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Animal-Assisted Therapy for Persons with Disabilities Based on Canine Tail Language Interpretation via Gaussian-Trapezoidal Fuzzy Emotional Behavior Model

Authors: W. Phanwanich, O. Kumdee, P. Ritthipravat, Y. Wongsawat


In order to alleviate the mental and physical problems of persons with disabilities, animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is one of the possible modalities that employs the merit of the human-animal interaction. Nevertheless, to achieve the purpose of AAT for persons with severe disabilities (e.g. spinal cord injury, stroke, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), real-time animal language interpretation is desirable. Since canine behaviors can be visually notable from its tail, this paper proposes the automatic real-time interpretation of canine tail language for human-canine interaction in the case of persons with severe disabilities. Canine tail language is captured via two 3-axis accelerometers. Directions and frequencies are selected as our features of interests. The novel fuzzy rules based on Gaussian-Trapezoidal model and center of gravity (COG)-based defuzzification method are proposed in order to interpret the features into four canine emotional behaviors, i.e., agitate, happy, scare and neutral as well as its blended emotional behaviors. The emotional behavior model is performed in the simulated dog and has also been evaluated in the real dog with the perfect recognition rate.

Keywords: Animal-assisted therapy (AAT), Persons with disabilities, Canine tail language, Fuzzy emotional behavior model

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