Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 158

Search results for: Usability

158 Development and Usability Assessment of a Connected Resistance Exercise Band Application for Strength-Monitoring

Authors: J. A. Batsis, G. G. Boateng, L. M. Seo, C. L. Petersen, K. L. Fortuna, E. V. Wechsler, R. J. Peterson, S. B. Cook, D. Pidgeon, R. S. Dokko, R. J. Halter, D. F. Kotz

Abstract:

Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.

Keywords: Application, mHealth, older adult, resistance exercise band, sarcopenia.

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157 Products in Early Development Phases: Ecological Classification and Evaluation Using an Interval Arithmetic Based Calculation Approach

Authors: Helen L. Hein, Joachim Schwarte

Abstract:

As a pillar of sustainable development, ecology has become an important milestone in research community, especially due to global challenges like climate change. The ecological performance of products can be scientifically conducted with life cycle assessments. In the construction sector, significant amounts of CO2 emissions are assigned to the energy used for building heating purposes. Therefore, sustainable construction materials for insulating purposes are substantial, whereby aerogels have been explored intensively in the last years due to their low thermal conductivity. Therefore, the WALL-ACE project aims to develop an aerogel-based thermal insulating plaster that would achieve minor thermal conductivities. But as in the early stage of development phases, a lot of information is still missing or not yet accessible, the ecological performance of innovative products bases increasingly on uncertain data that can lead to significant deviations in the results. To be able to predict realistically how meaningful the results are and how viable the developed products may be with regard to their corresponding respective market, these deviations however have to be considered. Therefore, a classification method is presented in this study, which may allow comparing the ecological performance of modern products with already established and competitive materials. In order to achieve this, an alternative calculation method was used that allows computing with lower and upper bounds to consider all possible values without precise data. The life cycle analysis of the considered products was conducted with an interval arithmetic based calculation method. The results lead to the conclusion that the interval solutions describing the possible environmental impacts are so wide that the result usability is limited. Nevertheless, a further optimization in reducing environmental impacts of aerogels seems to be needed to become more competitive in the future.

Keywords: Aerogel-based, insulating material, early develop¬ment phase, interval arithmetic.

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156 Comparing the Educational Effectiveness of eHealth to Deliver Health Knowledge between Higher Literacy Users and Lower Literacy Users

Authors: Yah-Ling Hung

Abstract:

eHealth is undoubtedly emerging as a promising vehicle to provide information for individual self-care management. However, the accessing ability, reading strategies and navigating behavior between higher literacy users and lower literacy users are significantly different. Yet, ways to tailor audiences’ health literacy and develop appropriate eHealth to feed their need become a big challenge. The purpose of this study is to compare the educational effectiveness of eHealth to deliver health knowledge between higher literacy users and lower literacy users, thus establishing useful design strategies of eHealth for users with different level of health literacy. The study was implemented in four stages, the first of which developed a website as the testing media to introduce health care knowledge relating to children’s allergy. Secondly, a reliability and validity test was conducted to make sure that all of the questions in the questionnaire were good indicators. Thirdly, a pre-post knowledge test was conducted with 66 participants, 33 users with higher literacy and 33 users with lower literacy respectively. Finally, a usability evaluation survey was undertaken to explore the criteria used by users with different levels of health literacy to evaluate eHealth. The results demonstrated that the eHealth Intervention in both groups had a positive outcome. There was no significant difference between the effectiveness of eHealth intervention between users with higher literacy and users with lower literacy. However, the average mean of lower literacy group was marginally higher than the average mean of higher literacy group. The findings also showed that the criteria used to evaluate eHealth could be analyzed in terms of the quality of information, appearance, appeal and interaction, but the users with lower literacy have different evaluation criteria from those with higher literacy. This is an interdisciplinary research which proposes the sequential key steps that incorporate the planning, developing and accessing issues that need to be considered when designing eHealth for patients with varying degrees of health literacy.

Keywords: eHealth, health intervention, health literacy, usability evaluation.

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155 Routing Medical Images with Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing: A Study on Quality of Service

Authors: Mejía M. Paula, Ramírez L. Leonardo, Puerta A. Gabriel

Abstract:

In telemedicine, the image repository service is important to increase the accuracy of diagnostic support of medical personnel. This study makes comparison between two routing algorithms regarding the quality of service (QoS), to be able to analyze the optimal performance at the time of loading and/or downloading of medical images. This study focused on comparing the performance of Tabu Search with other heuristic and metaheuristic algorithms that improve QoS in telemedicine services in Colombia. For this, Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing heuristic algorithms are chosen for their high usability in this type of applications; the QoS is measured taking into account the following metrics: Delay, Throughput, Jitter and Latency. In addition, routing tests were carried out on ten images in digital image and communication in medicine (DICOM) format of 40 MB. These tests were carried out for ten minutes with different traffic conditions, reaching a total of 25 tests, from a server of Universidad Militar Nueva Granada (UMNG) in Bogotá-Colombia to a remote user in Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH) - Chile. The results show that Tabu search presents a better QoS performance compared to Simulated Annealing, managing to optimize the routing of medical images, a basic requirement to offer diagnostic images services in telemedicine.

