University of Twente

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The University of Twente (UT) is a young, entrepreneurial, technical research university. Over 3,200 scientists and professionals conduct pioneering research on nanotechnology, IT, biomedical technology, but also governance studies, psychology and geo-information / earth observation sciences. Research ultimately combines scientific excellence with a sharp eye for economic and societal impact: the UT is highly successful as business generator, with over 50 new spin-off companies annually.

The UT “Centre for Monitoring and Coaching” (CMC) is a research center founded in 2015, that integrates the work of 3 different key disciplines, biomedical engineering, ICT science and behavioral science to create high tech solutions with a human touch. CMC aims to research, develop and demonstrate beyond state of the art solutions for smart remote monitoring and artificial coaching and other services that support people with chronic conditions in their well-being. CMC has a specific focus and expertise on telemedicine and works with a range of industrial and clinical partners to develop and improve the intelligence and dependability of e-Health / m-Health systems and applications. An area of special interest is the multi-modal human-computer interaction: from brain computer interfaces to social robots. For a human to have real-time conversations with intelligent (virtual) agents, we jointly address three aspects: behavior sensing, modelling and generation. We detect social cues, which are informative of the stance and intentions of the participant. These are used to model the interaction, and to generate the agent’s appropriate conversational behavior, combining corpus-based analysis with pattern recognition, multi-modal behavior realization, and perceptual evaluation.  An important application area are the user interfaces and user experiences in (mobile) e-health coaching systems. Another area of special interest and expertise is the coaching, including both artificial coaching based on mathematical modelling and reasoning and the behavioral models developed by behavioral and social science. CMC integrates both approaches into new models and self-learning personalized coaching strategies that are able to support behavior change in a persuasive and effective way.

Relevant publications
op den Akker, H.J.A., Klaassen, R. and Nijholt, A. — Virtual coaches for healthy lifestyle (2016).
Banos, O., Villalonga, C., Bang, J. H., Hur, T. H., Kang, D., Park., S.-B., Hyunh-The, T., Vui, L. B., Amin, M.-B., Razzaq, M.-A., Ali Khan, W., Hong, C.-S., and Lee, S. — Human Behavior Analysis by means of Multimodal Context Mining (2016).
Hermens, H.J. and op den Akker, H. and Tabak, M. and Wijsman, J.L.P. and Vollenbroek-Hutten, M.M.R. — Personalized Coaching Systems to support healthy behavior in people with chronic conditions (2014).
Schröder, M., Bevacqua, E., Cowie, R., Eyben, F., Gunes, H., Heylen, D., ter Maat, M., McKeown, G., Pammi, S., Pantic, M., Pelachaud, C., Schuller, B., de Sevin, E., Valstar, M. and Wöllmer, M. — Building Autonomous Sensitive Artificial Listeners (2011).
Klaassen, R. and Hendrix, J. and Reidsma, D. and op den Akker, H.J.A. and van Dijk, E.M.A.G. and op den Akker, H. — Elckerlyc goes mobile – Enabling natural interaction in mobile user interfaces (2013).
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