Hide menu

Publications


Johan Aberg, 'An Evaluation of a Meal Planning System: Ease of Use and Perceived Usefulness'. In Proceedings of the 23rd BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Cambridge, UK, 2009. ACM Press.

Available as: [PDF]

Abstract. Unhealthy eating is an increasingly important problem in the western society. Our approach to this problem is to provide a meal planning system giving recommendations of suitable food recipes, taking important factors such as nutrient content, cost, variation, etc into account. A user controls how the system takes these factors into account through settings after which the system creates an optimal meal plan. The user can then iteratively refine the settings until a satisfactory meal plan is produced. The system is evaluated empirically in terms of ease of use and perceived usefulness, factors crucial for eventual user acceptance. The results are positive, and several interesting possibilities for future system improvements are discussed.


Nahid Shahmehri, Johan Aberg, and Dennis Maciuszek, 'Virtual Companions'. In A. Helal, M. Mokhtari and B. Abdulrazak (eds), The Engineering Handbook on Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471711551, Computer Engineering Series, pp. 645-672, 2008.


Nahid Shahmehri, Ioan Chisalita and Johan Aberg, 'People with Special Needs and Traffic Safety'. In A. Helal, M. Mokhtari and B. Abdulrazak (eds), The Engineering Handbook on Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence, John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471711551, Computer Engineering Series, pp. 459-478, 2008.


Cecile Aberg, Johan Aberg, Patrick Lambrix, Nahid Shahmehri, `A Platform to Evaluate the Technology for Service Discovery in the Semantic Web', in Proceedings of the Twenty-First National Conference on Artificial Intelligence - AAAI-2006, pp. 1253-1258, Boston, MA, USA, 2006.


Johan Aberg. 'Dealing With Malnutrition: A Meal Planning System for Elderly', in Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Argumentation for Consumers of Health Care, pp. 1-7, Stanford University, CA, USA, 2006.

Available as: [PDF].

Abstract. Malnutrition is a serious problem among people of old age. To overcome malnutrition, a change of food consumption behaviour is necessary, which needs to be based on specialist advice from health-care professionals. Changing food-related behaviour, however, is known to be difficult. Our approach to this problem is to provide an intelligent meal planning system to be used by the elderly person in his or her home. The system provides recommendations of suitable food recipes, taking into account the advice of the care givers (e.g. in terms of dietary restrictions, suitable energy and fat levels, etc). We describe the requirements, design, algorithms, and user interface of the system, and discuss ongoing and future work.


He Tan, Vaida Jakoniene, Patrick Lambrix, Johan Aberg, and Nahid Shahmehri, `Alignment of Biomedical Ontologies using Life Science Literature', in Proceedings of the International Workshop on Knowledge Discovery in Life Science Literature, pp. 1-17, Singapore, 2006.

Available as: [PDF].

Abstract. In recent years many biomedical ontologies have been developed and many of these ontologies contain overlapping information. To be able to use multiple ontologies they have to be aligned. In this paper we propose strategies for aligning ontologies based on life science literature. We propose a basic algorithm as well as extensions that take the structure of the ontologies into account. We evaluate the strategies and compare them with strategies implemented in the alignment system SAMBO. We also evaluate the combination of the proposed strategies and the SAMBO strategies.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri. 'Äldre och framtidens teknik - ett datavetenskapligt perspektiv (Elderly and future technology - a computer science perspective)'. In Gosta Blucher and Goran Graninger (eds), Den omvända ålderspyramiden, pp. 253-265, Linkoping University Interdisciplinary Studies, Linkoping, Sweden, 2005. (Essay in Swedish)


Dennis Maciuszek, Johan Aberg, and Nahid Shahmehri. 'What Help Do Older People Need? Constructing a Functional Design Space of Electronic Assistive Technology Applications', in Proceedings of the Seventh International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS'2005), pp. 4-11, Baltimore, USA, October 9-12, 2005.

Available as: [PDF]. © ACM, 2005. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the proceedings of ASSETS 2005 - The Seventh International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility.

Abstract. In times of ageing populations and shrinking care resources, electronic assistive technology (EAT) has the potential of contributing to guaranteeing frail older people a continued high quality of life. This paper provides users and designers of EAT with an instrument for choosing and producing relevant and useful EAT applications in the form of a functional design space. We present the field study that led to the design space, and explain how to use this tool.

Keywords. Electronic assistive technology, older adults, design space, field study, needs, patterns of interaction, interactive agents, design patterns, software components, user involvement


Dennis Maciuszek, Johan Aberg, and Nahid Shahmehri. 'Evaluation and Refinement of a Design Framework for Generating Dependable Virtual Companions for Later Life', in Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Smart Homes and Health Telematics (ICOST 2005), pp. 50-64, Sherbrooke, Canada, July 4-6, 2005.