Keywords: Medical image, QoS, simulated annealing, Tabu search, telemedicine.

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154 Energy Harvesting and Storage System for Marine Applications

Authors: Sayem Zafar, Mahmood Rahi

Abstract:

Rigorous international maritime regulations are in place to limit boat and ship hydrocarbon emissions. The global sustainability goals are reducing the fuel consumption and minimizing the emissions from the ships and boats. These maritime sustainability goals have attracted a lot of research interest. Energy harvesting and storage system is designed in this study based on hybrid renewable and conventional energy systems. This energy harvesting and storage system is designed for marine applications, such as, boats and small ships. These systems can be utilized for mobile use or off-grid remote electrification. This study analyzed the use of micro power generation for boats and small ships. The energy harvesting and storage system has two distinct systems i.e. dockside shore-based system and on-board system. The shore-based system consists of a small wind turbine, photovoltaic (PV) panels, small gas turbine, hydrogen generator and high-pressure hydrogen storage tank. This dockside system is to provide easy access to the boats and small ships for supply of hydrogen. The on-board system consists of hydrogen storage tanks and fuel cells. The wind turbine and PV panels generate electricity to operate electrolyzer. A small gas turbine is used as a supplementary power system to contribute in case the hybrid renewable energy system does not provide the required energy. The electrolyzer performs the electrolysis on distilled water to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in high-pressure tanks. The hydrogen from the high-pressure tank is filled in the low-pressure tanks on-board seagoing vessels to operate the fuel cell. The boats and small ships use the hydrogen fuel cell to provide power to electric propulsion motors and for on-board auxiliary use. For shore-based system, a small wind turbine with the total length of 4.5 m and the disk diameter of 1.8 m is used. The small wind turbine dimensions make it big enough to be used to charge batteries yet small enough to be installed on the rooftops of dockside facility. The small dimensions also make the wind turbine easily transportable. In this paper, PV, sizing and solar flux are studied parametrically. System performance is evaluated under different operating and environmental conditions. The parametric study is conducted to evaluate the energy output and storage capacity of energy storage system. Results are generated for a wide range of conditions to analyze the usability of hybrid energy harvesting and storage system. This energy harvesting method significantly improves the usability and output of the renewable energy sources. It also shows that small hybrid energy systems have promising practical applications.

Keywords: Energy harvesting, fuel cell, hybrid energy system, hydrogen, wind turbine.

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153 The Effect of Closed Circuit Television Image Patch Layout on Performance of a Simulated Train-Platform Departure Task

Authors: Aaron J. Small, Craig A. Fletcher

Abstract:

This study investigates the effect of closed circuit television (CCTV) image patch layout on performance of a simulated train-platform departure task. The within-subjects experimental design measures target detection rate and response latency during a CCTV visual search task conducted as part of the procedure for safe train dispatch. Three interface designs were developed by manipulating CCTV image patch layout. Eye movements, perceived workload and system usability were measured across experimental conditions. Task performance was compared to identify significant differences between conditions. The results of this study have not been determined.

Keywords: Rail human factors, workload, closed circuit television, platform departure, attention, information processing, interface design.

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152 Investigating the Usability of a University Website from the Users’ Perspective: An Empirical Study of Benue State University Website

Authors: Abraham Undu, Stephen Akuma

Abstract:

Websites are becoming a major component of an organization’s success in our ever globalizing competitive world. The website symbolizes an organization, interacting or projecting an organization’s principles, culture, values, vision, and perspectives. It is an interface connecting organizations and their clients. The university, as an academic institution, makes use of a website to communicate and offer computing services to its stakeholders (students, staff, host community, university management etc). Unfortunately, website designers often give more consideration to the technology, organizational structure and business objectives of the university than to the usability of the site. Website designers end up designing university websites which do not meet the needs of the primary users. This empirical study investigated the Benue State University website from the point view of students. This research was realized by using a standardized website usability questionnaire based on the five factors of usability defined by WAMMI (Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory): attractiveness, controllability, efficiency, learnability and helpfulness. The result of the investigation showed that the university website (https://portal.bsum.edu.ng/) has neutral usability level because of the usability issues associated with the website. The research recommended feasible solutions to improve the usability of the website from the users’ perspective and also provided a modified usability model that will be used for better evaluation of the Benue State University website.

