Detecting Loneliness

Feelings of loneliness are associated with poor physical and mental health. Detection of loneliness through passive sensing on personal devices can lead to the development of interventions aimed at decreasing rates of loneliness.

Doryab, Afsaneh, et al. “Identifying Behavioral Phenotypes of Loneliness and Social Isolation with Passive Sensing: Statistical Analysis, Data Mining and Machine Learning of Smartphone and Fitbit Data.” JMIR mHealth and uHealth 7.7 (2019): e13209.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the potential of using passive sensing to infer levels of loneliness and to identify the corresponding behavioral patterns.

Methods: Data were collected from smartphones and Fitbits (Flex 2) of 160 college students over a semester. The participants completed the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) loneliness questionnaire at the beginning and end of the semester. For a classification purpose, the scores were categorized into high (questionnaire score>40) and low (≤40) levels of loneliness. Daily features were extracted from both devices to capture activity and mobility, communication and phone usage, and sleep behaviors. The features were then averaged to generate semester-level features. We used 3 analytic methods: (1) statistical analysis to provide an overview of loneliness in college students, (2) data mining using the Apriori algorithm to extract behavior patterns associated with loneliness, and (3) machine learning classification to infer the level of loneliness and the change in levels of loneliness using an ensemble of gradient boosting and logistic regression algorithms with feature selection in a leave-one-student-out cross-validation manner.

Results: The average loneliness score from the presurveys and postsurveys was above 43 (presurvey SD 9.4 and postsurvey SD 10.4), and the majority of participants fell into the high loneliness category (scores above 40) with 63.8% (102/160) in the presurvey and 58.8% (94/160) in the postsurvey. Scores greater than 1 standard deviation above the mean were observed in 12.5% (20/160) of the participants in both pre- and postsurvey scores. The majority of scores, however, fell between 1 standard deviation below and above the mean (pre=66.9% [107/160] and post=73.1% [117/160]).

Our machine learning pipeline achieved an accuracy of 80.2% in detecting the binary level of loneliness and an 88.4% accuracy in detecting change in the loneliness level. The mining of associations between classifier-selected behavioral features and loneliness indicated that compared with students with low loneliness, students with high levels of loneliness were spending less time outside of campus during evening hours on weekends and spending less time in places for social events in the evening on weekdays (support=17% and confidence=92%). The analysis also indicated that more activity and less sedentary behavior, especially in the evening, was associated with a decrease in levels of loneliness from the beginning of the semester to the end of it (support=31% and confidence=92%).

Conclusions: Passive sensing has the potential for detecting loneliness in college students and identifying the associated behavioral patterns. These findings highlight intervention opportunities through mobile technology to reduce the impact of loneliness on individuals’ health and well-being.

News: Smartphones and Fitbits can spot loneliness in its tracks, Science 101

The Limits of Expert Text Entry Speed on Mobile Keyboards with Autocorrect

Improving mobile keyboard typing speed increases in value as more tasks move to a mobile setting. Autocorrect is a powerful way to reduce the time it takes to manually fix typing errors, which results in typing speed increase. However, recent user studies of autocorrect uncovered an unexplored side-effect: participants’ aversion to typing errors despite autocorrect. We present the first computational model of typing on keyboards with autocorrect, which enables precise study of expert typists’ aversion to typing errors on such keyboards. Unlike empirical typing studies that last days, our model evaluates the effects of typists’ aversion to typing errors for any autocorrect accuracy in seconds. We show that typists’ aversion to typing errors adds a self-imposed limit on upper bound typing speeds, which decreases the value of highly accurate autocorrect. Our findings motivate future designs of keyboards with autocorrect that reduce typists’ aversion to typing errors to increase typing speeds.

The Limits of Expert Text Entry Speed on Mobile Keyboards with Autocorrect Nikola Banovic, Ticha Sethapakdi, Yasasvi Hari, Anind K. Dey, Jennifer Mankoff. Mobile HCI 2019.

