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Computers, Volume 13, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 27 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): At the dawn of the digital era, personal care meets technological innovation, opening new horizons in health and wellness. The Internet of Things and machine learning technologies could complement health care, especially regarding SPA treatments. Traditionally considered comforting interventions, such thermal water treatments have transformed into a precise therapeutic method. Advanced technologies currently make continuous in-person and remote patient monitoring possible, increasing treatment benefits. Wearable devices make it possible to track vital parameters noninvasively. Continuous data collection and analysis facilitates real-time monitoring and adaptation of personalized treatment. The proposed framework improves the monitoring of spa services, delivering personalized care and increasing effectiveness. View this paper
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25 pages, 7135 KiB  
Article
A Seamless Deep Learning Approach for Apple Detection, Depth Estimation, and Tracking Using YOLO Models Enhanced by Multi-Head Attention Mechanism
by Praveen Kumar Sekharamantry, Farid Melgani, Jonni Malacarne, Riccardo Ricci, Rodrigo de Almeida Silva and Jose Marcato Junior
Computers 2024, 13(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030083 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 903
Abstract
Considering precision agriculture, recent technological developments have sparked the emergence of several new tools that can help to automate the agricultural process. For instance, accurately detecting and counting apples in orchards is essential for maximizing harvests and ensuring effective resource management. However, there [...] Read more.
Considering precision agriculture, recent technological developments have sparked the emergence of several new tools that can help to automate the agricultural process. For instance, accurately detecting and counting apples in orchards is essential for maximizing harvests and ensuring effective resource management. However, there are several intrinsic difficulties with traditional techniques for identifying and counting apples in orchards. To identify, recognize, and detect apples, apple target detection algorithms, such as YOLOv7, have shown a great deal of reflection and accuracy. But occlusions, electrical wiring, branches, and overlapping pose severe issues for precisely detecting apples. Thus, to overcome these issues and accurately recognize apples and find the depth of apples from drone-based videos in complicated backdrops, our proposed model combines a multi-head attention system with the YOLOv7 object identification framework. Furthermore, we provide the ByteTrack method for apple counting in real time, which guarantees effective monitoring of apples. To verify the efficacy of our suggested model, a thorough comparison assessment is performed with several current apple detection and counting techniques. The outcomes adequately proved the effectiveness of our strategy, which continuously surpassed competing methods to achieve exceptional accuracies of 0.92, 0.96, and 0.95 with respect to precision, recall, and F1 score, and a low MAPE of 0.027, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Image Processing and Computer Vision)
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22 pages, 1649 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Acceptance of Cyborg Technology with a Hedonic Technology Acceptance Model
by Jorge de Andrés-Sánchez, Mario Arias-Oliva, Mar Souto-Romero and Jaume Gené-Albesa
Computers 2024, 13(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030082 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Medical implantable technologies, such as cochlear implants or joint prostheses, have been commonly used since the late 20th century. By contrast, the market for this type of technology is expanding when the purpose is not medical, even though it is more marginal. This [...] Read more.
Medical implantable technologies, such as cochlear implants or joint prostheses, have been commonly used since the late 20th century. By contrast, the market for this type of technology is expanding when the purpose is not medical, even though it is more marginal. This study tests a technology acceptance model for the latter type of insideable technology based on an extension of the technology acceptance models TAM and TAM2 proposed for hedonic technologies by van del Heijden. So, the behavioral intention of insertables is explained by the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, as well as social influence, as proposed in the TAM2 by Venkatesh and Davis. Additionally, the perceived enjoyment, included in the extension by Van der Heijden, is added as an explanatory factor. We applied structural equation modeling to the theoretical scheme provided by the modified TAM and performed a necessary condition analysis. Statistical analysis showed that all variables considered in the model have a significantly positive influence on behavioral intention. Likewise, the model has good properties both from the point of view of the fit obtained, since it predicts 70% of behavioral intention, and from the predictive point of view. The necessary condition analysis allows us to analyze whether the presence of some of the latent variables postulated to explain the attitude toward implantables is necessary to produce the said acceptance. Therefore, its absence is a critical aspect of expansion. We observed that perceived usefulness manifests itself as a necessary condition for behavioral intention with a medium size. Perceived ease of use and enjoyment also present a significant necessity effect size, but their strength is smaller. By contrast, the subjective norm does not have the status of a necessary variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Computers 2024)
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23 pages, 19408 KiB  
Article
Study the Level of Network Security and Penetration Tests on Power Electronic Device
by Ivan Nedyalkov
Computers 2024, 13(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030081 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 682
Abstract
This work demonstrates the feasibility of using Kali Linux in the process of power electronic device research. The novelty in this work is the use of Kali Linux in the process of power electronic device research. This operating system is mainly used for [...] Read more.