Keywords: Usability, usability factors, university websites, user’s perspective, WAMMI, modified usability model, Benue State University.

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151 Usability in E-Commerce Websites: Results of Eye Tracking Evaluations

Authors: Beste Kaysı, Yasemin Topaloğlu

Abstract:

Usability is one of the most important quality attributes for web-based information systems. Specifically, for e-commerce applications, usability becomes more prominent. In this study, we aimed to explore the features that experienced users seek in e-commerce applications. We used eye tracking method in evaluations. Eye movement data are obtained from the eye-tracking method and analyzed based on task completion time, number of fixations, as well as heat map and gaze plot measures. The results of the analysis show that the eye movements of participants' are too static in certain areas and their areas of interest are scattered in many different places. It has been determined that this causes users to fail to complete their transactions. According to the findings, we outlined the issues to improve the usability of e-commerce websites. Then we propose solutions to identify the issues. In this way, it is expected that e-commerce sites will be developed which will make experienced users more satisfied.

Keywords: E-commerce websites, eye tracking method, usability, website evaluations.

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150 Optimizing Usability Testing with Collaborative Method in an E-Commerce Ecosystem

Authors: Markandeya Kunchi

Abstract:

Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.

Keywords: Usability testing, collaborative method, e-commerce, product management method.

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149 Introduction of an Approach of Complex Virtual Devices to Achieve Device Interoperability in Smart Building Systems

Authors: Thomas Meier

Abstract:

One of the major challenges for sustainable smart building systems is to support device interoperability, i.e. connecting sensor or actuator devices from different vendors, and present their functionality to the external applications. Furthermore, smart building systems are supposed to connect with devices that are not available yet, i.e. devices that become available on the market sometime later. It is of vital importance that a sustainable smart building platform provides an appropriate external interface that can be leveraged by external applications and smart services. An external platform interface must be stable and independent of specific devices and should support flexible and scalable usage scenarios. A typical approach applied in smart home systems is based on a generic device interface used within the smart building platform. Device functions, even of rather complex devices, are mapped to that generic base type interface by means of specific device drivers. Our new approach, presented in this work, extends that approach by using the smart building system’s rule engine to create complex virtual devices that can represent the most diverse properties of real devices. We examined and evaluated both approaches by means of a practical case study using a smart building system that we have developed. We show that the solution we present allows the highest degree of flexibility without affecting external application interface stability and scalability. In contrast to other systems our approach supports complex virtual device configuration on application layer (e.g. by administration users) instead of device configuration at platform layer (e.g. platform operators). Based on our work, we can show that our approach supports almost arbitrarily flexible use case scenarios without affecting the external application interface stability. However, the cost of this approach is additional appropriate configuration overhead and additional resource consumption at the IoT platform level that must be considered by platform operators. We conclude that the concept of complex virtual devices presented in this work can be applied to improve the usability and device interoperability of sustainable intelligent building systems significantly.

Keywords: Complex virtual devices, device integration, device interoperability, Internet of Things, smart building platform.

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148 The Importance of Applying Established Web Site Design Principles on an Online Performance Management System

Authors: R. W. Brown, P. J. Blignaut

Abstract:

An online performance management system was evaluated, and recommendations were made to improve the system. The study shows the effects of not adhering to the established web design principles and conventions. Furthermore, the study indicates that if the online performance management system is not well designed, it may have negative effects on the overall usability of the system and these negative effects will have consequences for both the employer and employees. The evaluation was done in terms of the usability metrics of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction. Effectiveness was measured in terms of the success rate with which users could execute prescribed tasks in a sandbox system. Efficiency was expressed in terms of the time it took participants to understand what is expected of them and to execute the tasks. Post-test questionnaires were used in order to determine the satisfaction of the participants. Recommendations were made to improve the usability of the online performance management system.

Keywords: Eye tracking, human resource management, performance management, usability.

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147 Knowledge Reactor: A Contextual Computing Work in Progress for Eldercare

Authors: Scott N. Gerard, Aliza Heching, Susann M. Keohane, Samuel S. Adams

Abstract:

The world-wide population of people over 60 years of age is growing rapidly. The explosion is placing increasingly onerous demands on individual families, multiple industries and entire countries. Current, human-intensive approaches to eldercare are not sustainable, but IoT and AI technologies can help. The Knowledge Reactor (KR) is a contextual, data fusion engine built to address this and other similar problems. It fuses and centralizes IoT and System of Record/Engagement data into a reactive knowledge graph. Cognitive applications and services are constructed with its multiagent architecture. The KR can scale-up and scaledown, because it exploits container-based, horizontally scalable services for graph store (JanusGraph) and pub-sub (Kafka) technologies. While the KR can be applied to many domains that require IoT and AI technologies, this paper describes how the KR specifically supports the challenging domain of cognitive eldercare. Rule- and machine learning-based analytics infer activities of daily living from IoT sensor readings. KR scalability, adaptability, flexibility and usability are demonstrated.

