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1 An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment

1 An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment



An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment.

An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment.



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    1 An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment 1 An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment Presentation Transcript

    • An ontological framework for the elderly to control their home environment Kostas KALOGIROU & Gerrit TELKAMP
    • Elderly and independent living - facts
      • The older population is growing at a considerably faster rate than that of the world’s total population
      • The World Health Organisation defines independence as the ability to perform the activities of the daily life with little or no help from others
      • The goals of independent Living Applications or Services are to maximise empowerment, independence and productivity of individuals and their integrations and inclusion into the mainstream of society
      • There are 2 options:
        • to provide aids to mitigate the loss of independence
        • To empower the conditions that make a person to continue being independent  adopted by OASIS Integrated Project
    • Domotics in OASIS
      • OASIS proposes an innovative approach of integration of many AAL-enabled Independent living applications through the use of a common set of interconnected ontologies
      • Emphasis here is on the concept and developments for assisting the elderly to manage their home environment efficiently
      • One of OASIS main research and development pillars is the unification of the domotics environment under an interoperability umbrella, based on ontologies
      The main characteristics of a connected home The extended home
    • Domotics & communication
      • The home environment is very heterogeneous, composed of different application domains, devices, communication standards, user needs and wants, etc.
      • These diverse devices use different integration and communication systems (i.e. KNX/EIB, LonWorks, LCN, CAN, proprietary RF communication, and other)
      • This leads to several incompatible “communication islands” at home that are not interoperable thus limiting their functionality and not allowing collaboration that is essential for the creation of an AI infrastructure
      • Within OASIS, integration goes a step further, aiming to define a common ontological framework for content and functionalities (including home devices safety applications).
      • A first such ontology has been defined within AMIGO project (IST-2004-004182), but requires severe revision, extension and integration into OASIS Common Ontological Framework.
    • Domotics UCs in OASIS
      • Automatically detect the user in the house and his/her exact position and adapt accordingly the ambient environment
      • While the user is in the house, or as soon as enters his/her house, the system detects him/her and performs some pre-defined actions, altering the status of home appliances (according to the user’s previous settings), e.g. the heating is turned on to x 0 C, the TV is switched on...
      • Check & control the status of home appliances
      • The user can check the status of a connected home device (i.e. if the heating system is on/off, if the window is closed, etc.) while in or out of home, through the environmental control module (comfort unit) & control it, if he/she so wishes
      • Monitoring and automatically change of the status of home devices for security and environmental protection reasons
      • The system monitors the status of a connected home device and changes it by itself (i.e. decrease the house temperature while the user is out of the home, close a window, while the user is out, turn off the oven when the habitant is out, etc.)
    • OASIS domotics ontologies framework
      • In ASK-IT integrated project, significant developments took place regarding the communication and interfacing of heterogeneous devices that comply with different widely accepted or proprietary standards.
      • In OASIS the integration of heterogeneous devices evolves on a higher semantic level, aiming to render domotic devices exploitable by web services
      • 4 principles are used in the development of ontologies: realism, perspectivalism, fallibilism, and adequatism
      • Also, several aspects of a more technical nature were taken into account by the developers of OASIS ontologies, such as fulfilling the basic needs of the developers of ontology-based applications/tools
    • Key domotics functionalities
      • Relevant functionalities that can be included in the ontological description are:
      • Security and safety : Monitoring of the environmental parameters, reminder of locking, security procedures during a break-in attempt, safety procedures in cases of storms, overvoltage, etc.
      • Energy saving : Energy efficient consumer products (washing machine, dishwasher, fridges, IT, lights, etc.), efficient heating, efficient ventilation, automatic lowering of the heating in unused rooms and at non-attendance.
      • Additional functions : Emergency call, monitoring of subject vital parameters, telemedical services, support of housework.