Available as: [PDF].

Abstract. Resources in care for frail older people are limited. Electronic assistive technology can help maintain and improve older people's quality of life, however high requirements need to be put on such systems. As part of an iterative design process, this paper evaluates a framework for the design of interactive, multifunctional, and personalised assistive technology - virtual companions - in relation to previously defined dependability requirements. By means of scenario-based testing of a prototype implementation, we refine the first version of the design framework. The paper concludes with a reflection on our method, and outlines iteration steps to follow.


Nahid Shahmehri, Ioan Chisalita, Johan Aberg, Dennis Maciuszek, and Marie Hellqvist. 'Using Vehicular Communication to Support Older Drivers at Road Intersections: A Feasibility Study', Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Smart Homes and Health Telematics (ICOST 2004), pp 33-40, Singapore, September 15-17, 2004.

Available as: [PDF].

Abstract. More and more people are living to old age, and it is usually a desire among elderly to sustain mobility. Unfortunately, the crash rate of older adults is much larger than for other drivers. Older drivers are also more likely to get serious injuries that lead to disability or death. Therefore, technological contributions for improving traffic safety and preserving mobility of older people are important. One new promising approach is to use traffic safety systems based on vehicular communication, where vehicles exchange warning messages. This paper evaluates the feasibility of using such vehicular communication for supporting older drivers in road intersections, which is the most common accident setting for older drivers. Using a temporal reasoning system (ECAM) this accident setting is analyzed in depth, and the potential for accident avoidance is quantified, while taking into account several relevant factors such as speed, driver reaction time, and transmission delay for warning messages. The results indicate the great potential of vehicular communication, and highlights requirements on transmission delay.


Nahid Shahmehri, Johan Aberg, Dennis Maciuszek, and Ioan Chisalita. 'Linköping University's Virtual Companion Project', IEEE Pervasive Computing, 3(2), page 50, 2004.


Dennis Maciuszek, Nahid Shahmehri, and Johan Aberg. 'User involvement in the design of software to assist people with dementia: Creating a personalised virtual kitchen companion', Poster presented at ENABLE Final Conference: Challenges in Dementia Care, Oslo, Norway, June 21-23, 2004.


Dennis Maciuszek, Nahid Shahmehri, and Johan Aberg. 'Dependability requirements to aid the design of virtual companions for later life', Proceedings of the Home and Electronic Assistive Technology Workshop (HEAT 2004), York, UK, March 16-17, pp. 51-60, 2004.

Available as: [PDF].

Abstract. Frail older people can normally not be given round-the-clock care-giving assistance. During the time there is no other person around they must be independent. Electronic assistive technology (EAT) can increase an older person's independence in everyday life, but to do so it must be dependable. This paper examines issues of dependability for a special class of EAT software, virtual companions for later life. A virtual companion is a personal system of interconnected functions aiming to assist an elderly user by imitating elder-caregiver interaction. In order to provide designers with an aid for defining, designing, and validating virtual companions, the first part of the paper identifies and discusses the special dependability requirements to be put on such software. The second part describes our own approach, and gives suggestions on how to design for dependability.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri, 'Live Help Systems', in Julie Ratner, editor, Human Factors and Web Development, chapter 15, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, second edition, pp. 287-309, 2002.


Johan Aberg 'Live Help Systems: An Approach to Intelligent Help for Web Information Systems', Ph.D. Thesis 745, Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköpings universitet, 2002.

Available as: [PDF] (3.3 MB).

Abstract. Since the creation of the World-Wide Web we have seen a great growth in the complexity of Web sites. There has also been a large expansion in number of Web sites and in amount of usage. As a consequence, more and more Web site users are having problems accomplishing their tasks, and it is increasingly important to provide them with support.

Our research approach to online help for Web site users is the introduction and study of what we call live help systems. A live help system is an intelligent help system which integrates human experts in the process of advice giving by allowing users to communicate with dedicated expert assistants through the help system. Traditional fully automatic intelligent help systems have several common problems. For example, there are problems with large system complexity, knowledge engineering bottlenecks, and credibility. We hypothesise that live help systems, offer a solution to these problems.

Our aim with this thesis is to explore the design, technical feasibility, and usability of live help systems, in order to provide a foundation on which future research and practise can build. We have systematically explored the design space of live help systems. We have implemented and successfully deployed a live help system at an existing Web site, thereby demonstrating technical feasibility. During the deployment period, data was collected from the users and the human experts. Our analysis shows that live help systems are greatly appreciated by Web users, and that they are indeed effective in helping users accomplish their tasks. We also provide empirical results regarding the effectiveness of employing automatic help functions as a filter for the human experts. Further, the concept of user modelling as an aid for human experts has been explored as part of the field study.


