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Unsupervised machine learning for developing personalised behaviour models using activity data

Fiorini, Laura; Cavallo, Filippo; Dario, Paolo; Eavis, Alexandra; Caleb-Solly, Praminda


Laura Fiorini

Filippo Cavallo

Paolo Dario

Alexandra Eavis

Praminda Caleb-Solly


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The goal of this study is to address two major issues that undermine the large scale deployment of smart home sensing solutions in people’s homes. These include the costs associated with having to install and maintain a large number of sensors, and the pragmatics of annotating numerous sensor data streams for activity classification. Our aim was therefore to propose a method to describe individual users’ behavioural patterns starting from unannotated data analysis of a minimal number of sensors and a ”blind” approach for activity recognition. The methodology included processing and analysing sensor data from 17 older adults living in community-based housing to extract activity information at different times of the day. The findings illustrate that 55 days of sensor data from a sensor configuration comprising three sensors, and extracting appropriate features including a “busyness” measure, are adequate to build robust models which can be used for clustering individuals based on their behaviour patterns with a high degree of accuracy (>85%). The obtained clusters can be used to describe individual behaviour over different times of the day. This approach suggests a scalable solution to support optimising the personalisation of care by utilising low-cost sensing and analysis. This approach could be used to track a person’s needs over time and fine-tune their care plan on an ongoing basis in a cost-effective manner.


Fiorini, L., Cavallo, F., Dario, P., Eavis, A., & Caleb-Solly, P. (2017). Unsupervised machine learning for developing personalised behaviour models using activity data. Sensors, 17(5),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2017
Online Publication Date May 4, 2017
Publication Date May 4, 2017
Deposit Date May 4, 2017
Journal Sensors (Switzerland)
Electronic ISSN 1424-8220
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 5
Article Number 1034
Keywords behavioural models, unsupervised machine learning, cognitive health assessment, Internet of Things, sensor data analysis, ambient assisted living
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