Keywords: Ambient sensing, AI, artificial intelligence, eldercare, IoT, internet of things, knowledge graph.

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146 The Design Process of an Interactive Seat for Improving Workplace Productivity

Authors: Carlos Ferreira, Paulo Freitas, Valentim Freitas

Abstract:

Creative industries’ workers are becoming more prominent as countries move towards intellectual-based economies. Consequently, the nature and essence of the workplace needs to be reconfigured so that creativity and productivity can be better promoted at these spaces. Using a multidisciplinary approach and a user-centered methodology, combining product design, electronic engineering, software and human-computer interaction, we have designed and developed a new seat that uses embedded sensors and actuators to increase the overall well-being of its users, their productivity and their creativity. Our contribution focuses on the parameters that most affect the user’s work on these kinds of spaces, which are, according to our study, noise and temperature. We describe the design process for a new interactive seat targeted at improving workspace productivity.

Keywords: Human-computer interaction, usability, user interface, creativity, ergonomics.

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145 Studying the Dynamical Response of Nano-Microelectromechanical Devices for Nanomechanical Testing of Nanostructures

Authors: Mohammad Reza Zamani Kouhpanji

Abstract:

Characterizing the fatigue and fracture properties of nanostructures is one of the most challenging tasks in nanoscience and nanotechnology due to lack of a MEMS/NEMS device for generating uniform cyclic loadings at high frequencies. Here, the dynamic response of a recently proposed MEMS/NEMS device under different inputs signals is completely investigated. This MEMS/NEMS device is designed and modeled based on the electromagnetic force induced between paired parallel wires carrying electrical currents, known as Ampere’s Force Law (AFL). Since this MEMS/NEMS device only uses two paired wires for actuation part and sensing part, it represents highly sensitive and linear response for nanostructures with any stiffness and shapes (single or arrays of nanowires, nanotubes, nanosheets or nanowalls). In addition to studying the maximum gains at different resonance frequencies of the MEMS/NEMS device, its dynamical responses are investigated for different inputs and nanostructure properties to demonstrate the capability, usability, and reliability of the device for wide range of nanostructures. This MEMS/NEMS device can be readily integrated into SEM/TEM instruments to provide real time study of the fatigue and fracture properties of nanostructures as well as their softening or hardening behaviors, and initiation and/or propagation of nanocracks in them.

Keywords: Ampere’s force law, dynamical response, fatigue and fracture characterization, paired wire actuators and sensors, MEMS/NEMS devices.

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144 Design Transformation to Reduce Cost in Irrigation Using Value Engineering

Authors: F. S. Al-Anzi, M. Sarfraz, A. Elmi, A. R. Khan

Abstract:

Researchers are responding to the environmental challenges of Kuwait in localized, innovative, effective and economic ways. One of the vital and significant examples of the natural challenges is lack or water and desertification. In this research, the project team focuses on redesigning a prototype, using Value Engineering Methodology, which would provide similar functionalities to the well-known technology of Waterboxx kits while reducing the capital and operational costs and simplifying the process of manufacturing and usability by regular farmers. The design employs used tires and recycled plastic sheets as raw materials. Hence, this approach is going to help not just fighting desertification but also helping in getting rid of ever growing huge tire dumpsters in Kuwait, as well as helping in avoiding hazards of tire fires yielding in a safer and friendlier environment. Several alternatives for implementing the prototype have been considered. The best alternative in terms of value has been selected after thorough Function Analysis System Technique (FAST) exercise has been developed. A prototype has been fabricated and tested in a controlled simulated lab environment that is being followed by real environment field testing. Water and soil analysis conducted on the site of the experiment to cross compare between the composition of the soil before and after the experiment to insure that the prototype being tested is actually going to be environment safe. Experimentation shows that the design was equally as effective as, and may exceed, the original design with significant savings in cost. An estimated total cost reduction using the VE approach of 43.84% over the original design. This cost reduction does not consider the intangible costs of environmental issue of waste recycling which many further intensify the total savings of using the alternative VE design. This case study shows that Value Engineering Methodology can be an important tool in innovating new designs for reducing costs.

Keywords: Desertification, functional analysis, scrap tires, value engineering, waste recycling, water irrigation rationing.

