Self-assess momentary mood in mobile devices: a case study with mature female participants Senette C., Buzzi M. C., Paratore M. T. Starting from the assumption that mood has a central role in domain-specific persuasion systems for well-being, the main goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of single-input methods to assess momentary mood as a medium for further interventions in health-related mobile apps destined for mature women. To this aim, we designed a very simple android App providing four user interfaces, each one showing one interactive widget to self-assess mood. Two widgets report a hint about the momentary mood they represent; the last two do not have the hints but were previously refined through questionnaires administered to 63 women (age 45-65) in order to reduce their expressive ambiguity. Next, fifteen women (age 45-65 years) were recruited to use the app for 15 days. Participants were polled about their mood four times a day and data were saved in a remote database. Moreover, users were asked to fill out a preliminary questionnaire, at the first access to the app, and a feedback questionnaire at the end of the testing period. Results appear to prove the feasibility and acceptability of this approach to self-assess momentary mood in the target population and provides some potential input methods to be used in this context.Source: ICCT 2023, Jaipur, India, 9-12/10/2023
Haptic-based cognitive mapping to support shopping malls exploration Paratore M. T., Leporini B. This paper describes a study, which is currently underway, whose aim is to investigate how the haptic channel can be effectively exploited by visually impaired users in a mobile app for the preliminary exploration of an indoor environment, namely a shopping mall. Our goal was to use haptics to convey knowledge of how the points of interest (POIs) are distributed within the physical space, and at the same time provide information about the function of each POI, so that users can get a perception of how functional areas are distributed in the environment "at a glance". Shopping malls are typical indoor environments in which orientation aids are highly appreciated by customers, and many different functional areas persist. We identified seven typical categories of POIs which can be encountered in a mall, and then associated a different vibration pattern each. In order to validate our approach, we designed and developed a prototype for preliminary testing, based on the Android platform. The prototype was periodically debugged with the aid of two visually impaired experienced users, who gave us precious advice throughout the development process. We will describe how this app was conceived, the issues emerged during its development and the positive outcomes produced by a very early testing stage. Finally, we will show that the proposed approach is promising and is worthy of further investigation.Source: EAI GOODTECHS 2022 - 8th EAI International Conference on Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good, pp. 54–62, Online event, 16-18/11/2022 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-28813-5_4 Metrics:
Exploiting the haptic and audio channels to improve orientation and mobility apps for the visually impaired Paratore M. T., Leporini B. Orientation and mobility apps for visually impaired people are well known to be effective in improving the quality of life for this target group. A mobile application that guides a visually impaired person step-by-step through a physical space is a valuable aid, but it does not provide an overview of a complex environment "at a glance," as a traditional hard-copy tactile map does. The aim of this study is to investigate whether a smartphone GPS map, enriched with haptic and audio hints, can facilitate cognitive mapping for visually impaired users. Encouraged by a preliminary study conducted in co-operation with two visually impaired volunteers, we designed and developed an Android prototype for exploration of an urban area. Our goal was to provide an affordable, portable and versatile solution to help users increase awareness of an environment through the positions of its landmarks and points of interest. Vibro-tactile and audio hints were linked to the coordinates on the map via the GeoJSON data format and were issued exploiting the text-to-speech and vibration features of the mobile device, as they were displayed through the operating system's APIs. Test sessions and interviews with visually impaired users produced encouraging results. Results, to be verified by more extensive testing, overall confirm the validity of our approach and are in line with results found in the literature.Source: Universal access in the information society (Print) (2023). doi:10.1007/s10209-023-00973-4 DOI: 10.1007/s10209-023-00973-4 Metrics:
A software architecture for a personalized and context-aware indoor navigation system Paratore M. T., Leporini B. This paper proposes a context-aware model for a mobile indoor navigation system in which users' needs play a key role. We will present an overview of the underlying architecture, describe the main data involved, and show how they are used; we will especially focus on the role of the users' preferences and accessibility needs, since they are the key elements that allow to build a personalized and inclusive user experience. Thanks to a service-oriented architecture, a mobile application will be able to retrieve the most adequate information for its user about a specific point of interest in the environment, and issue a personalized notification. Examples of interaction with the system from the perspective of back-end operators will also be provided, in which we will show how the model entities are translated into practice during the configuration phase of the system. We will pay particular attention to the case of visually impaired users, for whom accessible navigation apps have proven to be effective assistive solutions to achieve better social inclusion and autonomy. We will assume to be using BLE beacons and an Android mobile app for our simulations, anyway we will show that our model is generalizable. Finally, future possible enhancements of the system will be discussed.Source: HCII2022 - 16th International HCII Conference, pp. 509–520, Online Conference, 26/06-01/07/2022 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-05039-8_37 Metrics:
Valutazione dell'accessibilità del portale e della app Itinera Romanica (http://ir.j.webmapp.it) Galesi G., Leporini B., Paratore M. T., Vozna A. Il presente documento riassume la valutazione di accessibilità effettuata sia sul portale che sulla web app sviluppati nell'ambito del progetto di Itinera Romanica, come richiesto da parte del Centro Regionale per l'Accessibilità (CRA).