This work demonstrates the feasibility of using Kali Linux in the process of power electronic device research. The novelty in this work is the use of Kali Linux in the process of power electronic device research. This operating system is mainly used for the penetration testing of various communication devices but not for power electronic device research. The aim of this work is to study the level of network security (the type of security vulnerabilities that a power electronic device has) and whether the data exchange between the power electronic device and the monitoring and control center is secure. Additionally, penetration testing has been carried out. Kali Linux was used to implement these tasks. Penetration testing was performed to verify how the studied power electronic device reacted to various TCP DoS attacks—could it be accessed, was it blocked, etc. Kali Linux and some of the tools built into the operating system—Nmap, hping3, Wireshark, Burp Suite Community Edition—were used for this study. During the penetration tests, a characterization of the traffic being processed/generated by the studied power electronic device was carried out to evaluate and analyze what impact each TCP DoS attack had on the device’s performance. In order to conduct the study, an experimental setup was designed. This experimental network was not connected to other networks, so the cyber attacks were controlled and confined within the experimental network. The research carried out validated the use of Kali Linux for the study of power electronic devices. From the obtained results, it is found that the studied power electronic device provides a certain level of network security, but the data exchange is insecure. Full article
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16 pages, 4550 KiB  
Article
iHand: Hand Recognition-Based Text Input Method for Wearable Devices
by Qiang Chu, Chao Ping Chen, Haiyang Hu, Xiaojun Wu and Baoen Han
Computers 2024, 13(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030080 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Text input using hand gestures is an essential component of human–computer interaction technology, providing users with a more natural and enriching interaction experience. Nevertheless, the current gesture input methods have a variety of issues, including a high learning cost for users, poor input [...] Read more.
Text input using hand gestures is an essential component of human–computer interaction technology, providing users with a more natural and enriching interaction experience. Nevertheless, the current gesture input methods have a variety of issues, including a high learning cost for users, poor input performance, and reliance on hardware. To solve these problems and better meet the interaction requirements, a hand recognition-based text input method called iHand is proposed in this paper. In iHand, a two-branch hand recognition algorithm combining a landmark model and a lightweight convolutional neural network is used. The landmark model is used as the backbone network to extract hand landmarks, and then an optimized classification head, which can preserve the space structure of landmarks, is designed to classify gestures. When the landmark model fails to extract hand landmarks, a lightweight convolutional neural network is employed for classification. Regarding the way letters are entered, to reduce the learning cost, the sequence of letters is mapped as a two-dimensional layout, and users can type with seven simple hand gestures. Experimental results on the public datasets show that the proposed hand recognition algorithm achieves high robustness compared to state-of-the-art approaches. Furthermore, we tested the performance of users’ initial use of iHand for text input. The results showed that the iHand’s average input speed was 5.6 words per minute, with the average input error rate was only 1.79%. Full article
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31 pages, 1182 KiB  
Systematic Review
Exploring the Connection between the TDD Practice and Test Smells—A Systematic Literature Review
by Matheus Marabesi, Alicia García-Holgado and Francisco José García-Peñalvo
Computers 2024, 13(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030079 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 797
Abstract
Test-driven development (TDD) is an agile practice of writing test code before production code, following three stages: red, green, and refactor. In the red stage, the test code is written; in the green stage, the minimum code necessary to make the test pass [...] Read more.