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143 Designing and Analyzing Sensor and Actuator of a Nano/Micro-System for Fatigue and Fracture Characterization of Nanomaterials

Authors: Mohammad Reza Zamani Kouhpanji

Abstract:

This paper presents a MEMS/NEMS device for fatigue and fracture characterization of nanomaterials. This device can apply static loads, cyclic loads, and their combinations in nanomechanical experiments. It is based on the electromagnetic force induced between paired parallel wires carrying electrical currents. Using this concept, the actuator and sensor parts of the device were designed and analyzed while considering the practical limitations. Since the PWCC device only uses two wires for actuation part and sensing part, its fabrication process is extremely easier than the available MEMS/NEMS devices. The total gain and phase shift of the MEMS/NEMS device were calculated and investigated. Furthermore, the maximum gain and sensitivity of the MEMS/NEMS device were studied to demonstrate the capability and usability of the device for wide range of nanomaterials samples. This device can be readily integrated into SEM/TEM instruments to provide real time study of the mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials as well as their fatigue and fracture properties, softening or hardening behaviors, and initiation and propagation of nanocracks.

Keywords: Sensors and actuators, MEMS/NEMS devices, fatigue and fracture nanomechanical testing device, static and cyclic nanomechanical testing device.

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142 Gamification of eHealth Business Cases to Enhance Rich Learning Experience

Authors: Kari Björn

Abstract:

Introduction of games has expanded the application area of computer-aided learning tools to wide variety of age groups of learners. Serious games engage the learners into a real-world -type of simulation and potentially enrich the learning experience. Institutional background of a Bachelor’s level engineering program in Information and Communication Technology is introduced, with detailed focus on one of its majors, Health Technology. As part of a Customer Oriented Software Application thematic semester, one particular course of “eHealth Business and Solutions” is described and reflected in a gamified framework. Learning a consistent view into vast literature of business management, strategies, marketing and finance in a very limited time enforces selection of topics relevant to the industry. Health Technology is a novel and growing industry with a growing sector in consumer wearable devices and homecare applications. The business sector is attracting new entrepreneurs and impatient investor funds. From engineering education point of view the sector is driven by miniaturizing electronics, sensors and wireless applications. However, the market is highly consumer-driven and usability, safety and data integrity requirements are extremely high. When the same technology is used in analysis or treatment of patients, very strict regulatory measures are enforced. The paper introduces a course structure using gamification as a tool to learn the most essential in a new market: customer value proposition design, followed by a market entry game. Students analyze the existing market size and pricing structure of eHealth web-service market and enter the market as a steering group of their company, competing against the legacy players and with each other. The market is growing but has its rules of demand and supply balance. New products can be developed with an R&D-investment, and targeted to market with unique quality- and price-combinations. Product cost structure can be improved by investing to enhanced production capacity. Investments can be funded optionally by foreign capital. Students make management decisions and face the dynamics of the market competition in form of income statement and balance sheet after each decision cycle. The focus of the learning outcome is to understand customer value creation to be the source of cash flow. The benefit of gamification is to enrich the learning experience on structure and meaning of financial statements. The paper describes the gamification approach and discusses outcomes after two course implementations. Along the case description of learning challenges, some unexpected misconceptions are noted. Improvements of the game or the semi-gamified teaching pedagogy are discussed. The case description serves as an additional support to new game coordinator, as well as helps to improve the method. Overall, the gamified approach has helped to engage engineering student to business studies in an energizing way.

Keywords: Engineering education, integrated curriculum, learning experience, learning outcomes.

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141 Discovering User Behaviour Patterns from Web Log Analysis to Enhance the Accessibility and Usability of Website

Authors: Harpreet Singh

Abstract:

Finding relevant information on the World Wide Web is becoming highly challenging day by day. Web usage mining is used for the extraction of relevant and useful knowledge, such as user behaviour patterns, from web access log records. Web access log records all the requests for individual files that the users have requested from the website. Web usage mining is important for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as it can ensure customer satisfaction as far as the interaction between the customer and the organization is concerned. Web usage mining is helpful in improving website structure or design as per the user’s requirement by analyzing the access log file of a website through a log analyzer tool. The focus of this paper is to enhance the accessibility and usability of a guitar selling web site by analyzing their access log through Deep Log Analyzer tool. The results show that the maximum number of users is from the United States and that they use Opera 9.8 web browser and the Windows XP operating system.

Keywords: Web usage mining, log file, web mining, data mining, deep log analyser.