E' stato necessario condurre sia una valutazione semi-automatica, per determinare possibili non conformità rispetto ai requisiti di accessibilità richiamati anche dalla normativa italiana, così come una valutazione ispettiva effettuata sulla base di alcune euristiche di base importanti per garantire un buon livello di navigabilità anche tramite le tecnologie assistive usate da parte delle persone con disabilità visiva.
Nella presente relazione, sono inoltre riportate alcune indicazioni inerenti la preparazione dei cartelloni e degli eventuali materiali elettronici destinati agli utenti finali al fine di garantire una maggiore accessibilità e leggibilità.Source: ISTI Technical Report, ISTI-2022-TR/023, 2022 DOI: 10.32079/isti-tr-2022/023 Metrics:
Linee guida per pannelli e cartelloni accessibili progetto Itinera Romanica+ dei monti pisani Leporini B., Paratore M. T., Vozna A., Galesi G., Frediani L., Mariotti M. Le presenti linee guida non hanno la pretesa di essere esaustive, bensì intendono fornire indicazioni pratiche su aspetti che possono ampliare la fruibilità di quanto riportato su un cartellone / pannello. Quanto qui richiamato e contestualizzato può essere reperito anche nelle risorse citate in bibliografia. Le tecnologie richiamate sono a titolo esemplificativo di possibili soluzioni da attuare per ampliare la fruizione di contenuti, ben consapevoli che ciò che è importante è il principio che si deve soddisfare in quanto le tecnologie stesse possono evolvere nel tempo. Ciò significa che se oggi la soluzione adottata per l'aumento dei contenuti si basa sull'uso del QR code, domani potrebbe invece basarsi su una tecnologia più avanzata che è supportata da tutti gli smartphone, come ad esempio la tecnologia ultra-wide band che al momento è presente solo in modelli di smartphone di fascia alta.
Linee guida per la valutazione del logo Joelette dell'accessibilita' progetto itinera romanica+ dei monti pisani Leporini B., Paratore M. T., Vozna A., Galesi G., Frediani L., Mariotti M. Il progetto Itinera Romanica+ ha, al suo interno la possibilità di consentire l'effettuazione di escursioni, all'interno di sentieri e camminamenti, anche alle persone con disabilità motoria attraverso l'utilizzo della Joelette di cui il Comune di Lucca è dotata, e proprietaria, concedendone l'uso alle associazioni presenti sul territorio lucchese che ne fanno richiesta.
Al fine di comunicare, valorizzare e divulgare questa opportunità è importante che vi sia un logo che consenta di individuare, immediatamente e con efficacia, la possibilità di poter usufruire di questo servizio.
Si ritiene opportuno evitare la progettazione di nuovi loghi che genererebbe solo confusione, ed incertezza, ma di utilizzare quelli già comunemente in uso in altre realtà nazionali ed estere.
Per questi motivi si è preferito effettuare una ricerca su quelli più utilizzati lasciando all'operatore che eroga il servizio la scelta di quello più vicino alla propria attività inserendo, eventualmente, i propri riferimenti per essere contattato dalla persona che necessita di questo servizio.
