[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Facilitating compliance management, that is, assisting a company’s management in conforming to laws, regulations, standards, contracts, and policies, is a hot but non-trivial task. The service-oriented architecture (SOA) has evolved traditional, manual business practices into modern, service-based IT practices that ease part of the problem: the systematic definition and execution of business processes. This, in turn, facilitates the online monitoring of system behaviors and the enforcement of allowed behaviors—all ingredients that can be used to assist compliance management on the fly during process execution. In this paper, instead of focusing on monitoring and runtime enforcement of rules or constraints, we strive for an alternative approach to compliance management in SOAs that aims at assessing and improving compliance. We propose two ingredients: (i) a model and tool to design compliant service-based processes and to instrument them in order to generate evidence of how they are executed and (ii) a reporting and analysis suite to create awareness of a company’s compliance state and to enable understanding why and where compliance violations have occurred. Together, these ingredients result in an approach that is close to how the real stakeholders—compliance experts and auditors—actually assess the state of compliance in practice and that is less intrusive than enforcing compliance.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Service Oriented Computing and Applications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we focus on the analysis of peer reviews and reviewers behaviour in a number of different review processes. More specifically, we report on the development, definition and rationale of a theoretical model for peer review processes to support the identification of appropriate metrics to assess the processes main characteristics in order to render peer review more transparent and understandable. Together with known metrics and techniques we introduce new ones to assess the overall quality (i.e. ,reliability, fairness, validity) and efficiency of peer review processes e.g. the robustness of the process, the degree of agreement/disagreement among reviewers, or positive/negative bias in the reviewers’ decision making process. We also check the ability of peer review to assess the impact of papers in subsequent years. We apply the proposed model and analysis framework to a large reviews data set from ten different conferences in computer science for a total of ca. 9,000 reviews on ca. 2,800 submitted contributions. We discuss the implications of the results and their potential use toward improving the analysed peer review processes. A number of interesting results were found, in particular: (1) a low correlation between peer review outcome and impact in time of the accepted contributions; (2) the influence of the assessment scale on the way how reviewers gave marks; (3) the effect and impact of rating bias, i.e. reviewers who constantly give lower/higher marks w.r.t. all other reviewers; (4) the effectiveness of statistical approaches to optimize some process parameters (e.g. ,number of papers per reviewer) to improve the process overall quality while maintaining the overall effort under control. Based on the lessons learned, we suggest ways to improve the overall quality of peer-review through procedures that can be easily implemented in current editorial management systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we study the factors that affect people's decision in participating in leisure activities in the social and cultural environment. To this end, we collected the ratings of local people from three different cities around the world on standard leisure activities, and looked at the personal, social and contextual features shaping their preferences. We then used this dataset to evaluate how these features can be exploited to recommend places people would actually like. Our initial results suggest that friends are a good source for recommending places, with higher precision and recall than considering only popular places, but these can be improved reducing the scope to similar friends in the context of the particular activity. We have also found that people preferences are sensitive to the companion (e.g., partner, friends, tourists) for which they look for different features. The results also suggest that similarities in the preferences of people can be extended to other activities, which points to the potential of profiling users based on lifestyle. We finally present the design and prototype of a system, namely Come Along, which aims at helping people discover, find and participate to social and leisure activities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reaction time, coordination, and cognition performance typically diminish in older adults, which may lead to gait impairments, falls, and injuries. Regular strength-balance exercises are highly recommended to reduce this problem and to improve health, well-being, and independence in old age. However, many older people face a lack of motivation in addition to other strong barriers to exercise. We developed ActiveLifestyle, an information technology (IT)-based system for active and healthy aging aiming at improving balance and strength. ActiveLifestyle is a training app that runs on a tablet and assists, monitors, and motivates older people to follow personalized training plans autonomously at home.
The objectives were to (1) investigate which IT-mediated motivation strategies increase adherence to physical exercise training plans in older people, (2) assess the impact of ActiveLifestyle on physical activity behavior change, and (3) demonstrate the effectiveness of the ActiveLifestyle training to improve gait speed.
A total of 44 older adults followed personalized, 12-week strength and balance training plans. All participants performed the exercises autonomously at home. Questionnaires were used to assess the technological familiarity and stage of behavior change, as well as the effectiveness of the motivation instruments adopted by ActiveLifestyle. Adherence to the exercise plan was evaluated using performance data collected by the app and through information given by the participants during the study. Pretests and posttests were performed to evaluate gait speed of the participants before and after the study.
Participants were 75 years (SD 6), predominantly female (64%), held a trade or professional diploma (54%), and their past profession was in a sitting position (43%). Of the 44 participants who enrolled, 33 (75%) completed the study. The app proved to assist and motivate independently living and healthy older adults to autonomously perform strength-balance exercises (median 6 on a 7-point Likert scale). Social motivation strategies proved more effective than individual strategies to stimulate the participants to comply with the training plan, as well as to change their behavior permanently toward a more physically active lifestyle. The exercises were effective to improve preferred and fast gait speed.