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140 Hand Controlled Mobile Robot Applied in Virtual Environment

Authors: Jozsef Katona, Attila Kovari, Tibor Ujbanyi, Gergely Sziladi

Abstract:

By the development of IT systems, human-computer interaction is also developing even faster and newer communication methods become available in human-machine interaction. In this article, the application of a hand gesture controlled human-computer interface is being introduced through the example of a mobile robot. The control of the mobile robot is implemented in a realistic virtual environment that is advantageous regarding the aspect of different tests, parallel examinations, so the purchase of expensive equipment is unnecessary. The usability of the implemented hand gesture control has been evaluated by test subjects. According to the opinion of the testing subjects, the system can be well used, and its application would be recommended on other application fields too.

Keywords: Human-machine interface, hand control, mobile robot, virtual environment.

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139 Heritage Tree Expert Assessment and Classification: Malaysian Perspective

Authors: B.-Y.-S. Lau, Y.-C.-T. Jonathan, M.-S. Alias

Abstract:

Heritage trees are natural large, individual trees with exceptionally value due to association with age or event or distinguished people. In Malaysia, there is an abundance of tropical heritage trees throughout the country. It is essential to set up a repository of heritage trees to prevent valuable trees from being cut down. In this cross domain study, a web-based online expert system namely the Heritage Tree Expert Assessment and Classification (HTEAC) is developed and deployed for public to nominate potential heritage trees. Based on the nomination, tree care experts or arborists would evaluate and verify the nominated trees as heritage trees. The expert system automatically rates the approved heritage trees according to pre-defined grades via Delphi technique. Features and usability test of the expert system are presented. Preliminary result is promising for the system to be used as a full scale public system.

Keywords: Arboriculture, Delphi, expert system, heritage tree, urban forestry.

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138 Inulinase Immobilization on Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles Prepared with Soy Protein Isolate Conjugated Bovine Serum Albumin for High Fructose Syrup Production

Authors: Homa Torabizadeh, Mohaddeseh Mikani

Abstract:

Inulinase from Aspergillus niger was covalently immobilized on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs/Fe3O4) covered with soy protein isolate (SPI/Fe3O4) functionalized by bovine serum albumin (BSA) nanoparticles. MNPs are promising enzyme carriers because they separate easily under external magnetic fields and have enhanced immobilized enzyme reusability. As MNPs aggregate simply, surface coating strategy was employed. SPI functionalized by BSA was a suitable candidate for nanomagnetite coating due to its superior biocompatibility and hydrophilicity. Fe3O4@SPI-BSA nanoparticles were synthesized as a novel carrier with narrow particle size distribution. Step by step fabrication monitoring of Fe3O4@SPI-BSA nanoparticles was performed using field emission scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The results illustrated that nanomagnetite with the spherical morphology was well monodispersed with the diameter of about 35 nm. The average size of the SPI-BSA nanoparticles was 80 to 90 nm, and their zeta potential was around −34 mV. Finally, the mean diameter of fabricated Fe3O4@SPI-BSA NPs was less than 120 nm. Inulinase enzyme from Aspergillus niger was covalently immobilized through gluteraldehyde on Fe3O4@SPI-BSA nanoparticles successfully. Fourier transform infrared spectra and field emission scanning electron microscopy images provided sufficient proof for the enzyme immobilization on the nanoparticles with 80% enzyme loading.

Keywords: High fructose syrup, inulinase immobilization, functionalized magnetic nanoparticles, soy protein isolate.

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137 ParkedGuard: An Efficient and Accurate Parked Domain Detection System Using Graphical Locality Analysis and Coarse-To-Fine Strategy

Authors: Chia-Min Lai, Wan-Ching Lin, Hahn-Ming Lee, Ching-Hao Mao

Abstract:

As world wild internet has non-stop developments, making profit by lending registered domain names emerges as a new business in recent years. Unfortunately, the larger the market scale of domain lending service becomes, the riskier that there exist malicious behaviors or malwares hiding behind parked domains will be. Also, previous work for differentiating parked domain suffers two main defects: 1) too much data-collecting effort and CPU latency needed for features engineering and 2) ineffectiveness when detecting parked domains containing external links that are usually abused by hackers, e.g., drive-by download attack. Aiming for alleviating above defects without sacrificing practical usability, this paper proposes ParkedGuard as an efficient and accurate parked domain detector. Several scripting behavioral features were analyzed, while those with special statistical significance are adopted in ParkedGuard to make feature engineering much more cost-efficient. On the other hand, finding memberships between external links and parked domains was modeled as a graph mining problem, and a coarse-to-fine strategy was elaborately designed by leverage the graphical locality such that ParkedGuard outperforms the state-of-the-art in terms of both recall and precision rates.

Keywords: Coarse-to-fine strategy, domain parking service, graphical locality analysis, parked domain.