An enriched emoji picker to improve accessibility in mobile communications Paratore M. T., Buzzi M. C., Buzzi M., Leporini B. We present an emoji picker designed to enrich emojis selection on mobile devices using audio cues. The aim is to make emojis selection more intuitive by better identify their meanings. Unlike the typical emoji input components currently in use (known as "pickers"), in our component each emotion-related item is represented by both an emoji and a non-verbal vocal cue, and it is displayed according to a two-dimensional model suggesting the pleasantness and intensity of the emotion itself. The component was embedded in an Android app in order to exploit touchscreen interaction together with audio cues to ease the selection process by using more than one channel (visual and auditory). Since the component adds non-visual information that drives the emoji selection, it may be particularly useful for users with visual impairments. In order to investigate the feasibility of the approach and the acceptability/usability of the emoji picker component, a preliminary remote evaluation test involving both sighted and visually impaired users was performed. Analysis of the data collected through the evaluation test shows that all the participants, whether sighted or visually impaired, rated the usability of our picker as good, and also evaluated positively the model adopted to add semantic value to emojis.Source: INTERACT 2021 - 18th IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (Part I), pp. 418–433, Bari, Italy, 30/08/2021 - 03/09/2021 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-85623-6_25 Metrics:
Using localisation technologies and haptic feedback for a more inclusive society Leporini B., Paratore M. T People with special needs face specific challenges in everyday activities. People with visual impairments, for example, have problems with orientation and mobility; moreover, they face serious issues when it comes to accessing information and services or perceiving the surrounding environment. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial systems can offer interesting solutions to overcome these limitations and can support users with special needs in an inclusive way.Source: ERCIM news 127 (2021): 36–37.
Haptic reference cues to support the exploration of touchscreen mobile devices by blind users Buzzi M. C., Buzzi M., Donini F., Leporini B., Paratore M. T. Mobile devices are currently used for an increasing number of activities. However, their use is still a challenge for blind users. Main problems are especially due to the interaction via touchscreen and the lack of hardware keys for quickly detecting or activating functions. In this paper we investigated the use of the tactile channel to make interaction with touch-based mobile devices easier for blind users. After introducing common touchscreen usability problems, we presented our proposal aimed at enriching the user interface with haptic points to aid blind user orientation on the main sections of a user interface. Starting from two use cases, in order to set-up the proposed solution we have developed a simple controller prototype, based on Arduino open-hardware.Source: CHItaly 2013 - Biannual Conference of the Italian Chapter of SIGCHI, Trento, Italy, 16-19 September 2013 DOI: 10.1145/2499149.2499156 Metrics:
Vibro-tactile enrichment improves blind user interaction with mobile touchscreens Buzzi M. C., Buzzi M., Leporini B., Paratore M. T. Interaction via mobile devices is a challenge for blind users, who often encounter severe accessibility and usability problems. The main issues are due to the lack of hardware keys, making it difficult to quickly reach an area or activate functions, and to the new way of interacting via touchscreen. A touchscreen has no specific reference points detectable by feel, so a blind user cannot easily understand exactly where (s)he is positioned on the interface nor readily find a specific item/function. Alternative ways to provide content are mainly vocal and may be inadequate in some situations, e.g., noisy environments. In this study we investigate enriching the user interfaces of touchscreen mobile devices to facilitate blind users' orientation. We propose a possible solution for improving interaction based on the vibro-tactile channel. After introducing the idea behind our approach, two implemented Android Apps including the enriched user interfaces are shown and discussed.Source: HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2013, PT I, edited by Kotze, P; Marsden, G; Lindgaard, G; Wesson, J; Winckler, M, pp. 641–648, 2013 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-40483-2_45 Metrics:
Source separation in astrophysical maps using independent factor analysis Kuruoglu E. E., Bedini L., Paratore M. T., Salerno E., Tonazzini A. A microwave sky map results from a combination of signals from various astrophysical sources, such as cosmic microwave background radiation, synchrotron radiation and galactic dust radiation. To derive information about these sources, one needs to separate them from the measured maps on different frequency channels. Our insufficient knowledge of the weights to be given to the individual signals at different frequencies makes this a difficult task. Recent work on the problem led to only limited success due to ignoring the noise and to the lack of a suitable statistical model for the sources. In this paper, we derive the statistical distribution of some source realizations, and check the appropriateness of a Gaussian mixture model for them. A source separation technique, namely, independent factor analysis, has been suggested recently in the literature for Gaussian mixture sources in the presence of noise. This technique employs a three layered neural network architecture which allows a simple, hierarchical treatment of the problem. We modify the algorithm proposed in the literature to accommodate for space-varying noise and test its performance on simulated astrophysical maps. We also compare the performances of an expectation-maximization and a simulated annealing learning algorithm in estimating the mixture matrix and the source model parameters. The problem with expectation-maximization is that it does not ensure global optimization, and thus the choice of the starting point is a critical task. Indeed, we did not succeed to reach good solutions for random initializations of the algorithm. Conversely, our experiments with simulated annealing yielded initialization-independent results. The mixing matrix and the means and coefficients in the source model were estimated with a good accuracy while some of the variances of the components in the mixture model were not estimated satisfactorily.Source: Neural networks 16 (2003): 479–491.