ActiveLifestyle assisted and motivated independently living and healthy older people to autonomously perform strength-balance exercises over 12 weeks and had low dropout rates. The social motivation strategies were more effective to stimulate the participants to comply with the training plan and remain on the intervention. The adoption of assistive technology devices for physical intervention tends to motivate and retain older people exercising for longer periods of time.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Medical Internet Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social media data is growing exponentially, to the point where it is already hard to analyze. Consequently, there is a need to increase the number of people analyzing this data, to make sense out of it and, if possible, react to it. However, accessing this data is not simple because it is behind a knowledge barrier, which can only be overcome either with learning or with money. To considerably lower this barrier, we implemented the Social Spreadsheet, which is a spreadsheet template that we extended with functions that make simple the retrieval of social media data. Moreover, the collected data is ready to be analyzed by end-users, who can use formulas, custom functions, charts, and other commonly known spreadsheet features to create visualizations similar to the ones offered by commercial applications. To validate our work, we demonstrate how end-users can easily implement the same dashboards as the ones offered by popular social media analysis tools.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently, there are a lot of people trying to leverage on the success of social networks by implementing social applications. However, implementing social applications is complex, due to the requirements and constraints put by the social networks to protect their data. In this work we present Simple Flow, a tool that simplifies the creation of social applications. Simple Flow proposes a processes-based approach to the design and execution of social applications. Simple Flow targets end-users and programmers with no experience in programming for social networks, giving them the possibility to design processes by concatenating social network actions (like post a message or comment a photo). For the execution of the designed processes Simple Flow interconnects, at runtime, template web pages (one page per action) according to the process design defined previously. These templates abstract the complexities of the interactions with social networks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data sharing about Electronic Health Records (EHRs) across healthcare organizations is still a challenging task due to compliance requirements with regulatory policies that can vary across states and countries, and organizations' internal business requirements. Even when adopting the same regulatory policies, each organization can interpret and implement these policies and requirements differently in its internal IT environ-ments. This paper proposes a compliance-aware data manage-ment solution for EHR systems. It allows healthcare organiza-tions to define their own security and regulatory compliance requirements for accessing and sharing healthcare data, and enables policy enforcement while sharing data with other organi-zations. The policy requirements are expressed in form of busi-ness processes that govern the access and sharing of data between people and systems. The business process operations are mapped into low-level operations on internal and remote record stores and policy enforcement points. We have implemented the proto-type system that supports the proposed approach and integrated it with an open source electronic medical record system called OpenMRS, using which we have defined and enforced some real-world regulations and organizations' policies for data sharing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When we go to the museum, we see many interesting objects that have fascinating stories related to them. However, visitors do not often share these experiences with people that have not visited the exhibition. Sharing is beneficial both because it can create interest and attract people to the museum, and because it can help people who cannot attend the visit (for example, is physically unable to do so) to still enjoy it. We were interested to understand the extent and motivation behind sharing (or not sharing) and test how to encourage visitors to do so. We conducted and are conducting various surveys and trials, for which we report the preliminary results in this paper. Initial findings show that i) people today rarely share their visits for lack of content to complement their storytelling, and ii) by providing visitors with a simple and easy-to-create virtual photobook with their dearest memories from the visit we can significantly enhance this sharing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most museums try to find with different ways to prolong the museum experience outside of the museum environment and facilitate its sharing after the visit. The main reason is two-fold: it can create interest and attract people to the museum, and it can help people who for various cognitive or physical limitations cannot attend the visit, to still enjoy it. We conducted couple of surveys and we designed a possible platform for facilitating sharing, for which we report the preliminary results in this paper. Our findings show that i) although visitors claim that they would like to share their visit, the number of the actual sharing visitors is significantly low, ii) most of the visitors use only verbal narrations in order to share their experience with friends and families, and iii) visitors do not share emotions “virtually” (e.g., facebook or twitter) during the visit. Guided by these results we developed a potential solution through which sharing can be facilitated. It includes various ways to bookmark or “save” and share artifacts during the visit, catering different types of visitors. It also includes a way for people at home to consume the shared content.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, several national and community-driven conference rankings have been compiled. These rankings are often taken as indicators of reputation and used for a variety of purposes, such as evaluating the performance of academic institutions and individual scientists, or selecting target conferences for paper submissions. Current rankings are based on a combination of objective criteria and subjective opinions that are collated and reviewed through largely manual processes. In this setting, the aim of this paper is to shed light into the following question: to what extent existing conference rankings reflect objective criteria, specifically submission and acceptance statistics and bibliometric indicators? The paper specifically considers three conference rankings in the field of Computer Science: an Australian national ranking, a Brazilian national ranking and an informal community-built ranking. It is found that in all cases bibliometric indicators are the most important determinants of rank. It is also found that in all rankings, top-tier conferences can be identified with relatively high accuracy through acceptance rates and bibliometric indicators. On the other hand, acceptance rates and bibliometric indicators fail to discriminate between mid-tier and bottom-tier conferences.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the goal of designing applications for the social support of elderly we have followed a Participatory Design (PD) approach in the design of an application for supporting reminiscing activities. Four PD workshops were conducted to explore how reminiscence takes place and progressively co-design an application for its support. The demo allows the user to experiment our reminiscence application, which is the result of the PD process. This accompanying paper presents a brief description of the PD experience, the design choices it inspired and a reflection on the overall process