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136 The Correlation between Users’ Star Rating and Usability on Mobile Applications

Authors: Abdulmohsen A. AlBesher, Richard T. Stone

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Star rating for mobile applications is a very useful way to differentiate between the best and worst rated applications. However, the question is whether the rating reflects the level of usability or not. The aim of this paper is to find out if the user’ star ratings on mobile apps correlate with the usability of those apps. Thus, we tested three mobile apps, which have different star ratings: low, medium, and high. Participating in the study, 15 mobile phone users were asked to do one single task for each of the three tested apps. After each task, the participant evaluated the app by answering a survey based on the System Usability Scale (SUS). The results found that there is no major correlation between the star rating and the usability. However, it was found that the task completion time and the numbers of errors that may happen while completing the task were significantly correlated to the usability.

Keywords: Mobile applications, SUS, Star rating, Usability.

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135 Perception-Oriented Model Driven Development for Designing Data Acquisition Process in Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: K. Indra Gandhi

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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have always been characterized for application-specific sensing, relaying and collection of information for further analysis. However, software development was not considered as a separate entity in this process of data collection which has posed severe limitations on the software development for WSN. Software development for WSN is a complex process since the components involved are data-driven, network-driven and application-driven in nature. This implies that there is a tremendous need for the separation of concern from the software development perspective. A layered approach for developing data acquisition design based on Model Driven Development (MDD) has been proposed as the sensed data collection process itself varies depending upon the application taken into consideration. This work focuses on the layered view of the data acquisition process so as to ease the software point of development. A metamodel has been proposed that enables reusability and realization of the software development as an adaptable component for WSN systems. Further, observing users perception indicates that proposed model helps in improving the programmer's productivity by realizing the collaborative system involved.

Keywords: Model-driven development, wireless sensor networks, data acquisition, separation of concern, layered design.

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134 Urban Accessibility of Historical Cities: The Venetian Case Study

Authors: Valeria Tatano, Francesca Guidolin, Francesca Peltrera

Abstract:

The preservation of historical Italian heritage, at the urban and architectural scale, has to consider restrictions and requirements connected with conservation issues and usability needs, which are often at odds with historical heritage preservation. Recent decades have been marked by the search for increased accessibility not only of public and private buildings, but to the whole historical city, also for people with disability. Moreover, in the last years the concepts of Smart City and Healthy City seek to improve accessibility both in terms of mobility (independent or assisted) and fruition of goods and services, also for historical cities. The principles of Inclusive Design have introduced new criteria for the improvement of public urban space, between current regulations and best practices. Moreover, they have contributed to transforming “special needs” into an opportunity of social innovation. These considerations find a field of research and analysis in the historical city of Venice, which is at the same time a site of UNESCO world heritage, a mass tourism destination bringing in visitors from all over the world and a city inhabited by an aging population. Due to its conformation, Venetian urban fabric is only partially accessible: about four thousand bridges divide thousands of islands, making it almost impossible to move independently. These urban characteristics and difficulties were the base, in the last 20 years, for several researches, experimentations and solutions with the aim of eliminating architectural barriers, in particular for the usability of bridges. The Venetian Municipality with the EBA Office and some external consultants realized several devices (e.g. the “stepped ramp” and the new accessible ramps for the Venice Marathon) that should determine an innovation for the city, passing from the use of mechanical replicable devices to specific architectural projects in order to guarantee autonomy in use. This paper intends to present the state-of-the-art in bridges accessibility, through an analysis based on Inclusive Design principles and on the current national and regional regulation. The purpose is to evaluate some possible strategies that could improve performances, between limits and possibilities of interventions. The aim of the research is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic program for the City of Venice that could successfully bring together both conservation and improvement requirements.

Keywords: Accessibility and inclusive design, historical heritage preservation, technological and social innovation.

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133 Domain Knowledge Representation through Multiple Sub Ontologies: An Application Interoperability

Authors: Sunitha Abburu, Golla Suresh Babu

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The issues that limit application interoperability is lack of common vocabulary, common structure, application domain knowledge ontology based semantic technology provides solutions that resolves application interoperability issues. Ontology is broadly used in diverse applications such as artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, biomedical, information integration, etc. Ontology can be used to interpret the knowledge of various domains. To reuse, enrich the available ontologies and reduce the duplication of ontologies of the same domain, there is a strong need to integrate the ontologies of the particular domain. The integrated ontology gives complete knowledge about the domain by sharing this comprehensive domain ontology among the groups. As per the literature survey there is no well-defined methodology to represent knowledge of a whole domain. The current research addresses a systematic methodology for knowledge representation using multiple sub-ontologies at different levels that addresses application interoperability and enables semantic information retrieval. The current method represents complete knowledge of a domain by importing concepts from multiple sub ontologies of same and relative domains that reduces ontology duplication, rework, implementation cost through ontology reusability.

