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Dependability requirements to aid the design of virtual companions for later life
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, IISLAB - Laboratory for Intelligent Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, IISLAB - Laboratory for Intelligent Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, IISLAB - Laboratory for Intelligent Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of the First 'HEAT: The Home and Electronic Assistive Technology Workshop' / [ed] G. Baxter and G. Dewbury, Lancaster, UK: Lancaster University Computing Department , 2004, 51-60 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Frail older people can normally not be given round-the-clock care-giving assistance. During the time there is no other person around they must be independent. Electronic assistive technology (EAT) can increase an older person's independence in everyday life, but to do so it must be dependable. This paper examines issues of dependability for a special class of EAT software, virtual companions for later life. A virtual companion is a personal system of interconnected functions aiming to assist an elderly user by imitating elder-caregiver interaction. In order to provide designers with an aid for defining, designing, and validating virtual companions, the first part of the paper identifies and discusses the special dependability requirements to be put on such software. The second part describes our own approach, and gives suggestions on how to design for dependability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lancaster, UK: Lancaster University Computing Department , 2004. 51-60 p.
Keyword [en]
assistive technology, elderly, independence, dependability, trustworthiness, virtual companion, requirements, agents, user-centred software design, human-computer interaction
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22818Local ID: 2156OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-22818DiVA: diva2:243131
Conference
HEAT: The Home and Electronic Assistive Technology Workshop. York, UK, 1617 March 2004
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2013-11-06
In thesis
1. Towards Dependable Virtual Companions for Later Life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Dependable Virtual Companions for Later Life
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When we grow older, we become more vulnerable to certain reductions in quality of life. Caregivers can help, however human care is limited, and will become even scarcer in the near future. This thesis addresses the problem by contributing to the development of electronic assistive technology, which has the potential of effectively complementing human support. In particular, we follow the vision of a virtual companion for later life- an interactive computerbased entity capable of assisting its elderly user in multiple situations in everyday life.

Older adults will only benefit from such technology if they can depend on it and it does not intrude into their lives against their will. Assuming a software engineering view on electronic assistive technology, this thesis thus formulates both dependability requirements and ethical guidelines for designing virtual companions and related technology (such as smart homes).

By means of an iterative development process (the thesis covers the first iteration), a component-based design framework for defining dependable virtual companions is formed. Personalised applications can be generated efficiently by instantiating our generic architecture with a number of special-purpose interactive software agents. Scenario-based evaluation of a prototype confirmed the basic concepts of the framework, and led to refinements.

The final part of the thesis concerns the actual framework components and the applications that can be generated from them. From a field study with elders and experts, we construct a functional design space of electronic assistive technology applications. It relates important needs of different older people to appropriate patterns of assistance. As an example application, the feasibility of driving support by vehicular communication is studied in depth.

Future iterations with real-world experiments will refine our design framework further. If it is found to scale to the dynamic diversity of older adults, then work can begin on the ultimate project goal: a toolkit on the basis of the framework that will allow semi-automatic generation of personalised virtual companions with the involvement of users, caregivers, and experts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2005. 22 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1194
Keyword
Older adults, assistive technology, virtual companion, dependability, requirements, software architecture, agents, patterns, user involvement, personalisation, human-computer interaction
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-30611 (URN)16202 (Local ID)91-85457-25-6 (ISBN)16202 (Archive number)16202 (OAI)
Presentation
2005-11-16, Alal Turing, Hus B, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-06

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Maciuszek, DennisShahmehri, NahidÅberg, Johan

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