Research Picks Extra – June 2016

Stitching together a HEMS

Researchers in Canada and China are stitching together an intelligent home energy management system (HEMS) that reduces the number of sensors needed to monitor the domestic environment. Their MinNet system uses convenient plug-in power sensors to construct a wireless sensor network for data collection and establish an analytical framework based on the power model of appliances, the team reports. It can then be used to monitor the status of individual home appliances using the minimum number of power sensors and also estimate occupancy of a given room or the house as a whole using with inference intelligence and so optimise electrical and energy efficiency in terms of lighting, heating, air conditioning.

Tang, J.Y., Tang, G.M. and Wu, K. (2016) ‘MinNet: toward more intelligent smart home energy management systems with fewer sensors’, Int. J. Sensor Networks, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp.252–263.

When your car talks back

Engineers at the Hyundai Motor Company in Gyeongg-Do, South Korea, and colleagues are investigating how drivers might respond to voice alerts from their vehicle’s automated braking systems. Their simulations suggest that drivers are much happier when their car tells them of its automated actions rather than simply carrying out those actions for the benefit of driver and passenger safety. “Car makers should also focus on the human–machine interaction, i.e., on how the car announces its ‘intentions’ to act,” the team reports. The work provides insights into how the transition between fully driver-controlled cars and self-driving cars might take place. “Voice warnings can significantly alleviate anxiety, increase alertness and give back the sense of control to drivers by appropriately providing information about the car’s operating status,” the team says. They suggest that drivers feel safer with the voice alert system activated than when it is disabled.

Koo, J., Shin, D., Steinert, M. and Leifer, L. (2016) ‘Understanding driver responses to voice alerts of autonomous car operations’, Int. J. Vehicle Design, Vol. 70, No. 4, pp.377–392

IT for ADHD at Uni

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is thought to affect more than 1 in 10 of students at university. Now, researchers from Australia and Saudi Arabia have assessed the possibility of using information communication technology (ICT) solution to help with the current treatment and management of the condition. The focus of their work and case study involves the use of ICT systems as an effective alternative to standard pharmaceutical interventions.

Binhadyan, B. and Wickramasinghe, N. (2016) ‘An investigation of the benefit of using IT in the context of university students with ADHD’, Int. J. Networking and Virtual Organisations, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp.204–220.

Gene selection

Researchers in India have developed a new approach to analysing cancer genetic data that allows them to extract the most important genes from complex arrays and to put them into rank order. Accurate sample class prediction of gene expression profiles is of great importance in the field of medical data mining to improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the team points out. Their classification approach involves “dimensionality” reduction which allows meaningful information to be extracted more effectively and quickly. In order to In order to develop their rule-based algorithm, they overcame various problems using rough set theory, decision tree algorithm, database technology, and other mathematical and statistical approaches.

Das, S. and Das, A.K. (2016) ‘Gene selection and decision tree based classification for cancerous sample detection’, Int. J. Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp.1–14.

Author: David Bradley

Award-winning, freelance science writer based in Cambridge, England.