, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 17-35
Date: 22 Feb 2011

Distributing emotional services in Ambient Intelligence through cognitive agents

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Abstract

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is a pervasive computing paradigm whose main aim is to design smart environments composed of invisible, connected, intelligent and interactive systems, which are naturally sensitive and responsive to the presence of people, providing advanced services for improving the quality of life. Nevertheless, AmI systems are more than a simple integration among computer technologies; indeed, their design can strongly depend upon psychology and social sciences aspects describing, analysing and forecasting the human being status during the system’s decision making. This paper introduces a novel methodology for AmI systems designing that exploits a service-oriented architecture whose functionalities are performed by a collection of so-called cognitive agents. These agents exploit a novel extension of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps benefiting on the theory of Timed Automata and a formal method for representing human moods in order to distribute emotional services able to enhance users’ comfort and simplify the human/systems interactions. As will be shown in experimental results, where a usability study and a confirmation of expectations test have been performed, the proposed approach maximizes the system’s usability in terms of efficiency, accuracy and emotional response.