Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 271–289 | Cite as

COSAR: hybrid reasoning for context-aware activity recognition

  • Daniele RiboniEmail author
  • Claudio Bettini
Original Article


Human activity recognition is a challenging problem for context-aware systems and applications. Research in this field has mainly adopted techniques based on supervised learning algorithms, but these systems suffer from scalability issues with respect to the number of considered activities and contextual data. In this paper, we propose a solution based on the use of ontologies and ontological reasoning combined with statistical inferencing. Structured symbolic knowledge about the environment surrounding the user allows the recognition system to infer which activities among the candidates identified by statistical methods are more likely to be the actual activity that the user is performing. Ontological reasoning is also integrated with statistical methods to recognize complex activities that cannot be derived by statistical methods alone. The effectiveness of the proposed technique is supported by experiments with a complete implementation of the system using commercially available sensors and an Android-based handheld device as the host for the main activity recognition module.


Activity recognition Context awareness Ontological reasoning 



This work has been partially supported by a grant from \(\hbox{Sun}^{\circledR}\) Microsystems. The authors would like to thank the volunteers that collaborated to the collection of data used in our experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli Studi di Milano, D.I.Co.MilanItaly

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