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Architecting Smart Home Environments for Healthcare: A Database-Centric Approach
Halmstad University, School of Information Technology, Halmstad Embedded and Intelligent Systems Research (EIS), Centre for Research on Embedded Systems (CERES).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6708-0816
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of system architectures and applications for smart homes and ambient assisted living has been the main activity of a number of academic and industrial research projects around the world. Existing system architectures for smart environments usually employ different architectural styles in a multi-layer logical architecture to support the integration and interoperation of heterogeneous hardware and software technologies, which are subsequently used to provide two major functionalities: monitoring and assistance. It is also usual among existing architectures that the database management system is the most common but the least exploited architectural component, existing in the periphery of the system and devoted exclusively for data storage and retrieval. However, database technology has advanced and matured considerably over the years, and, as a result, current database management systems can be and do more.

This thesis considers the hypothesis of several features of modern database management systems being employed to address functional (e.g. well-being and security monitoring, automated control, data processing) and non-functional (e.g. interoperability, extensibility, data security and privacy) requirements of smart environments, i.e. the database management system serves as a platform for smart environments. The scope of this thesis is therefore to investigate the possibility of using different features supported by database management systems to create a database-centric system architecture for the development of smart home environments and ambient assisted living. The thesis also investigates the development of applications for health monitoring and assistance: 1) a serious game for fall prevention that assists people in practicing Tai Chi at home, and 2) a non-intrusive home-based method for sleep assessment.

These features are explored in this thesis to address general functional aspects of smart environments, such as monitoring, processing, coordination and control of various types of events in a given environment. Extensibility and security features and cross-platform capabilities of database management systems are employed to accommodate non-functional, but still technical, properties of smart environments, including interoperability, extensibility, portability, scalability, security and privacy. Heterogeneous technologies are integrated into the system using programming language and platform independent software resource adapters. Interoperation among integrated technologies is mediated in an active database.

The feasibility of the proposed database-centric system architecture was pragmatically investigated with the development of a "smart bedroom'' demonstrator and with the implementation of a number of short-term and long-term types of services to support active aging, aging in place and ambient assisted living. In the proposed architecture, active in-database processing maintains sensitive data within the database. This increases data security and independence from external software applications for data analysis. Changes in the system are managed during runtime, which improves flexibility and avoids system downtime. The proposed system architecture was evaluated taking into account different application scenarios and heterogeneous computing platforms.

