating multipurpose arguments relating to different motives were developed, and implemented in a human-agent dialogue system. The results are exemplified based on a use case from an earlier pilot user study of the assistive technology. Future work includes user studies to validate the model.

  • 3.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Cognitive Architecture of an Agent for Human-Agent Dialogues2014In: Highlights of Practical Applications of Heterogeneous Multi-Agent Systems: the PAAMS Collection, Springer, 2014, Vol. 430, p. 89-100Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper proposes a cognitive architecture of an intelligent agent that can have a dialogue with a human agent on health-related topics. This architecture consists of four main components, namely, the Belief Base, the Dialogue Manager, the Task Manager and the Plan Generator. Each component has sub-components that perform a set of tasks for the purpose to enable the agent to be enrolled in a dialogue. In this paper the particular sub-component of the Dialogue Manager, the Dialogue Strategy has been discussed in detail. A notion of scheme is introduced, which functions as a template with variables that are instantiated each time a state is entered. The agent’s dialogue strategy is implemented as a combination of the schemes and the state transitions that the agent makes in response to the human’s request. We used a combination of finite-state and agent-based dialogue strategies for dialogue management. This combined dialogue strategy enables a multi-topic dialogue between a human and an agent.

  • 4.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Human-Agent Dialogues and Their Purposes2017In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics 2017, New York, NY, USA: ACM Digital Library, 2017, p. 101-104Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A common conversation between an older adult and a nurse about health-related issues includes topics such as troubles with sleep, reasons for walking around nighttime, pain conditions, etc. Such a dialogue can be regarded as a "natural" dialogue emerging from the participating agents' lines of thinking, their roles, needs and motives, while switching between topics as the dialogue unfolds. The purpose of this work is to define a generic conceptual model of purposeful human-agent dialogue activity including different types of argumentation dialogues, suitable for health-related topics. This is done based on analyses of a scenario, persona and models of human behaviour. The model will be shared between the human and the agent, allowing for adaptation to the human's reasoning, needs and motives.

  • 5.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Human-Agent Dialogues on Health Topics - An Evaluation Study2015In: Highlights of practical applications of agents, multi-agent systems, and sustainability: The PAAMS Collection, PAAMS 2015, 2015, p. 28-39Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A common conversation between an older adult and a nurse about health-related issues includes topics such as troubles with sleep, reasons for walking around nighttime, pain conditions, etc. This dialogue emerges from the participating human's lines of thinking, their roles, needs and motives, while switching between topics as the dialogue unfolds. This paper presents a dialogue system that enables a human to engage in a dialogue with a software agent to reason about health-related issues in a home environment. The purpose of this work is to conduct a pilot evaluation study of a prototype system for human-agent dialogues, which is built upon a set of semantic models and integrated in a web application designed for older adults. Focus of the study was to receive qualitative results regarding purpose and content of the agent-based dialogue system, and to evaluate a method for the agent to evaluate its behavior based on the human agent's perception of appropriateness of moves. The participants include five therapists and 11 older adults. The results show users' feedback on the purpose of dialogues and the appropriateness of dialogues presented to them during the interaction with the software agent.

  • 6.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Semantic model for adaptive human-agent dialogues2014Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A common conversation between an older adult and a nurse about health-related issues includes topics such as troubles with sleep, reasons for walking around nighttime, pain conditions, etc. Such a dialogue can be regarded as a "natural" dialogue emerging from the participating agents' lines of thinking, their roles, needs and motives, while switching between topics as the dialogue unfolds. The purpose of this work is to define a generic model of purposeful human-agent dialogues suitable for health-related topics. This is done based on analyses of scenarios, personas and models of human behavior. The results include four models, which need to be included in a software agent's belief base; i) a user model, ii) a model of the domain knowledge related to the topic of the dialogue, iii) an agent model, and iv) a dialogue activity model. The models were implemented into a prototype system for human-agent dialogues, which was evaluated by therapists and a group of older adults.

  • 7.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Towards personalised support for monitoring and improving health in risky environments2013In: VIII Workshop on Agents Applied in Health Care (A2HC), 2013, p. 93-104Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Surie, Dipak
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Yan, Chunli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Yekeh, Farahnaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Personalisation and user models for support in daily living2012In: The 27th annual workshop of the Swedish Artificial Intelligence Society (SAIS), 14–15 May 2012 / [ed] Lars Karlsson, Julien Bidot, 2012, p. 7-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, the interest in developing personalised applications for home environment has grown since it has a wide reach in helping people in their daily activities. However, for our purposes the concept activities of daily living also need to include work and leisure activities not necessarily performed in home environments. In this article, we describe an ongoing effort to develop a generic framework for assessing ability and tailoring of support applications in the health domain. We also give an overview of the approaches that have been adopted for personalisation and user modelling to various application areas. Suggestions of future development are provided.

  • 9.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Yan, Chunli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    User's control of personalised intelligent environments supporting health2013In: Intelligent Environments (IE), 2013 9th International Conference on, IEEE Computer Society, 2013, p. 270-273Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This research project aims at supporting workers in the mining and construction industries and older adults at home, in monitoring the risks of their daily work or living situation. A goal is to create awareness in the individual about risks and how to decrease risks. Methods and knowledge-based applications are developed, which synthesise knowledge about the user, the user’s activities, the environment and generic domain knowledge for the purpose of providing tailored support and advice to individuals. This knowledge is also what the user can relate to, interact with and control through different methods. In this paper we investigate different approaches to user control of intelligent environments and propose a dialogue-based method for user control.