      • Comfort : Networked appliances give a better overview of the household, central remote control of most of the functions, desired temperature in the whole house, sun protection.
      • Flexibility : Flexible connection technology and wiring, comfortable multimedia infrastructure.
      • Entertainment : Home cinema, home server and networking.
    • Domotic ontological framework solutions (1/3)
      • 1. One main class serving all devices
        • Only the functionalities that are common in all appliances apply
        • This would make a lot of core functionalities inaccessible by the overall AmI system and would require further customization steps during development
      • Limitation : can only include very basic functions that are common to all domotic devices (e.g. ON/OFF)
    • Domotic ontological framework solutions (2/3)
      • 2. One class per device
      • The extreme opposite of the previous concept is the development of one ontology class per domotic device
      • This approach provides the means for the complete functional potential exploitation since these become accessible via the ontology framework
      • There is the need for each domotic developer to provide the appropriate device description class so that it becomes integratable to the OASIS platform
      • Each device-class has different properties, which characterizes itself.
        • For example, the ‘light’ device-class can have status and luminance properties. The temperature class can have status properties.
      • Limitation : too detailed and can lead to different ontologies even for the same device, depending on each manufacturer and the supported functionalities
    • Domotic ontological framework solutions (3/3)
      • 3. One class per category of device
      • A compromise between the previous two designs
      • Different categories are formed depending on the common functionalities and characteristics of domotic devices
      • For each of these categories different classes are designed, in order to provide description and accessibility to specific, common functionalities
      • Such a categorisation in classes follows:
        • White goods
        • Brown goods
        • Lighting
        • Heating
        • Alarms & Security Devices
        • Sensors
        • Other
      • Limitation : it is not so easy to obtain since it needs to take into account for each class of devices, the devices of each major vendor
    • Solution: combination
        • An upper ontology layer that is the abstract generic ontology
        • A medium layer with a categorization
        • A lower, detailed functionality layer, which contains custom classes specific for each device and is provided by the vendor
      • This last ontology can be created using specific guidelines or even a tool developed within OASIS and is accessible to the domotic provider via the web
      • The access to the functionalities of the device becomes modular
      • Depending on the availability of data, all 3 or less layers may be populated and the accessibility and operability level for the specific device will vary
    • Overall ontology
      • The selection criteria for domotic devices used in the OASIS pilot sites are easy to install and low cost
      • Devices can easily be installed using a “Plug, Touch and Play” approach.
      • Many different devices are available, e.g. plugs, remote controls, sensors, motion detectors or energy meters
      • A simple GUI, implemented in JAVA is underway, to be installed on any PC that is connected to the Domotic Server. This GUI is connected to the Domotic Gateway by using Web-Services
    • Business benefits
      • One of the most important points of the domotics system is that sensors are set up to be easily integrated into household equipment (incl. the wiring) already available
        • This is in line with the fact that elderly people do not want to buy new apparatus or equipment
      • OASIS provides a graphical user interface in order to support the vendors and companies to add new devices with their properties
      • The new ontology encompasses all types of communication protocols (including older ones and wireless), does not require specific infrastructure (i.e. fiber optics or fast internet), is easily expandable and not brand-specific, thus is ideal for fast, cost-efficient and yet reliable applications in countries under development
    • Conclusions
      • In OASIS domotics integration in a higher level is pursued by providing the semantic representation of domotics functionalities in order to take advantage the developments of web services
      • The design of this kind of ontological framework brings the opportunity for standardization and harmonization in functionalities and communication levels of different devices from different vendors
      • In facilitates the management of distributed data sources towards more detailed context awareness by the AmI (Ambient Intelligence framework)
      • Existing emerging domotic applications at user homes or/and hospitals, elderly homes and other rehabilitation establishments can be easily connected to it and through it to a wide number of elderly support services
    • Demo
      • The relevant ontology is publicly available at http://babel.informatik.uni-bremen.de/ontologies (v0.7) and can be interfaced by a content alignment and authoring tool (stand-alone application, running on any Java-enabled PC)