Test-driven development (TDD) is an agile practice of writing test code before production code, following three stages: red, green, and refactor. In the red stage, the test code is written; in the green stage, the minimum code necessary to make the test pass is implemented, and in the refactor stage, improvements are made to the code. This practice is widespread across the industry, and various studies have been conducted to understand its benefits and impacts on the software development process. Despite its popularity, TDD studies often focus on the technical aspects of the practice, such as the external/internal quality of the code, productivity, test smells, and code comprehension, rather than the context in which it is practiced. In this paper, we present a systematic literature review using Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar that focuses on the TDD practice and the influences that lead to the introduction of test smells/anti-patterns in the test code. The findings suggest that organizational structure influences the testing strategy. Additionally, there is a tendency to use test smells and TDD anti-patterns interchangeably, and test smells negatively impact code comprehension. Furthermore, TDD styles and the relationship between TDD practice and the generation of test smells are frequently overlooked in the literature. Full article
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20 pages, 359 KiB  
Review
Pedestrian Collision Avoidance in Autonomous Vehicles: A Review
by Timothé Verstraete and Naveed Muhammad
Computers 2024, 13(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030078 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 870
Abstract
Pedestrian collision avoidance is a crucial task in the development and democratization of autonomous vehicles. The aim of this review is to provide an accessible overview of the pedestrian collision avoidance systems in autonomous vehicles that have been proposed by the scientific community [...] Read more.
Pedestrian collision avoidance is a crucial task in the development and democratization of autonomous vehicles. The aim of this review is to provide an accessible overview of the pedestrian collision avoidance systems in autonomous vehicles that have been proposed by the scientific community over the last ten years. For this purpose, we propose a classification of studies in the literature in terms of the following: (i) pedestrian detection methods, (ii) collision avoidance approaches, (iii) actions, (iv) computing methods, and (v) test methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Autonomous Vehicle Solutions)
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3 pages, 155 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue on Advances in Database Engineered Applications
by Richard Chbeir, Mirjana Ivanovic, Yannis Manolopoulos and Claudio Silvestri
Computers 2024, 13(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030077 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
The 27th International Database Engineering and Applications Symposium (IDEAS-2023) was held in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, on 5–7 May 2023 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Database Engineered Applications 2023)
18 pages, 1061 KiB  
Article
Automatic Spell-Checking System for Spanish Based on the Ar2p Neural Network Model
by Eduard Puerto, Jose Aguilar and Angel Pinto
Computers 2024, 13(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030076 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 764
Abstract
Currently, approaches to correcting misspelled words have problems when the words are complex or massive. This is even more serious in the case of Spanish, where there are very few studies in this regard. So, proposing new approaches to word recognition and correction [...] Read more.
Currently, approaches to correcting misspelled words have problems when the words are complex or massive. This is even more serious in the case of Spanish, where there are very few studies in this regard. So, proposing new approaches to word recognition and correction remains a research topic of interest. In particular, an interesting approach is to computationally simulate the brain process for recognizing misspelled words and their automatic correction. Thus, this article presents an automatic recognition and correction system of misspelled words in Spanish texts, for the detection of misspelled words, and their automatic amendments, based on the systematic theory of pattern recognition of the mind (PRTM). The main innovation of the research is the use of the PRTM theory in this context. Particularly, a corrective system of misspelled words in Spanish based on this theory, called Ar2p-Text, was designed and built. Ar2p-Text carries out a recursive process of analysis of words by a disaggregation/integration mechanism, using specialized hierarchical recognition modules that define formal strategies to determine if a word is well or poorly written. A comparative evaluation shows that the precision and coverage of our Ar2p-Text model are competitive with other spell-checkers. In the experiments, the system achieves better performance than the three other systems. In general, Ar2p-Text obtains an F-measure of 83%, above the 73% achieved by the other spell-checkers. Our hierarchical approach reuses a lot of information, allowing for the improvement of the text analysis processes in both quality and efficiency. Preliminary results show that the above will allow for future developments of technologies for the correction of words inspired by this hierarchical approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Artificial Intelligence Models, Tools and Applications)
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20 pages, 5169 KiB  
Article
A Rule-Based Algorithm and Its Specializations for Measuring the Complexity of Software in Educational Digital Environments
by Artyom V. Gorchakov, Liliya A. Demidova and Peter N. Sovietov
Computers 2024, 13(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030075 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Modern software systems consist of many software components; the source code of modern software systems is hard to understand and maintain for new developers. Aiming to simplify the readability and understandability of source code, companies that specialize in software development adopt programming standards, [...] Read more.