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data sharing about electronic health records (EHRs) across healthcare organisations is still a challenging task due to compliance requirements with regulatory policies that can vary across states and countries, and organisations’ internal business requirements. Even when adopting the same regulatory policies, each organisation can interpret and implement these policies and requirements differently in its internal IT environments. This paper proposes a compliance-aware data management solution for EHR systems. It allows healthcare organisations to define their own security and regulatory compliance requirements for accessing and sharing healthcare data, and enables policy enforcement while sharing data with other organisations. The policy requirements are expressed in the form of business processes that govern the access and sharing of data between people and systems. The business process operations are mapped into low-level operations on internal and remote record stores and policy enforcement points. We have implemented a prototype system that supports the proposed approach and integrated it with OpenMRS, an open source electronic medical record system, using which we have defined and enforced some real-world regulations and organisations’ policies for data sharing.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This short articles discusses the evolution of research in composition technologies, from workflows to mashups. It emphasizes the failures of composition technologies and makes the case for domain-specific workflows as a possible successful way to leverage composition technologies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: With age reaction time, coordination and cognition tend to deteriorate, which may lead to gait impairments, falls and injuries. To reduce this problem in elderly and to improve health, well-being and independence, regular balance and strength exercises are recommended. However, elderly face strong barriers to exercise. OBJECTIVE: We developed Active Lifestyle, an IT-based system for active and healthy aging aiming at improving elderly's balance and strength. Active Lifestyle is a proactive training application, running on a tablet, which assists, monitors and motivates elderly to follow personalized training plans autonomously at home, while integrating them socially. The objective is to run a pilot study to investigate: (i) the feasibility of assisting the autonomous, physical training of independently living elderly with the Active Lifestyle system, (ii) the adherence of the participants to the training plans, and (iii) the effectiveness of the motivation instruments built into the system. METHODS: After three introductory meetings, 13 elderly adults followed personalized two-weeks strength and balance training plans using the Active Lifestyle app autonomously at home. Questionnaires were used to assess the technological familiarity of the participants, the feasibility aspects of the physical intervention, and the effectiveness of the motivation instruments. Adherence to the exercise plan was evaluated using the performance data collected by the app during the study. RESULTS: A total of 13 participants were enrolled, of whom 11 (85%) completed the study (mean age 77±7 years); predominantly females (55%), vocational educated (64%), and their past profession requiring moderate physical activity (64%). The Active Lifestyle app facilitated autonomous physical training at home (median=7 on a 7-point Likert scale), and participants expressed a high intention to use the app also after the end of the study (median=7). Adherence with the training plans was 73% (89% on the balance exercises and 60% on the strength exercises). The outcome from our questionnaires showed that without the app the participants did not feel motivated to perform exercises; with the support of the app they felt more motivated (median=6). Participants were especially motivated by being part of a virtual exercise group and by the capability to automatically monitor their performance (median=6 for both). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the Active Lifestyle app prototype has valuable potential to support physical exercise practice at home and it is worthwhile to further develop it into a more mature system. Furthermore, the results add to the knowledge base into mobile-based applications for elderly, in that it shows that elderly users can learn to work with mobile-based systems. The Active Lifestyle app proved viable to support and motivate independently living elderly to autonomously perform balance and strength exercises.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · International Journal of Medical Informatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper we present a social platform that empowers real-life social experiences by using the crowd to help people discover interesting events around a particular location and make the best of the actual experience. We demonstrate how current systems cover only partially the social and individual motivations on deciding and teaming up for events, and propose i) a system of implicit and explicit incentives that rewards intention and experience sharing within circles based on friendship or interests and ii) a discovery algorithm that combines the impor-tance of coming along with friends with the personal interests to recommend events. The resulting platform has been applied to generic events as well as domain-specific ones such as shows in movie theaters.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent emergence of mashup tools has refueled research on end-user development, i.e., on enabling end-users without programming skills to compose their own applications. Yet, similar to what happened with analogous promises in web service composition and business process management, research has mostly focused on technology and, as a consequence, has failed its objective. Plain technology (e.g., SOAP/WSDL web services) or simple modeling languages (e.g., Yahoo! Pipes) don't convey enough meaning to non-programmers. In this article, we propose a domain-specific approach to mashups that "speaks the language of the user", i.e., that is aware of the terminology, concepts, rules, and conventions (the domain) the user is comfortable with. We show what developing a domain-specific mashup tool means, which role the mashup meta-model and the domain model play and how these can be merged into a domain-specific mashup meta-model. We exemplify the approach by implementing a mashup tool for a specific scenario (research evaluation) and describe the respective user study. The results of a first user study confirm that domain-specific mashup tools indeed lower the entry barrier to mashup development.