Keywords: Knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation, knowledge transfer, ontologies, semantics.

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132 Designing and Evaluating Pedagogic Conversational Agents to Teach Children

Authors: Silvia Tamayo-Moreno, Diana Pérez-Marín

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In this paper, the possibility of children studying by using an interactive learning technology called Pedagogic Conversational Agent is presented. The main benefit is that the agent is able to adapt the dialogue to each student and to provide automatic feedback. Moreover, according to Math teachers, in many cases students are unable to solve the problems even knowing the procedure to solve them, because they do not understand what they have to do. The hypothesis is that if students are helped to understand what they have to solve, they will be able to do it. Taken that into account, we have started the development of Dr. Roland, an agent to help students understand Math problems following a User-Centered Design methodology. The use of this methodology is proposed, for the first time, to design pedagogic agents to teach any subject from Secondary down to Pre-Primary education. The reason behind proposing a methodology is that while working on this project, we noticed the lack of literature to design and evaluate agents. To cover this gap, we describe how User-Centered Design can be applied, and which usability techniques can be applied to evaluate the agent.

Keywords: Pedagogic conversational agent, human-computer interaction, user-centered design, natural language interface.

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131 Manufacturing of Twist-Free Surfaces by Magnetism Aided Machining Technologies

Authors: Zs. Kovács, Zs. J. Viharos, J. Kodácsy

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As a well-known conventional finishing process, the grinding is commonly used to manufacture seal mating surfaces and bearing surfaces, but is also creates twisted surfaces. The machined surfaces by turning or grinding usually have twist structure on the surfaces, which can convey lubricants such as conveyor screw. To avoid this phenomenon, have to use special techniques or machines, for example start-stop turning, tangential turning, ultrasonic protection or special toll geometries. All of these solutions have high cost and difficult usability. In this paper, we describe a system and summarize the results of the experimental research carried out mainly in the field of Magnetic Abrasive Polishing (MAP) and Magnetic Roller Burnishing (MRB). These technologies are simple and also green while able to produce twist-free surfaces. During the tests, C45 normalized steel was used as workpiece material which was machined by simple and Wiper geometrical turning inserts in a CNC turning lathe. After the turning, the MAP and MRB technologies can be used directly to reduce the twist of surfaces. The evaluation was completed by advanced measuring and IT equipment.

Keywords: Magnetism, finishing, polishing, roller burnishing, twist-free.

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130 Authoring Tactile Gestures: Case Study for Emotion Stimulation

Authors: Rodrigo Lentini, Beatrice Ionascu, Friederike A. Eyssel, Scandar Copti, Mohamad Eid

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The haptic modality has brought a new dimension to human computer interaction by engaging the human sense of touch. However, designing appropriate haptic stimuli, and in particular tactile stimuli, for various applications is still challenging. To tackle this issue, we present an intuitive system that facilitates the authoring of tactile gestures for various applications. The system transforms a hand gesture into a tactile gesture that can be rendering using a home-made haptic jacket. A case study is presented to demonstrate the ability of the system to develop tactile gestures that are recognizable by human subjects. Four tactile gestures are identified and tested to intensify the following four emotional responses: high valence – high arousal, high valence – low arousal, low valence – high arousal, and low valence – low arousal. A usability study with 20 participants demonstrated high correlation between the selected tactile gestures and the intended emotional reaction. Results from this study can be used in a wide spectrum of applications ranging from gaming to interpersonal communication and multimodal simulations.

Keywords: Tactile stimulation, tactile gesture, emotion reactions, arousal, valence.

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129 Ambient Notifications and the Interruption Effect

Authors: Trapond Hiransalee

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The technology of mobile devices has changed our daily lives. Since smartphone have become a multi-functional device, many people spend unnecessary time on them, and could be interrupted by inappropriate notifications such as unimportant messages from social media. Notifications from smartphone could draw people’s attention and distract them from their priorities and current tasks. This research investigated that if the users were notified by their surroundings instead of smartphone, would it create less distraction and keep their focus on the present task. The experiment was a simulation of a lamp and door notification. Notifications related to work will be embedded in the lamp such as an email from a colleague. A notification that is useful when going outside such as weather information, traffic information, and schedule reminder will be embedded in the door. The experiment was conducted by sending notifications to the participant while he or she was working on a primary task and the working performance was measured. The results show that the lamp notification had fewer interruption effects than the smartphone. For the door notification, it was simulated in order to gain opinions and insights on ambient notifications from participants. Many participants agreed that the ambient notifications are useful and being informed by them could lessen the usage of their smartphone. The results and insights from this research could be used to guide the design process of ambient notifications.

Keywords: HCI, Interaction, Interaction design, Usability testing.

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