  • 10.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Yan, Chunli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Instrument-Oriented Approach to Detecting and Representing Human Activity for Supporting Executive Functions and Learning2017In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics 2017, New York, NY, USA: ACM Digital Library, 2017, p. 105-112Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The goal of this study is to develop a computer-interpretable model for activity detection and representation, based on existing informal models of how humans perform activity. Appropriate detection of purposeful human activity is an essential functionality of active assistive technology aiming at providing tailored support to individuals for improving activity performance and completion. The main contribution is the design of a model for detection and representation of human activities based on three categories of instruments, which is implemented as two generic and supplementary terminology models: an event ontology and a core ontology. The core ontology is extended for each new knowledge domain into a domain ontology. The model builds the base for personalization of services generated by the cooperative reasoning performed by a human collaborating with an intelligent and social software agent. Ongoing and future work includes user studies in the different application domains.

  • 11.
    Lindgren, Helena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Guerrero, Esteban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Janols, Rebecka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Towards a Multipurpose Goal Model for Personalised Digital Coaching2017In: Agents and Multi-Agent Systems for Health Care: 10th International Workshop, A2HC 2017, São Paulo, Brazil, May 8, 2017, and International Workshop, A-HEALTH 2017, Porto, Portugal, June 21, 2017, Revised and Extended Selected Papers, Springer, 2017, p. 94-116Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Supporting human actors in daily living activities for improv- ing health and wellbeing is a fundamental goal for assistive technology. The personalization of the support provided by assistive technology in the form of digital coaching requires user models that handle potentially conflicting goals and motives. The aim of this research is to extend a motivational model implemented in an assistive technology, and outline a team of assistive agents with supplementary goals following the human’s different properties, orchestrated by a companion agent based on the multipurpose motivational model for the human actor who is to be supported. The multi- purpose motivational model and supportive arguments relating to different motives are exemplified based on a use case from an earlier pilot user study of the assistive technology. Future work includes user studies to validate the model.

  • 12.
    Lindgren, Helena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Guerrero, Esteban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Nilsson, Ingeborg
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Yan, Chunli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Computer-Supported Assessment for Tailoring Assistive Technology2016In: DH'16: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2016 DIGITAL HEALTH CONFERENCE, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2016, p. 1-10Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main purpose of assistive technology is to support an individual's daily activities, in order to increase ability, autonomy, relatedness and quality of life. The aim for the work presented in this article is to develop automated methods to tailor the behavior of the assistive technology for the purpose to provide just-in-time, adaptive interventions targeting multiple domains. This requires methods for representing and updating the user model, including goals, preferences, abilities, activity and its situation. We focus the assessment and intervention tasks typically performed by therapists and provide knowledge-based technology for supporting the process. A formative evaluation study was conducted as a part of a participatory action research process, involving two rehabilitation experts, two young individuals and one senior individual as end-user participants, in addition to knowledge engineers. The main contribution of this work is a theory-based method for assessing the individual's goals, preferences, abilities and motives, which is used for building a holistic user model. The user model is continuously updated and functions as the base for tailoring the system's assistive behavior during intervention and follow-up.

  • 13.
    Lindgren, Helena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Yekeh, Farahnaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Yan, Chunli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Agent-Supported Assessment for Personalized Ambient Assisted Living2012In: Proceedings of Agents Applied to Health Care (A2HC) 2012: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AA- MAS 2012) , June, 4–8, 2012, Valencia, Spain / [ed] Conitzer, Winikoff, Padgham, and van der Hoek, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems , 2012, p. 141-150Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Existing approaches to ambient assisted living (AAL) oftenfail to consider a human agent's needs from a holistic perspective. In particular the regular assessment of their changing abilities, skills and limitations are often treated asa separate matter in healthcare, thereby affecting the possibilities to provide support tailored to their current condition.Therefore, the objective of this work is to integrate assessments done by the healthcare professional into the frameworkof AAL. We use a case scenario in the collaborative development with domain experts to demonstrate and develop the interaction between software agents and with the older adult in assessment and adaptation for supporting him/herin a home environment. The scenario also serves as an outline for a requirements analysis of the formal agent-based dialogues to be implemented. The results include a partial implementation of the scenario done by domain experts intheir use of a semantic web-based knowledge and interaction modelling environment for domain professionals (ACKTUS). The resulting prototype applications are exemplified in a description of the scenario and an initial prototype implementation of selected agent-based diagnostic dialogues is presented.

  • 14.
    Nieves, Juan Carlos
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Guerrero, Esteban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Baskar, Jayalakshmi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Lindgren, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Deliberative Argumentation for Smart Environments2014In: PRIMA 2014: Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems / [ed] Hoa Khanh Dam, Jeremy Pitt, Yang Xu, Guido Governatori, Takayuki Ito, Springer International Publishing , 2014, p. 141-149Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, an argumentation-based deliberative approach for fusing contextual information obtained from heterogeneous sources using a multi-agent system is introduced. The system is characterized by three different agents: an Environment Agent, an Activity Agent and a Coach Agent. These agents consider data from heterogenous sources of data. As a method for aggregating data and supporting decision-making, so-called agreement rules are instrumental in the argumentation-based deliberative method. The aggregation rules will be associated to specific beliefs related to the services of each agent.

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