Dr Hoogendoorn has extensive experience of working with sensor-generated data, with particular expertise in applying machine learning in the domains of eHealth and mHealth.
Jie is working with Mark’s group until mid-June, and will be researching machine learning methods for activity recognition, energy disaggregation and indoor localisation based on data collected from the HomeSense field trial.
With the HomeSense field trial completed, now is an opportunity to share some of the lessons learned on the way to capturing good data.
The technical aspects of this methodological trial were crucial to sort out. The learning process (by doing) highlighted some of the limitations of sensor-based technology in capturing socially relevant information, but other methodological issues in designing the trial, including ethical considerations, were equally important to get right.
Six months into the HomeSense project, Prof. Nigel Gilbert outlined the “interesting ethics issues” that required attention before the field trial could responsibly get underway in volunteer households.
In his presentation, “The Ethics of Sensors” at the 2016 ESRC Research Methods Festival in Bath, Nigel explained the ambition of HomeSense to enable social researchers to use digital sensors alongside self-reported methods and observations. The project is also assessing the extent to which householders might accept sensors in their homes for research, and the final output will be a set of guidelines for use in such studies.
The paper now published in the conference proceedings, covers data analysis from the early stages of the HomeSense field trial. It reports on applying machine learning methods to interpret sensor-generated data, and discusses a method for identifying features of various types of activity and evaluating the agreement between sensor-generated data and self-reported data from time-use diaries.
Since one of the implications of using sensors for social research is that, in due course, activities could be recognised automatically, this study also proposes a method for modelling a range of activities recorded by sensors.
The same approach has been continued by the team in an extended version of the study with data from more households, but the publication of the conference paper in the Proceedings of ICFNDS’17 provided an opportunity for some of its authors – Jie Jiang, Riccardo Pozza, Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir – to sit down and discuss the implications of this work, and where it sits within the project as a whole.
On 7 & 8 September, Jie Jiang will be attending a Joint UK/Japan workshop, titled: “Acceptability and Value of IoT in the Home” at the British Embassy in Tokyo. She’ll present a paper, titled: “Using IoT to study life at home“, sharing the lessons learned from designing, implementing and practising a sensor-based research strategy for the HomeSense field trial.
HomeSense is a pilot study developing methods for using digital sensors in social research. The project is a collaboration between two research centres at the University of Surrey: the Centre for Research in Social Simulation and the 5G Innovation Centre.
Many thanks to everyone for their contributions and making the workshop a success !
These expert consultations at the Goodenough Collee in London 20-21 June 2016 brought together a small group of researchers, practitioners and visionaries to discuss the latest developments in the use of sensors for smarter homes, health and lifestyle, how to assess these inventions and how to adapt the use of sensors for social research and adjacent disciplines.