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Zia K.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Ferscha A.,Institute for Pervasive Computing
Understanding Complex Systems | Year: 2013

Understanding the dynamics of urban evacuation systems - due to disasters induced by forces of nature like flooding or tsunamis, terrorism or nuclear power plant accidents - has elicited massive interest over the past years. To perform a simulation for a socio-technical scenario; a typical landscape towards which the modern day cities are increasingly heading to; more recent multi-agent based methodology has increasingly being adopted. In this contribution simulation models of social agents at massive scale are presented. High performance simulation experiments are conducted for the analysis of realistic evacuation models at the level of large cities (). Variations of demographics and the morphology of cities together with population densities, mobility patterns, individual decision making and agent interactions are analysed. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. Source

Weiss M.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Loock C.-M.,ETH Zurich | Staake T.,ETH Zurich | Mattern F.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Fleisch E.,ETH Zurich
Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST | Year: 2012

With smart electricity meters being widely deployed, data on residential energy usage is increasingly becoming available. To make sensible use of these data, we investigated the suitability of mobile phones as an interface to provide feedback on overall and device-related energy consumption. Based on the results of a user survey, we implemented the most highly valued feedback features on an iPhone that communicates with a smart meter. In a follow-up user study, we evaluated how users perceive the experience of such energy consumption feedback and how they rate the importance of different functionalities. Our work confirms the suitability of energy feedback delivered on a mobile phone. It outlines that a clear and easy to explain use case scenario is key and that knowledge-increasing functionalities as well as those functionalities from which monetary savings can be directly implied are perceived as most important. To address technophobe users, action-guiding feedback that goes beyond displaying aggregated information is required. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Holzmann C.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Hader A.,Institute for Pervasive Computing
TEI'10 - Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction | Year: 2010

Tangible user interfaces enable the interaction with digital information through the physical world. For the binding of physical representations with the underlying digital information, technology-augmented artifacts and environments are used. Characteristic for tangible user interfaces is the use of physical artifacts which are either dedicated to or augmented for the purpose of serving as input devices. However, relying on special artifacts limits the widespread use of tangible user interfaces, as they are not suitable for many everyday situations in which we interact with arbitrary artifacts that are not part of the interface. In this paper, we present a novel prototype of a tabletop tangible user interface which is based on pressure imaging. It identifies physical artifacts that are placed on the table by their weight, shape and size, thus enabling the use of a wide range of technology-free artifacts as input devices. We describe the underlying technologies and methods, and discuss the results of a first experiment which shows the recognition accuracy of the presented tabletop interface. Among the positioning of artifacts, their identification is a prerequisite for further interaction modalities and applications. For the recognition of everyday artifacts, a score-based classifier and a set of shape- and weight-based features have been used. The determination of the position of an artifact is fairly simple, as it can be achieved directly from its pressure footprint. Copyright 2010 ACM. Source

Zia K.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Ferscha A.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Riener A.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Wirz M.,ETH Zurich | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real-Time Applications, DS-RT | Year: 2010

In order to develop complexity science based modeling, prediction and simulation methods for large scale socio-technical systems in an Ambient Intelligence (AmI) based smart environment, we propose a scenario based modeling approach. With a case study on AmI technology to support the evacuation from emergency scenarios, i.e. the LifeBelt, a wearable computing systems for vibro-tactile directional guidance, we introduce the concept of model scaling from a micro to a macro level. Aligned with the scenario, we present how crowd simulation strategies encoded into a small scale simulation setup can be extended to a mixed-level simulation based on combining model aspects also coming from the large scale model. The experimental results of a real evacuation trail at a local railway station are incorporated to compare the evacuation efficiency for three strategies: (i) Potential Map, (ii) Evacuees familiarity of the exits and (iii) Exits usage optimization. A comparison with the earlier results from small scale simulation suggest that a real large scale simulation results may not be similar to that of small scale simulation due to dynamics of crowd built up and complexity of building structure. © 2010 IEEE. Source

Riener A.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Zia K.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Ferscha A.,Institute for Pervasive Computing | Ruiz Beltran C.,Sociedad Iberica de Construcciones Electricas SICE | Minguez Rubio J.J.,Sociedad Iberica de Construcciones Electricas SICE
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing | Year: 2013

Steering a vehicle is a task increasingly challenging the driver in terms of mental resources. Reasons for this include the increasing volume of road traffic and a rising quantity of road signs, traffic lights, and other distractions at the roadside (such as billboards), to name a few. The application of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, in particular if taking advantage of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technology, can help to increase the perceptivity of a driver, leading as a direct consequence to more relaxed mental stress of the same. One situation where we see potential in the application of such a system are merging areas on the expressway where two or more varying traffic streams converge into a single one. In order to reduce cognitive liabilities (in this work expressed as panic or anger), drivers are exposed to while merging, we have developed two behavioral rules. The first ("increased range of perception") enables drivers to change early upstream into a spare lane, allowing the merging traffic to join into mainline traffic at reduced conflicts, the second ("inter-car distance management" in the broader area of merging) provide drivers with recommendations of when and how to change lanes at the best. From a technical point of view, the "VibraSeat" a in-house developed car seat with integrated tactile actuators, is used for delivering information about perception range and inter-car distances to the driver in a way that does not stress his/her mental capabilities. To figure out possible improvements in its application in real traffic and at a meaningful scale, cellular automaton-based simulation of a specific section of Madrid expressway M30 was performed. Results from the data-driven simulation experiments on the true to scale model indicate that AmI technology has the potential to increase road throughput or average driving speed and furthermore to decrease the panic of drivers while merging into an upper (the main) lane. © 2012 Springer-Verlag London Limited. Source

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