A picture of a samsung phone. The screen says: Block 2. Trial 6 of 10. this camera takes nice photographs. The user has begun typing with errors: "this camera tankes l" Error correction offers 'tankes' 'tankers' and 'takes' and a soft keyboard is shown before that.

An example mobile device with a soft keyboard: A) text entry area, which in our study contained study progress, the current phrase to transcribe, and an area for transcribed characters, B) automatically suggested words, and C) a miniQWERTY soft keyboard with autocorrect.

A bar plat showing typing speed (WPM, y axis) against acuracy (0 to 1). The bars start at 32 WPM (for 0 accuracy) and go up to approx 32 (for accuracy of 1).
Our model estimated expected mean typing speeds (lines) for different levels of typing error rate aversion (e) compared to mean empirical typing speed with automatic correction and suggestion (bar plot) in WPM across Accuracy. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
4 bar plats showing error rate in uncorrected, corrected, autocorrected, and manual corrected conditions. Error rates for uncorrected are (approximately) 0 to 0.05 as accuracy increases; error rates for corrected are .10 to .005 for corrected condition as accuracy goes from 0 to 1. Error rates are  0 to about .1 for uncorrected as accuracy goes from 0 to 1. Error rates are variable but all below 0.05 for manual as accuracy goes from 0 to 1
Median empirical error rates across Accuracy in session 3 with automated correction and suggestion. Error bars represent minimum and maximum error rate values, and dots represent outliers

Leveraging Routine Behavior and Contextually-Filtered Features for Depression Detection among College Students

The rate of depression in college students is rising, which is known to increase suicide risk, lower academic performance and double the likelihood of dropping out. Researchers have used passive mobile sensing technology to assess mental health. Existing work on finding relationships between mobile sensing and depression, as well as identifying depression via sensing features, mainly utilize single data channels or simply concatenate multiple channels. There is an opportunity to identify better features by reasoning about co-occurrence across multiple sensing channels. We present a new method to extract contextually filtered features on passively collected, time-series data from mobile devices via rule mining algorithms. We first employ association rule mining algorithms on two different user groups (e.g., depression vs. non-depression). We then introduce a new metric to select a subset of rules that identifies distinguishing behavior patterns between the two groups. Finally, we consider co-occurrence across the features that comprise the rules in a feature extraction stage to obtain contextually filtered features with which to train classifiers. Our results reveal that the best model with these features significantly outperforms a standard model that uses unimodal features by an average of 9.7% across a variety of metrics. We further verified the generalizability of our approach on a second dataset, and achieved very similar results.

Leveraging Routine Behavior and Contextually-Filtered Features for Depression Detection among College Students. Xuhai Xu, Prerna Chikersal, Afsaneh Doryab, Daniella Villaalba, Janine M. Dutcher, Michael J. Tumminia, Tim Althoff, Sheldon Cohen, Kasey Creswell, David Creswell, Jennifer Mankoff and Anind K. Dey. IMWUT, Article No 116. 10.1145/3351274

A pipeline starting with data collection (including from mobile phone sensors, campus map, and fitbit) which feeds into feature extraction. This is piped into association rule mining, and features plus rules are combined to create contextually filtered features, which are then piped into a machine learning classifier. Ground truth comes from the BDI-II questionnaire.
The high-level pipeline of the integration of rule mining algorithms and machine learning models. The dashed frame highlights the novel contribution of the paper. We designed a new metric to select the top rules from the rule set generated by ARM. We also proposed a new approach to extract contextually filtered features based on the top rules. Finally, we use these features to train classifiers.

KnitPick: Programming and Modifying Complex Knitted Textures for Machine and Hand Knitting

Knitting creates complex, soft objects with unique and controllable texture properties that can be used to create interactive objects. However, little work addresses the challenges of using knitted textures. We present KnitPick: a pipeline for interpreting pre-existing hand-knitting texture patterns into a directed-graph representation of knittable structures (KnitGraphs) which can be output to machine and hand-knitting instructions. Using KnitPick, we contribute a measured and photographed data set of 300 knitted textures. Based on findings from this data set, we contribute two algorithms for manipulating KnitGraphs. KnitCarving shapes a graph while respecting a texture, and KnitPatching combines graphs with disparate textures while maintaining a consistent shape. Using these algorithms and textures in our data set we are able to create three Knitting based interactions: roll, tug, and slide. KnitPick is the first system to bridge the gap between hand- and machine-knitting when creating complex knitted textures.

