The project is articulated in six workpackages (WPs):
WP1, Domain Analysis

Its goal is to identify the user requirements, the overall architectural specifications of the ACube Platform along with indicators to be used in the assessment of the final prototypes.

From a methodological point of view, two different approaches will be employed and merged: User-Centred Design (UCD) and Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering (GORE). While UCD pushes for understanding the intricate network of relationships among the users, their tasks and their actual environment, GORE offers formal representation techniques whose models can be automatically analysed to detect conflicts and dependencies between requirements. The combination of the two methods will be instrumental to properly guide the design of the complex technologies of ACube while helping to fill the gap between the end users and the developers.

WP2, Sensing Algorithms

This WP addresses the study and the implementation of technical components for the environment sensing. To this purpose, acoustic, visual, electromagnetic, and biosensors will be used.

For each technology specific requirements and functionalities for an independent development and evaluation of the related sensor components will initially be defined. However, the most crucial issues will regard the integration of components of different nature and the information that will be delivered to higher architecture levels.

The integration between sensors of different nature will be designed also based on energy consumption related criteria. In practice, the basic idea is that power-consuming devices will be switched on from stand-by mode only when some of the other system components observe a contextual situation which deserves to be monitored in more detail and from different perspectives.

WP3, Distributed Sensor Networks and Communication Infrastructure

This WP targets research on data acquisition from distributed sensors sensors and further processing, exploiting a hw/sw platform that enables secure and pervasive data access.

Issues related to the safety and protection of sensitive data will also be addressed. Wireless communication raises problems as data can be intercepted or injected by a malicious intruder. The solution entails securing the wireless channel, a challenge on devices with limited resources.

WP4, Data Processing and Fusion

This WP concerns the high-level processing of the ACube architecture. Starting from the raw data gathered at the physical level from the sensors, the information is processed to provide the system with a more consistent representation of the event, also by fusing it in so-called virtual sensors (pre-processed information, low-level features, data fusion), which are successively adopted to achieve a higher abstraction level, ready to be used for classification and learning purposes.

On the basis of such data, and with the use of models either defined by rules or automatically learned by the system, the analysis provides as output a symbolic representation of the activities happening in the monitored environment.

The workpackage also takes into account the issues related to the management of such a complex and heterogeneous sensorial equipment, by designing suitable strategies for the adaptive activation of sensors and actuators.

WP5, System Intelligence

The goal of this workpackage is to provide the system with high level intelligence. In particular, the WP aims at developing several high-level functionalities:

  • the ability to represent, in an application-independent format, the activities and the objectives of the assisted and care givers.
  • the monitoring, that requires the maintenance of a representation of the state of the observed environment, coherently with the observed events.
  • the planning, i.e. the ability for the system to decide which are the activities required to achieve given objectives (e.g. investigate the location of a given person), possibly activating additional sets of sensors, and/or to deliver the suitable actuations (e.g. store additional information when particularly interesting, or implement the logic controlling recording).
  • the ability to analyze the history of recorded scenarios (e.g. a crisis from a patient), and extract correlations between similar events (e.g. a specific combination of conditions that lead to the problem).
WP6, Pilot Sites, Data Collection and Experimental Validation

Its goal is to implement and validate the experimentation of ACube technologies into pilot sites installed in selected real-world scenarios. The focus of this activity will be, on the one hand, on addressing the interoperability of the system with nursing home appliances and, on the other, on its ability to support the users' needs for assistance and the staff's needs for sustainable care.

The implementation of the pilot sites will be conducted in two settings, one in Milan (Don Gnocchi DAT Smart Home) and the other in Trento (Centro Diurno per pazienti Alzheimer). For each of the pilot sites, the activity of this workpackage will consider the installation and fine-tuning of the monitoring system.

In this workpackage will be carried out the set up of data collection mechanisms and the integration of the different components of the ACube architecture.