AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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The Impact of Personalization on Smartphone-Based Activity Recognition
Gary Mitchell Weiss, Jeffrey Lockhart

Last modified: 2012-07-15


Smartphones incorporate many diverse and powerful sensors, which creates exciting new opportunities for data mining and human-computer interaction. In this paper we show how standard classification algorithms can use labeled smartphone-based accelerometer data to identify the physical activity a user is performing. Our main focus is on evaluating the relative performance of impersonal and personal activity recognition models. Our impersonal (i.e., universal) models are built using training data from a panel of users and are then applied to new users, while our personal models are built with data from each user and then applied only to new data from that user. Our results indicate that the personal models perform dramatically better than the impersonal models—even when trained from only a few minutes worth of data. These personal models typically even outperform hybrid models that utilize both personal and impersonal data. These results strongly argue for the construction of personal models whenever possible. Our research means that we can unobtrusively gain useful knowledge about the habits of potentially millions of users. It also means that we can facilitate human computer interaction by enabling the smartphone to consider context and this can lead to new and more effective applications.


activity recognition; smartphone; classification; mobile health

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