Improving an Ambient Intelligence Based Multi-Agent System for Alzheimer Health Care using Wireless Sensor Networks

Improving an Ambient Intelligence Based Multi-Agent System for Alzheimer Health Care using Wireless Sensor Networks

Dante I. Tapia (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain), Ricardo S. Alonso (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) and Juan M. Corchado (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-549-0.ch002
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Abstract

This paper describes last improvements made on ALZ-MAS; an Ambient Intelligence based multi-agent system aimed at enhancing the assistance and health care for Alzheimer patients. The system makes use of several context-aware technologies that allow it to automatically obtain information from users and the environment in an evenly distributed way, focusing on the characteristics of ubiquity, awareness, intelligence, mobility, etc., all of which are concepts defined by Ambient Intelligence. Among these context-aware technologies we have Wireless Sensor Networks. In this sense, ALZ-MAS is currently being improved by the use of a new platform of ZigBee devices that provides the system with new telemonitoring and locating engines.
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Introduction

The continuous technological advances have gradually surrounded people with a wide range of electronic devices and information technology. In this regard, it is necessary to develop intuitive interfaces and systems with some degree of intelligence, with the ability to recognize and respond to the needs of individuals in a discrete and often invisible way, considering people in the center of the development to create technologically complex and intelligent environments. This paper describes ALZ-MAS; an Ambient Intelligence based multi-agent system aimed at enhancing the assistance and health care for Alzheimer patients in geriatric residences. Furthermore, this paper includes new changes made to this system regarding previous publications (Tapia & Corchado, 2007), including the integration of new wireless sensor devices to improve the system with new and better locating techniques.

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is an emerging multidisciplinary area based on ubiquitous computing, which influences the design of protocols, communications, systems, devices, etc., proposing new ways of interaction between people and technology, adapting them to the needs of individuals and their environment (Weber, et al. 2005). AmI offers a great potential to improve quality of life and simplify the use of technology by offering a wider range of personalized services and providing users with easier and more efficient ways to communicate and interact with other people and systems (Weber, et al., 2005; Corchado, et al., 2008b). However, the development of systems that clearly fulfill the needs of AmI is difficult and not always satisfactory. It requires a joint development of models, techniques and technologies based on services. An AmI-based system consists of a set of human actors and adaptive mechanisms which work together in a distributed way. Those mechanisms provide on demand personalized services and stimulate users through their environment according to specific situation characteristics (Weber, et al., 2005).

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