Modern software systems consist of many software components; the source code of modern software systems is hard to understand and maintain for new developers. Aiming to simplify the readability and understandability of source code, companies that specialize in software development adopt programming standards, software design patterns, and static analyzers with the aim of decreasing the complexity of software. Recent research introduced a number of code metrics allowing the numerical characterization of the maintainability of code snippets. Cyclomatic Complexity (CycC) is one widely used metric for measuring the complexity of software. The value of CycC is equal to the number of decision points in a program plus one. However, CycC does not take into account the nesting levels of the syntactic structures that break the linear control flow in a program. Aiming to resolve this, the Cognitive Complexity (CogC) metric was proposed as a successor to CycC. In this paper, we describe a rule-based algorithm and its specializations for measuring the complexity of programs. We express the CycC and CogC metrics by means of the described algorithm and propose a new complexity metric named Educational Complexity (EduC) for use in educational digital environments. EduC is at least as strict as CycC and CogC are and includes additional checks that are based on definition-use graph analysis of a program. We evaluate the CycC, CogC, and EduC metrics using the source code of programs submitted to a Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) system that automates a university programming course. The obtained results confirm that EduC rejects more overcomplicated and difficult-to-understand programs in solving unique programming exercises generated by the DTA system when compared to CycC and CogC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Best Practices, Challenges and Opportunities in Software Engineering)
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20 pages, 3329 KiB  
Article
Intelligent Traffic Engineering for 6G Heterogeneous Transport Networks
by Hibatul Azizi Hisyam Ng and Toktam Mahmoodi
Computers 2024, 13(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030074 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Novel architectures incorporating transport networks and artificial intelligence (AI) are currently being developed for beyond 5G and 6G technologies. Given that the interfacing mobile and transport network nodes deliver high transactional packet volume in downlink and uplink streams, 6G networks envision adopting diverse [...] Read more.
Novel architectures incorporating transport networks and artificial intelligence (AI) are currently being developed for beyond 5G and 6G technologies. Given that the interfacing mobile and transport network nodes deliver high transactional packet volume in downlink and uplink streams, 6G networks envision adopting diverse transport networks, including non-terrestrial types of transport networks such as the satellite network, High-Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS), and DOCSIS cable TV. Hence, there is a need to match the traffic to the transport network. This paper focuses on such a matching problem and defines a method that leverages machine learning and mixed-integer linear programming. Consequently, the proposed scheme in this paper is to develop a traffic steering capability based on types of transport networks, namely, optical, satellite, and DOCSIS cable. Novel findings demonstrate a more than 90% accuracy of steered traffic to respective types of transport networks for dedicated transport network resources. Full article
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20 pages, 4760 KiB  
Article
Rapid Experimental Protocol for PMSM via MBD: Modeling, Simulation, and Experiment
by Mingyuan Hu, Hyeongki Ahn, Hyein Kang, Yoonuh Chung and Kwanho You
Computers 2024, 13(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030073 - 09 Mar 2024
Viewed by 731
Abstract
As control algorithms evolve, their enhanced performance is often accompanied by increased complexity, reaching a point where practical experimentation becomes unfeasible. This situation has led to many theoretical studies relying solely on simulations without experimental verification. To address this gap, this study introduces [...] Read more.
As control algorithms evolve, their enhanced performance is often accompanied by increased complexity, reaching a point where practical experimentation becomes unfeasible. This situation has led to many theoretical studies relying solely on simulations without experimental verification. To address this gap, this study introduces a rapid experimentation protocol (REP) for applying field-oriented control (FOC) strategies to permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) based on model-based design (MBD) and automated code generation. REP is designed to be user-friendly and straightforward, offering a less complex and more accessible alternative to DSP toolboxes. Its excellent hardware compatibility is conducive to code porting and development. With this protocol, users can quickly conduct FOC strategy experiments with reduced dependency on the complex automated code generation tools often associated with toolboxes. Centered around the PMSM model, this method utilizes only the fundamental modules of MATLAB2023b/Simulink, greatly simplifying the user experience. To demonstrate the feasibility and efficiency of the protocol, models for both sensor-based and sensorless control are developed. The practicality of REP, including sensor-based and sensorless experiments, is successfully validated on an arm-cortex-M4-based GD32 microcontroller. Full article
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25 pages, 1648 KiB  
Article
The Integration of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain Technology for Advancing the Wine Supply Chain
by Nino Adamashvili, Nino Zhizhilashvili and Caterina Tricase
Computers 2024, 13(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030072 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1432
Abstract
The study presents a comprehensive examination of the recent advancements in the field of wine production using the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain Technology (BCT). The paper aims to provide insights into the implementation of these technologies in the [...] Read more.