Johan Aberg, Nahid Shahmehri, and Dennis Maciuszek, 'User Modelling for Live Help Systems', in Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Electronic Commerce (Welcom'01), pp. 164-179, Heidelberg, Germany, November 16-17, 2001. © Springer-Verlag.

Available as: [PDF], [PS].

Abstract. We have explored the role of user modelling in live help systems for e-commerce web sites. There are several potential benefits with user modelling in this context: 1) Human assistants can use the personal information in the user models to provide the users with efficient support tailored to their personal needs; 2) Assistants can be more comfortable in their supporting role; 3) Consultation resources can be saved, and thus, financial savings can be made for the e-commerce company. A user modelling approach has been implemented and deployed in a real web environment as part of a live help system. Following the deployment we have analysed consultation dialogue logs and answers to a questionnaire for participating assistants. This paper elaborates on these results, which show that assistants consider user modelling to be helpful and that consultation dialogues can be an important source for user model data collection. Based on lessons learned from the study, future directions for research and development are carefully analysed and laid out.


Johan Aberg, Nahid Shahmehri, and Dennis Maciuszek, 'User Modelling for Live Help Systems: Initial Results', in Proceedings of the Third ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC'01), pp. 194-197, Tampa, FL, USA, October 14-17, 2001.

Available as: [PDF], [PS].

Abstract. This paper explores the role of user modelling in live help systems for e-commerce web sites. There are several potential benefits with user modelling in this context: 1) Human assistants can use the personal information in the user models to provide the users with efficient support tailored to their personal needs; 2) Assistants can be more comfortable in their supporting role; 3) Consultation resources can be saved, and thus, financial savings can be made for the e-commerce company. A user modelling approach has been implemented and deployed in a real web environment as part of a live help system. Following the deployment we have analysed consultation dialogue logs and answers to a questionnaire for participating assistants. The initial results show that assistants consider user modelling to be helpful and that consultation dialogues can be an important source for user model data collection.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri, 'User Modelling as an Aid for Human Web Assistants', in Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on User Modeling, pp. 201-203, Sonthofen, Germany, July 13-17, 2001. © Springer-Verlag.

Available as: [PDF], [PS].

Abstract. This paper explores how user modelling can work as an aid for human assistants in a user support system for web sites. Information about the user can facilitate for the assistant the tailoring of the consultation to the individual needs of the user. Such information can be represented and structured in a user model made available for the assistant. A user modelling approach has been implemented and deployed in a real web environment as part of a user support system. Following the deployment we have analysed consultation dialogue logs and answers to a questionnaire for participating assistants. The initial results show that assistants consider user modelling to be helpful and that consultation dialogues can be an important source for user model data collection.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri, 'An Empirical Study of Human Web Assistants: Implications for User Support in Web Information Systems', Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 404-411, Seattle, Washington, USA, March 31 - April 5, 2001.

Available as: [PDF], [Slides].

Abstract. User support is an important element in reaching the goal of universal usability for web information systems. Recent developments indicate that human involvement in user support is a step towards this goal. However, most such efforts are currently being pursued on a purely intuitive basis. Thus, empirical findings about the role of human assistants are important. In this paper we present the findings from a field study of a general user support model for web information systems. We show that integrating human assistants into web systems is a way to provide efficient user support. Further, this integration makes a web site more fun to use and increases the user's trust in the site. The support also improves the site atmosphere. Our findings are summarised as recommendations and design guidelines for decision-makers and developers of web systems.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri, 'Collection and Exploitation of Expert Knowledge in Web Assistant Systems', Proceedings of the 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui, Hawaii, January 3-6, 2001.

Available as: [PDF].

Abstract. Recent research and commercial developments have highlighted the importance of human involvement in user support for web information systems. In our earlier work a web assistant system has been introduced, which is a hybrid support system with human web assistants and computer-based support. An important issue with web assistant systems is how to make optimal use of these support resources. We use a knowledge management approach with frequently asked questions for a question-answering system that acts as a question filter for the human assistants. Knowledge is continuously collected from the assistants and exploited to augment the question-answering capabilities. Our system has been deployed and evaluated by an analysis of conversation logs and questionnaires for users and assistants. The results show that our approach is feasible and useful. Lessons learned are summarised in a set of recommendations.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri, 'The role of human Web assistants in e-commerce: an analysis and a usability study', Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, vol 10, number 2, pp 114-125, 2000.