KnitPick: Programming and Modifying Complex Knitted Textures for Machine and Hand Knitting, Megan Hofmann, Lea Albaugh, Ticha Sethapakdi, Jessica Hodgins, Scott e. Hudson, James McCann, Jennifer Mankoff. UIST 2019. The KnitPick Data set can be found here.

A picture of a knit speak file which is compiled into a knit graph (which can be modified using carving and patching) and then compiled to knitout, which can be printed on a knitting machine. Below the graph is a picture of different sorts of lace textures supported by knitpick.
KnitPick converts KnitSpeak into KnitGraphs which can be carved, patched and output to knitted results
A photograph of the table with our data measurement setup, along with piles of patches that are about to be measured and have recently been measured. One patch is attached to the rods and clips used for stretching.
Data set measurement setup, including camera, scale, and stretching rig
A series of five images, each progressively skinnier than the previous. Each image is a knitted texture with 4 stars on it. They are labeled (a) original swatch (b) 6 columns removed (c) 9 columns removed (d) 12 columns removed (e) 15 columns removed
The above images show a progression from the original Star texture to the same texture with 15 columns removed by texture carving. These photographs were shown to crowd-workers who rated their similarity. Even with a whole repetition width removed from the Stars, the pattern remains a recognizable star pattern.

Passively-sensed Behavioral Correlates of Discrimination Events in College Students

See the UW News article featuring this study!

A deeper understanding of how discrimination impacts psychological health and well-being of students would allow us to better protect individuals at risk and support those who encounter discrimination. While the link between discrimination and diminished psychological and physical well-being is well established, existing research largely focuses on chronic discrimination and long-term outcomes. A better understanding of the short-term behavioral correlates of discrimination events could help us to concretely quantify the experience, which in turn could support policy and intervention design. In this paper we specifically examine, for the first time, what behaviors change and in what ways in relation to discrimination. We use actively-reported and passively-measured markers of health and well-being in a sample of 209 first-year college students over the course of two academic quarters. We examine changes in indicators of psychological state in relation to reports of unfair treatment in terms of five categories of behaviors: physical activity, phone usage, social interaction, mobility, and sleep. We find that students who encounter unfair treatment become more physically active, interact more with their phone in the morning, make more calls in the evening, and spend less time in bed on the day of the event. Some of these patterns continue the next day.

Passively-sensed Behavioral Correlates of Discrimination Events in College Students. Yasaman S. Sefidgar, Woosuk Seo, Kevin S. Kuehn, Tim Althoff, Anne Browning, Eve Ann Riskin, Paula S. Nurius, Anind K Dey, Jennifer Mankoff. CSCW 2019, To Appear