As a conclusion, modern database management systems support features that can be successfully employed in a database-centric system architecture to effectively and efficiently address functional and non-functional requirements of smart environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halmstad: Halmstad University Press , 2015. , 50 p.
Series
Halmstad University Dissertations, 15
Keyword [en]
Smart environments, system architectures, active databases, in-database processing, ambient assisted living
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-29227Libris ID: 18468463ISBN: 978-91-87045-33-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-87045-32-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-29227DiVA: diva2:846921
Public defence
2015-09-16, Wigforssalen, Visionen, Kristian IV:s väg 3, Halmstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-08-19 Created: 2015-08-18 Last updated: 2017-05-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A Serious Computer Game to Assist Tai Chi Training for the Elderly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Serious Computer Game to Assist Tai Chi Training for the Elderly
2011 (English)In: 2011 IEEE 1st International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, SeGAH 2011, Piscataway: IEEE Press, 2011Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes the development of a computer-based serious game to enable older individuals to practice Tai Chi at home on their own. The player plays the game by imitating Tai Chi movements presented by a virtual instructor on the screen. The proposed system is decomposed into two modules. The first module is the game design, i.e., the process of recording an instructor training Tai Chi. Acquired data are used to create gesture templates and a virtual instructor. The second module is the game play in which the player attempts to mimic the virtual instructor. Gestures are measured in real-time and then compared with the prerecorded Tai Chi gesture template corresponding to the displayed movement. Visual feedback indicates how well the player imitated the instructor. The proposed system is not designed to classify gestures but to evaluate the similarity of a given gesture with a gesture template. The Longest Common Sub-Sequence (LCSS) method is applied to compute such similarity. The proposed approach (1) facilitates the design of assessment tools in which the user has to follow a sequence of predefined movements and (2) applicable to other domains, such as telerehabilitation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway: IEEE Press, 2011
Keyword
serious games, fall prevention, Tai Chi, wearable inertial measurement units, movement analysis, gesture evaluation
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-16929 (URN)10.1109/SeGAH.2011.6165450 (DOI)2-s2.0-84859010895 (Scopus ID)978-146730433-7 (ISBN)
Conference
2011 IEEE 1st International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2011), Braga, Portugal16-18 November 2011
Available from: 2012-01-16 Created: 2012-01-16 Last updated: 2016-03-09Bibliographically approved
2. A lightweight method for detecting sleep-related activities based on load sensing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A lightweight method for detecting sleep-related activities based on load sensing
2014 (English)In: SeGAH 2014: IEEE 3rd International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates, Inc., 2014, 7067080Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Current practices in healthcare rely on expensive and labor-intensive procedures that are not adequate for future healthcare demands. Therefore, alternatives are required to complement or enhance healthcare services, both at clinical and home settings. Hospital and ordinary beds can be equipped with load cells to enable load sensing applications, such as for weight and sleep assessment. Beds with such functionalities represent a tangible alternative to expensive and obtrusive routines for sleep assessment, such as polysomnography. A finite-state machine is proposed as a lightweight on-line method to detect sleep-related activities, such as bed entrances and exits, awakenings, wakefulness, and sleep atonia. The proposed approach is evaluated with a dataset collected in real homes of older people receiving night-time home care services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates, Inc., 2014
Keyword
Healthcare technology, home monitoring, sensor-based monitoring systems, load sensing, sleep assessment, state machines, bed-exit alarms
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26239 (URN)10.1109/SeGAH.2014.7067080 (DOI)000393517600011 ()2-s2.0-84988259056 (Scopus ID)978-1-4799-4823-9 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE 3rd International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2014), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 14-16, 2014
Available from: 2014-08-13 Created: 2014-08-13 Last updated: 2017-03-22Bibliographically approved
3. A "Smart Bedroom" as an Active Database System
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A "Smart Bedroom" as an Active Database System
2013 (English)In: Proceedings – 9th International Conference on Intelligent Environments, IE 2013, Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society, 2013, 250-253 p., 6597820Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Home-based healthcare technologies aim to enable older people to age in place as well as to support those delivering care. Although a number of smart homes exist, there is no established method to architect these systems. This work proposes the development of a smart environment as an active database system. Active rules in the database, in conjunction with sensors and actuators, monitor and respond to events taking place in the home environment. Resource adapters integrate heterogeneous hardware and software technologies into the system. A 'Smart Bedroom' has been developed as a demonstrator. The proposed approach represents a flexible and robust architecture for smart homes and ambient assisted living systems. © 2013 IEEE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society, 2013
Keyword
Smart environments, DBMS, active databases, AAL, healthcare, system architecture
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-25031 (URN)10.1109/IE.2013.29 (DOI)000332557600038 ()2-s2.0-84885603900 (Scopus ID)978-0-7695-5038-1 (ISBN)978-1-4799-0745-8 (ISBN)
Conference
9th International Conference on Intelligent Environments, IE 2013, Athens, Greece, 18-19 July, 2013
Available from: 2014-04-11 Created: 2014-04-11 Last updated: 2017-04-07Bibliographically approved
4. Active In-Database Processing to Support Ambient Assisted Living Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Active In-Database Processing to Support Ambient Assisted Living Systems
2014 (English)In: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 14, no 8, 14765-14785 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As an alternative to the existing software architectures that underpin the development of smart homes and ambient assisted living (AAL) systems, this work presents a database-centric architecture that takes advantage of active databases and in-database processing. Current platforms supporting AAL systems use database management systems (DBMSs) exclusively for data storage. Active databases employ database triggers to detect and react to events taking place inside or outside of the database. DBMSs can be extended with stored procedures and functions that enable in-database processing. This means that the data processing is integrated and performed within the DBMS. The feasibility and flexibility of the proposed approach were demonstrated with the implementation of three distinct AAL services. The active database was used to detect bed-exits and to discover common room transitions and deviations during the night. In-database machine learning methods were used to model early night behaviors. Consequently, active in-database processing avoids transferring sensitive data outside the database, and this improves performance, security and privacy. Furthermore, centralizing the computation into the DBMS facilitates code reuse, adaptation and maintenance. These are important system properties that take into account the evolving heterogeneity of users, their needs and the devices that are characteristic of smart homes and AAL systems. Therefore, DBMSs can provide capabilities to address requirements for scalability, security, privacy, dependability and personalization in applications of smart environments in healthcare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute AG, 2014
Keyword
healthcare technology, smart homes, ambient assisted living, database management systems, active databases, in-database processing, data mining
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26238 (URN)10.3390/s140814765 (DOI)000341499900073 ()2-s2.0-84939496768 (Scopus ID)
Note

This article belongs to the Special Issue Select Papers from UCAmI & IWAAL 2013 - the 7th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence & the 5th International Workshop on Ambient Assisted Living (UCAmI & IWAAL 2013: Pervasive Sensing Solutions

Available from: 2014-08-13 Created: 2014-08-13 Last updated: 2017-03-15Bibliographically approved
5. Evaluation of Extensibility, Portability and Scalability in a Database-centric System Architecture for Smart Home Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of Extensibility, Portability and Scalability in a Database-centric System Architecture for Smart Home Environments
2015 (English)Report (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Advances in database technology allow modern database systems to serve as a platform for the development, deployment and management of smart home environments and ambient assisted living systems. This work investigates non-functional issues of a database-centric system architecture for smart home environments when: (i) extending the system with new functionalities other than data storage, such as on-line reactive behaviors and advanced processing of longitudinal information, (ii) porting the whole system to different operating systems on distinct hardware platforms, and (iii) scaling the system by incrementally adding new instances of a given functionality. The outcome of the evaluation is demonstrated, and analyzed, for three test functionalities on three heterogeneous computing platforms. As a contribution, this work can help developers in identifying which architectural components in the database-centric system architecture that may become performance bottlenecks when extending, porting and scaling the system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halmstad: Halmstad University, 2015. 14 p.
Keyword
database-centric architecture, smart environments, ambient assisted living, quality attributes
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-29141 (URN)
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2016-03-09Bibliographically approved

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