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Cross-Context Multi-level Interpretations to generate

Personalized Recommendations
Syed Imran Ali and Sungyoung Lee
Department of Computer Science and Engineering Kyung Hee University
Seocheon-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea, 446-701
{ imran.ali, sylee }@oslab.khu.ac.kr

A huge array of personalized healthcare and wellness systems are introduced for digital health and
Quantified Self movement in recent years. These systems share common features which include
tasks such as self-tracking, self-quantifications, and self-monitoring based on the raw sensory data.
These features assist users to be more aware of their health. However, such systems cannot be
considered sufficient enough for changing the unhealthy habits of users. To induce healthy habits in
users, system needs to provide situation aware personalized recommendations. One big challenge
in this regard is the careful interpretations of user context, environmental variables, and user
preferences. We propose an innovative method for cross-context multi-level interpretations to
generate personalized health and wellness recommendations. With such interpretations, the selfquantification systems can be advanced to generate personalized recommendations in addition to
tracking, quantifying, and monitoring. By achieving this, we can increase the ownership of the
application by the user, thus increase the chances of healthy habits promotion and induction.
1. Introduction
information without taking into account users current
A huge array of systems for personalized healthcare and
context, preferences, and environmental variables. To get
wellness management has rapidly grown during the recent
personalized recommendation services, a granular level of
years due to the rapid increase in wearable and mobile
users preference information is also required along with
technologies [1]. These systems and applications have
contextual information and environmental variables. In this
augmented the portfolio of digital health and
paper, we proposed an innovative method to interpret the
quantification-self movement. With advances in Selfuser situation on three parameters: user context (low level
Quantification, systems capturing and recording data of
and high level), physical context (weather), and user
human health and fitness are now feasible. With the
availability of this data, the systems provide better
understanding of users health status and their
2. Method
relationship to the world around them [2]. SelfAs shown in Fig. 1, the high level architecture of the
quantification systems and applications are of high
proposed method depicts the overall functional workflow.
importance to educate users to be more aware of their
At first level, the data is collected from wearable sensors
health status, but alone this cannot be considered
and smart phone. The data is curated and persisted with a
sufficient to change unhealthy habits in users. Changing
logical division of user profile data, contextual data, and
unhealthy habits of users, demands to provide actionable
environmental data. The user profile data includes user
recommendations. Existing systems such as Fitbit Flex [3],
demographics (gender, age) and physiological factors
Jawbone Up [4], and Misfit Shine [5] are some examples
(height and weight). Contextual data is categorized into
of providing some basic recommendations based on the
two type of contexts: low level and high level contexts. Low
measured steps and slept hours. Samsung S Health [6]
level context includes location, emotion, and physical
and Google Fit [7] are working as personal fitness coach
activities. High level context includes the context
and health-tracking platform respectively on the basis of
determined from the low level context, such as officecapturing user steps counting.
works, commuting, eating, and others. Environmental
Previously, we proposed an innovative digital health
variables include weather context as rainy, sunny, etc.
framework called Mining Mind [1, 8] for personalized
Knowledge Builder component reasons over user profile
healthcare and wellness support. It provides personalized
data and physical activity data along with rules of
recommendations on the basis of expert knowledge and
knowledge base to initial level of recommendations. For an
domain guidelines. The main limitation with existing
instance, let the system generate recommendation as; an
recommendation is that they are based on user profile
hour exercise is required to burn x amount of calories.

This is a generic level recommendation statement that can

be interpreted differently, such as; walking m1 minutes or
running m2 minutes or hiking m4 minutes or others. From
the guidelines, a set of possible recommendations can be
inferred for an hour exercise to burn x amount of calories.
As per the guidelines, all the above recommendations are
correct, however, a subset of them is applied to the user
according to his/her current situation. Also, it is possible
that the recommendation builder generates one
recommendation, e.g. hiking x minutes, but hiking
recommendation may not be permitted because of the
weather condition is rainy. Generate the personalized
recommendation on the basis of user situations.
Recommendation Interpreter in Fig. 1, gets the initial
recommendation built by recommendation builder
component and interpret with the strategy discussed in
following section.
2.1. Design Strategy of Multi-level Interpretations of
recommendations And Results
We devised a matrix representation for each context and
environmental variable to map against each type of
recommendations such as running, walking, hiking,
jogging, and others. An example of one of the low level
contexts location is shown in Table 1.

Figure 1: High level architecture of proposed approach of

generating personalized recommendations on the basis of user
profile, context, and environmental data.

Similar matrices are created for all possible contexts and

environmental variables. On the basis of current instance
of user context and environmental variable(s), we generate
a contextual matrix. In the contextual matrix, the current
instance of context / environmental variable is crossed
with generated recommendation. Suppose current
instance has the values as loc = home, high level context
(HCL) = amusement, emotion = happy, and weather =
recommendation builder is hiking. Prior to interpretations,
we first look at the column of recommended activity and
draw the interpretations on the basis of AND operation. For

instance, one of the possible interpretations is; the

recommendation in the current situation is not applicable
and we need to find alternative recommendations. We
apply the methods by selecting 5 potential users and
validate the results for different situations.
Table 1: Location context values mapping with different
recommendations (1 shows applicable, 0 shows not applicable)







Table 2 shows an example of contextual matrix and

aggregate vector creation. Contextual matrix is composed
of current contexts of the user. All the current contexts
e.g. locations, HLC, weather, emotion, etc. are evaluated
in terms of recommended activities. Logical AND-operation
is performed on each of the physical activity (column-wise
manner) to generate aggregate vector. This aggregate
vector contains a list of physical activities which can be
performed in the given context of the user.
Table 2: Sample contextual matrix and aggregate vector (1 shows
applicable, 0 shows not applicable)

Loc= Home












3. Conclusion and Future Work

The coming era in health and wellness services is all
about inducing healthy habits in users. We presented our
work on situation-aware recommendation interpretation on
the basis of user situation including context,
environmental variable, and user preferences. We foresee
enormous application of the proposed approach in health
and wellness applications. The current systems and
applications can enhance their capabilities to employ our
interpretation service.
Acknowledgement. This research was supported by the
MSIP(Ministry of Science, ICT&Future Planning), Korea,
under the ITRC(Information Technology Research Center)
support program supervised by the NIPA(National IT
Industry Promotion Agency)" (NIPA-2014-(H0301-14-1003)
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