Available as: [PDF] and [Postscript]

Abstract. Electronic commerce has recently shown enormous potential to take over a significant share of the sales market. There is a need to provide services that can reach individual computer users with different information profiles and levels of expertise. In this article we present the concept of web assistants, human assistants working in an electronic web shop. This human-computer collaboration provides intelligent and adaptive services via an integrated communication media. A prototype of a web assistant system has been implemented. While browsing through the system the user can call for human assistance should the need arise. We present the results of a usability study performed on our prototype system. Recent commercial moves in the direction discussed in this article increases the importance of the usability study. The subjects were extremely enthusiastic about the concept of web assistants and its implications. The human web assistant who participated in the field trial highlighted the importance of user modelling. Although we illustrate our system mainly in the context of electronic commerce, it can be used in many other contexts. These include home automation, digital libraries, and technical support, to name a few.

Keywords: Electronic commerce, customer service, human-computer collaboration, adaptivity, user modelling, usability


Nahid Shahmehri, Johan Aberg, and Patrick Lambrix, 'Projects as a means for subject learning and personal development under student responsibility', Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Problem-based Learning in Higher Education, Linköping, Sweden, 2000.


Johan Aberg and Nahid Shahmehri, 'Web Assistants: Towards an Intelligent and Personal Web Shop', Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Adaptive Systems and User Modeling on the World Wide Web, held at the 8th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW8), and the 7th International Conference on User Modeling (UM99), pp 5-12, Toronto and Banff, Canada, 1999.

Available as: [HTML]

Abstract. Electronic commerce has recently shown enormous potential to take over the sales market. There is a need to provide services that can reach individual computer users with different information profiles and levels of expertise. In this paper we introduce the novel concept of web assistants, human assistants working in an electronic web shop. This human-computer cooperation provides intelligent and personal services via an integrated communication media. A prototype of a web assistant system has been implemented. While browsing through the system the user can call for human assistance should the need arise. We present the results of a usability study performed on our prototype system. The results are encouraging especially when it comes to the attitude aspects of usability. The subjects were extremely enthusiastic about the concept of web assistants and its implications.

Keywords: Adaptivity, electronic commerce, usability, www, data collection.


Mikael Kindborg, Johan Aberg, Nahid Shahmehri, 'A lightweight agent framework for interactive multi-agent applications', Proceedings of Fourth International Conference on the Practical Application of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agents, PAAM99, pp 123-142, London, UK, 1999.

Available as: [PDF] and [Postscript]

Abstract. Usability issues are traditionally associated with user interfaces rather than with agent frameworks. We argue that the metaphors and models used in a framework will affect the thinking of the developer, and will influence the application design. Therefore, usability is of central importance for successful software development, and for reducing development and maintenance costs. We discuss the design and implementation of a lightweight agent framework for interactive multi-agent applications. A lightweight framework is advantageous for distributed interactive applications, for instance applications running on hand-held devices with limited memory. The design is based on minimalism and simplicity. We present the results from a usability study of the framework, where issues such as learnability and attitude have been evaluated. The study shows that minimalist design principles are useful for achieving understandable and navigable frameworks.


Lambrix, P., Shahmehri, N., Aberg, J., `Towards Creating a Knowledge Base for World-Wide Web Documents', Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Intelligent Information Systems, pp 507-511, Freeport, Bahamas, 1997.

Abstract. The lack of organization of the information on the web results in non-efficient information retrieval. Several approaches for improvement have been suggested. We propose to use a document knowledge base that contains semantic and structural information concerning the retrievable documents that is extracted from the actual documents. We show that using such a knowledge base gives a number of advantages among which advanced query functionality. We also discuss the creation of such a knowledge base and in particular we show how we can automatically extract structural information from HTML documents for addition to the document base.


Johan Aberg, Creating a description logics knowledge base for world-wide web documents. Master's thesis, Linköping University, Sweden, 1996. LiTH-IDA-Ex-9641.

Available as: [Compressed Postscript]

Abstract. This thesis concerns structured documents and how to model them using Description Logics. The work is mainly motivated by information retrieval needs from the Internet community but the results can also be used in various document management applications.
In this thesis the term "structured documents" refers to marked-up documents, i.e. documents where the implicit structure has been made explicit using some markup language. The markup language SGML is studied and it is shown how many of the most important aspects of SGML can be modeled using a Description Logic supporting part relationships. The support for part relationships has been vital to model the logical parts of documents.
The main goal of the thesis is to model an amount of SGML functionality sufficient for modeling the HTML document language and HTML document instances and also to implement conversion functions from SGML and SGML instances to their Description Logic representation.
This goal has not quite been accomplished, since some SGML functionality used by the document language HTML could not be modeled using the chosen Description Logic. We show in this thesis though, that HTML documents not using more complex (from the modeling perspective) markup constraints can be faithfully modeled. On the other hand, the SGML functionality that could be modeled can be used to define and model document languages that are in some aspects more complex than HTML.


Contact details

E-mail: johan . aberg [at] liu . se
Phone: +46 (0)708 366027
Fax: +46 (0)13 142231
E 3G:452 (map)
Contact card


Page responsible: Johan Åberg
Last updated: 2012-06-27