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Julita Vassileva

Keynote Julita Vassileva

Julita Vassileva. University of Saskatchewan (Canada)

Towards Personalized Persuasive Technologies for Behaviour Change

For over 20 years selected theories of motivation from social psychology (e.g. goal-setting theory, self-determination theory, socio-cognitive theory, etc.) have been used to guide the design of health interventions; more recently, they have been used do guide the design of incentive mechanisms or "games with purpose" that motivate users to engage in beneficial behaviours. Tracking devices, such as step-counters, Fitbit, or smart watches are widely available on the market and provide rich options for people to self-monitor and be aware of their physical activities, as well as motivating them through gamification techniques.

Even though it has been recently widely acknowledged that personalization is key to effective sustainable motivation, most existing approaches are still "one size fits all", providing at most off-line tailoring of strategies to user types. Personalization in persuasive technologies is challenging, since motivating users for particular purpose need to take into account a wide range of individual and context-dependent variables, e.g. the particular goals, personality, cultural background, interests, and existing other motivations of the user, their social relationships and possibly the attitudes of their friends. Collecting, combining, and using diverse and context-dependent information about the user presents a challenge for user modeling and dynamic adaptation of persuasive strategies is an active area of research.

This talk will present a range of persuasive strategies and individual differences that can be considered in designing behaviour-change applications and games. It will discuss in details our work in designing a tailored game for healthy eating.

Bio: Julita Vassileva is a professor of Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her research areas involve human issues in decentralized software environments: user modeling and personalization, and in designing incentive mechanisms for encouraging participation and facilitating trust in web, cloud and mobile applications. She is interested in how to use personalized recommendations, games and social influence to support people in their learning and engaging in beneficial behaviours. She serves on the Editorial Boards of User Modelling and User Adapted Interaction, Computational Intelligence and IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, International Journal on AI in Education and PeerJ Computer Science, and on the Executive Committee of the International Society of AI in Education. She is Program Co-Chair of IEEE/ACM WI'2015 in Singapore (Web Intelligence) and will be general co-chair of UMAP (User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization) '2016 in Halifax, Canada, July 15-19, 2016.. Website (

Chris Nugent

Keynote Chris Nugent

Chris Nugent. University of Ulster (Northern Ireland)

Design, development and evaluation of mobile based reminding technologies

People with mild dementia generally exhibit impairments of memory, reasoning and thought. As a result, they require varying levels of support to complete everyday activities to maintain a level of independence. The use of technological solutions to address such impairments have been recognized as being capable of providing a positive impact on the quality of life for both the patient and their carer.

This presentation will focus on the design, development and evaluation of solutions for persons with dementia, based on the use of mobile based technologies. A discussion will be provided on the benefits of including contextual information in the design process in addition to the practical challenges associated with deployment of such solutions. The presentation will also consider strategies to improve adoption of reminding technologies and will conclude with an insight into how mobile based technologies are currently being used in an effort not only to support the need for reminding, however, also to prevent the onset of dementia.

Bio: Chris Nugent received a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Systems and DPhil in Biomedical Engineering both from the University of Ulster. He currently holds the position of Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University. His research within biomedical engineering addresses the themes of the development and evaluation of Technologies to support ambient assisted living. Specifically, this has involved research in the topics of mobile based reminding solutions, activity recognition and prompting, formats for data storage and more recently technology adoption modeling. He has published extensively in these areas with the work spanning theoretical, clinical and biomedical engineering domains. He has been a grant holder of Research Projects funded by National, European and International funding bodies. Amongst these projects he was the Scientific co-ordinator of the European Union MEDICATE consortium, Technical co-ordinator of the European Union CogKnow consortium and Technical co-ordinator of the ESRC New Dynamics of Aging Well Consortium. At present he is the Acting Director of the Computer Science Research Institute, the Group Leader of the Smart Environments Research Group and is co-PI of the Connected Health Innovation Centre at the University of Ulster. Website (