A bar plot sorted by number of reports, with about 100 reports of unfair treatment based on national origin, 90 based on intelligence, 70 based on gender, 60 based on apperance, 50 on age, 45 on sexual orientation, 35 on major, 30 on weight, 30 on height, 20 on income, 10 on disability, 10 on religion, and 10 on learning
Breakdown of 448 reports of unfair treatment by type. National, Orientation, and Learning refer to ancestry or national origin, sexual orientation, and learning disability respectively. See Table 3 for details of all categories. Participants were able to report multiple incidents of unfair treatment, possibly of different types, in each report. As described in the paper, we do not have data on unfair treatment based on race.
A heatplot showing sensor data collected by day in 5 categories: Activity, screen, locations, fitbit, and calls.
A heatplot showing compliance with sensor data collection. Sensor data availability for each day of the study is shown in terms of the number of participants whose data is available on a given day. Weeks of the study are marked on the horizontal axis while different sensors appear on the vertical axis. Important calendar dates (e.g., start / end of the quarter and exam periods) are highlighted as are the weeks of daily surveys. The brighter the cells for a sensor the larger the number of people contributing data for that sensor. Event-based sensors (e.g., calls) are not as bright as sensors continuously sampled (e.g., location) as expected. There was a technical issue in the data collection application in the middle of study, visible as a dark vertical line around the beginning of April.
A diagram showing compliance in surveys, organized by nweek of study. One line shows compliance in the large surveys given at pre, mid and post, which drops from 99% to 94% to 84%. The other line shows average weekly compliance in EMAs, which goes up in the second week to 93% but then drops slowly (with some variability) to 89%
Timeline and completion rate of pre, mid, and post questionnaires as well as EMA surveys. Y axis
shows the completion rates and is narrowed to the range 50-100%. The completion rate of pre, mid, and post questionnaires are percentages of the original pool of 209 participants, whereas EMA completion rates are based on the 176 participants who completed the study. EMA completion rates are computed as the average completion rate of the surveys administered in a certain week of the study. School-related events (i.e., start and end of quarters as well as exam periods) are marked. Dark blue bars (Daily Survey) show the weeks when participants answered surveys every day, four times a day
Barplot showing significance of morning screen use, calls, minutes asleep, time in bed, range of activities, number of steps, anxiety, depression, and frustration on the day before, of, and after unfair treatment. All but minutes asleep are significant at p=.05 or below on the day of discrimination, but this drops off after.
Patterns of feature significance from the day before to two days after the discrimination event. The
shortest bars represent the highest significance values (e.g., depressed and frustrated on day 0; depressed on day 1; morning screen use on day 2). There are no significant differences the day before. Most short-term relationships exist on the day of the event, a few appear on the next day (day 1). On the third day one
significant difference, repeated, from the first day is observed.

Point-of-Care Manufacturing: Maker Perspectives on Digital Fabrication in Medical Practice

Maker culture in health care is on the rise with the rapid adoption of consumer-grade fabrication technologies. However, little is known about the activity and resources involved in prototyping medical devices to improve patient care. In this paper, we characterize medical making based on a qualitative study of medical stakeholder engagement in physical prototyping (making) experiences. We examine perspectives from diverse stakeholders including clinicians, engineers, administrators, and medical researchers. Through 18 semi-structured interviews with medical-makers in US and Canada, we analyze making activity in medical settings. We find that medical-makers share strategies to address risks, define labor roles, and acquire resources by adapting traditional structures or creating new infrastructures. Our findings outline how medical-makers mitigate risks for patient safety, collaborate with local and global stakeholder networks, and overcome constraints of co-location and material practices. We recommend a clinician-aided software system, partially-open repositories, and a collaborative skill-share social network to extend their strategies in support of medical making.

“Point-of-Care Manufacturing”: Maker Perspectives onDigital Fabrication in Medical Practice. Udaya Lakshmi, Megan Hofmann, Stephanie Valencia, Lauren Wilcox, Jennifer Mankoff and Rosa Arriaga. CSCW 2019. To Appear.

A venn diagram showing the domains of expertise of those we interviewed including people from hospitals, universities, non-profits, va networks, private practices, and government. We interviewed clinicians and facilitators in each of these domains and there was a great deal of overlap with participants falling into multiple categories. For example, one participant was in a VA network and in private practice, while another was at a university and also a non-profit.

Designing in the Public Square

Design in the Public Square: Supporting Cooperative Assistive Technology Design Through Public Mixed-Ability Collaboration (CSCW 2019)

Mark. S. Baldwin, Sen H Hirano, Jennifer Mankoff, Gillian Hayes

From the white cane to the smartphone, technology has been an effective tool for broadening blind and low vision participation in a sighted world. In the face of this increased participation, individuals with visual impairments remain on the periphery of most sight-first activities. In this paper, we describe a multi-month public-facing co-design engagement with an organization that supports blind and low vision outrigger paddling. Using a mixed-ability design team, we developed an inexpensive cooperative outrigger paddling system, called DEVICE, that shares control between sighted and visually impaired paddlers. The results suggest that public design, a DIY (do-it-yourself) stance, and attentiveness to shared physical experiences, represent key strategies for creating assistive technologies that support shared experiences.