Generazione d'interfacce utente per sistemi informativi basati sul Web Aloia N., Concordia C., Paratore M. T. Una componente essenziale dei sistemi informativi è costituita dal sottosistema d'interazione uomo-macchina. Sebbene la grande diffusione della tecnologia Web, abbia semplificato notevolmente lo sviluppo di nuovi servizi e fornito un rinnovato impulso alla realizzazione di moderni sistemi informativi, l'implementazione di interfacce utenti, soprattutto quelle delegate all'interazione con basi di dati, tuttora incide in maniera considerevole su tempi e costi di progetto. Nel presente articolo si discute la possibilità di generazione automatica d'interfacce uomo macchina per l'interrogazione di basi di dati, analizzando alcune proposte, basate su XML, e descrivendo la realizzazione di alcune estensioni al linguaggio Luxor-XUL, per l'applicazione ad un caso concreto. Una componente essenziale dei sistemi informativi è costituita dal sottosistema d'interazione uomo-macchina. Sebbene la grande diffusione della tecnologia Web, abbia semplificato notevolmente lo sviluppo di nuovi servizi e fornito un rinnovato impulso alla realizzazione di moderni sistemi informativi, l'implementazione di interfacce utenti, soprattutto quelle delegate all'interazione con basi di dati, tuttora incide in maniera considerevole su tempi e costi di progetto. Nel presente articolo si discute la possibilità di generazione automatica d'interfacce uomo macchina per l'interrogazione di basi di dati, analizzando alcune proposte, basate su XML, e descrivendo la realizzazione di alcune estensioni al linguaggio Luxor-XUL, per l'applicazione ad un caso concreto.Source: Congresso annuale AICA 2003, pp. 217–220, Trento, Italy, 15-17 Settembre 2003
Automatic GUI generation for WEB based information systems Aloia N., Concordia C., Paratore M. The HCI subsystem is an essential component of an Information System, whose success inside an organization strongly depend on user acceptance. A good UI design considering usability and accessibility is to the base of a system implementation that could be quite complex, particularly when a user interaction with different devices is required. The cost of such implementation, especially for large system, could be relevant, so any tool or method for automatic (or semi-automatic) GUI generation would be welcomed. In Web Based Information Systems, data entry Uis, interacting with Data Manager are a significant part of the whole HCI subsystem and usually implement a limited set of metaphors to allow reuse of components in different contexts. For this kind of UIs the complexity of automatic generation can be reduced. In this paper we first present a review of the existing open-source tools for automatic GUI development, then, we present a case study of GUI automatic generation in a Public Access WIS context.Source: ICWI 2003 - Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference WWW/Internet 2003, IADIS 2003, pp. 161–168, Algarve, Portugal, 5-8 November 2003
Automatic GUI generation for WEB based Information Systems Aloia N., Concordia C., Paratore M. The HCI subsystem is an essential component of an Information System, whose success inside an organization strongly depend on user acceptance. A good UI design considering usability and accessibility is to the base of a system implementation that could be quite complex, particularly when a user interaction with different devices is required. The cost of such implementation, especially for large system, could be relevant, so any tool or method for automatic (or semi-automatic) GUI generation would be welcomed. In Web Based Information Systems, data entry Uis, interacting with Data Manager are a significant part of the whole HCI subsystem and usually implement a limited set of metaphors to allow reuse of components in different contexts. For this kind of UIs the complexity of automatic generation can be reduced. In this paper we first present a review of the existing open-source tools for automatic GUI development, then, we present a case study of GUI automatic generation in a Public Access WIS context.Source: ISTI Technical reports, 2003
Dal sistema informativo INFEA al sistema informativo SVS Aloia N., Concordia C., Paratore M. T., Tardelli S., Versienti L. This document is the final report of the "Sistema informativo SVS" project, whose main goal is the design and implementation of advanced features for "INFEA", a Web-based Information System formerly developed for the "Italian Ministry of The Environment" by CNUCE - CNR institute (now ISTI-CNR). New tools have been implemented in SVS to enable system users to store retrieve and evaluate project proposals, to manage projects financing and to build sophisticated reports. Moreover the module implementing asynchronous communication has been completely redesigned and implemented using a MOM framework; security has been improved using stronger encryption in digital certificates and the DBMS has been tuned. Another major change is that the web server functionalities have been embedded in the computer systemSource: ISTI Technical reports, pp.1–152, 2003