A close-up of version three of the CoOP system mounted to the rudder assembly and the transmitter
used to control the rudder (right corner).
Shows 5 iterations of the CoOP system, each of which is progressively less bulky, and more integrated (the first is strapped on for example and the last is more integrated).
The design evolution of the CoOP system in order of iteration from left to right.

Who Gets to Future? Race, Representation, and Design Methods in Africatown

Picture of potted plants and a bench with the word Africatown in the background, painted in bright red and green colors

Who Gets to Future? Race, Representation, and Design Methods in Africatown

Jasper Tran O’Leary, Sara Zewde, Jennifer Mankoff , Daniela K. Rosner
CHI 2019

This paper draws on a collaborative project called the Africatown Activation to examine the role design practices play in contributing to (or conspiring against) the flourishing of the Black community in Seattle, Washington. Specifically, we describe the efforts of a community group called Africatown to design and build an installation that counters decades of disinvestment and ongoing displacement in the historically Black Central Area neighborhood. Our analysis suggests that despite efforts to include community, conventional design practices may perpetuate forms of institutional racism: enabling activities of community engagement that may further legitimate racialized forms of displacement. We discuss how focusing on amplifying the legacies of imagination already at work may help us move beyond a simple reading of design as the solution to systemic forms of oppression.

“Occupational Therapy is Making”: Clinical Rapid Prototyping and Digital Fabrication

Lyme Disease’s Heterogeneous Impact

An ongoing, and very personal thread of research that our group engages in (due to my own journey with Lyme Disease, which I occasionally blog about here) is research into the impacts of Lyme Disease and opportunities for helping to support patients with Lyme Disease. From a patient perspective, Lyme disease is as tough to deal with as many other more well known conditions [1].

Lyme disease can be difficult to navigate because of the disagreements about its diagnosis and the disease process. In addition, it is woefully underfunded and understudied, given that the CDC estimates around 300,000 new cases occur per year (similar to the rate of breast cancer) [2].

Bar chart showing that Lyme disease is woefully under studied.

As an HCI researcher, I started out trying to understand the relationship that Lyme Disease patients have with digital technologies. For example, we studied the impact of conflicting information online on patients [3] and how patients self-mediate the accessibility of online content [4]. It is my hope to eventually begin exploring technologies that can improve quality of life as well.

However, one thing patients need right away is peer reviewed evidence about the impact that Lyme disease has on patients (e.g. [3]) and the value of treatment for patients (e.g. [4]). Here, as a technologist, the opportunity is to work with big data (thousands of patient reports) to unpack trends and model outcomes in new ways. That research is still in the formative stages, but in our most recent publication [4] we use straightforward subgroup analysis to demonstrate that treatment effectiveness is not adequately captured simply by looking at averages.

This chart shows that there is a large subgroup (about a third) of respondents to our survey who reported positive response to treatment, even though the average response was not positive.

There are many opportunities and much need for further data analysis here, including documenting the impact of differences such as gender on treatment (and access to treatment), developing interventions that can help patients to track symptoms, manage interaction within and between doctors, and navigate accessibility and access issues.

[1] Johnson, L., Wilcox, S., Mankoff, J., & Stricker, R. B. (2014). Severity of chronic Lyme disease compared to other chronic conditions: a quality of life survey. PeerJ2, e322.

[2] Johnson, L., Shapiro, M. & Mankoff, J. Removing the mask of average treatment effects in chronic Lyme Disease research using big data and subgroup analysis.

[3] Mankoff, J., Kuksenok, K., Kiesler, S., Rode, J. A., & Waldman, K. (2011, May). Competing online viewpoints and models of chronic illness. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 589-598). ACM.

[4] Kuksenok, K., Brooks, M., & Mankoff, J. (2013, April). Accessible online content creation by end users. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 59-68). ACM.