The study presents a comprehensive examination of the recent advancements in the field of wine production using the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain Technology (BCT). The paper aims to provide insights into the implementation of these technologies in the wine supply chain and to identify the potential benefits associated with their use. The study highlights the various applications of IoT, AI, and BCT in wine production, including vineyard management, wine quality control, and supply chain management. It also discusses the potential benefits of these technologies, such as improved efficiency, increased transparency, and reduced costs. The study concludes by presenting the framework proposed by the authors in order to overcome the challenges associated with the implementation of these technologies in the wine supply chain and suggests areas for future research. The proposed framework meets the challenges of lack of transparency, lack of ecosystem management in the wine industry and irresponsible spending associated with the lack of monitoring and prediction tools. Overall, the study provides valuable insights into the potential of IoT, AI, and BCT in optimizing the wine supply chain and offers a comprehensive review of the existing literature on the study subject. Full article
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22 pages, 1949 KiB  
Article
A Low-Cost Deep-Learning-Based System for Grading Cashew Nuts
by Van-Nam Pham, Quang-Huy Do Ba, Duc-Anh Tran Le, Quang-Minh Nguyen, Dinh Do Van and Linh Nguyen
Computers 2024, 13(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030071 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Most of the cashew nuts in the world are produced in the developing countries. Hence, there is a need to have a low-cost system to automatically grade cashew nuts, especially in small-scale farms, to improve mechanization and automation in agriculture, helping reduce the [...] Read more.
Most of the cashew nuts in the world are produced in the developing countries. Hence, there is a need to have a low-cost system to automatically grade cashew nuts, especially in small-scale farms, to improve mechanization and automation in agriculture, helping reduce the price of the products. To address this issue, in this work we first propose a low-cost grading system for cashew nuts by using the off-the-shelf equipment. The most important but complicated part of the system is its “eye”, which is required to detect and classify the nuts into different grades. To this end, we propose to exploit advantages of both the YOLOv8 and Transformer models and combine them in one single model. More specifically, we develop a module called SC3T that can be employed to integrate into the backbone of the YOLOv8 architecture. In the SC3T module, a Transformer block is dexterously integrated into along with the C3TR module. More importantly, the classifier is not only efficient but also compact, which can be implemented in an embedded device of our developed cashew nut grading system. The proposed classifier, called the YOLOv8–Transformer model, can enable our developed grading system, through a low-cost camera, to correctly detect and accurately classify the cashew nuts into four quality grades. In our grading system, we also developed an actuation mechanism to efficiently sort the nuts according to the classification results, getting the products ready for packaging. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed classifier, we collected a dataset from our sorting system, and trained and tested the model. The obtained results demonstrate that our proposed approach outperforms all the baseline methods given the collected image data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Learning and Explainable Artificial Intelligence)
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17 pages, 17840 KiB  
Article
User-Centered Pipeline for Synthetic Augmentation of Anomaly Detection Datasets
by Alexander Rosbak-Mortensen, Marco Jansen, Morten Muhlig, Mikkel Bjørndahl Kristensen Tøt and Ivan Nikolov
Computers 2024, 13(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030070 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Automatic anomaly detection plays a critical role in surveillance systems but requires datasets comprising large amounts of annotated data to train and evaluate models. Gathering and annotating these data is a labor-intensive task that can become costly. A way to circumvent this is [...] Read more.
Automatic anomaly detection plays a critical role in surveillance systems but requires datasets comprising large amounts of annotated data to train and evaluate models. Gathering and annotating these data is a labor-intensive task that can become costly. A way to circumvent this is to use synthetic data to augment anomalies directly into existing datasets. This far more diverse scenario can be created and come directly with annotations. This however also poses new issues for the computer-vision engineer and researcher end users, who are not readily familiar with 3D modeling, game development, or computer graphics methodologies and must rely on external specialists to use or tweak such pipelines. In this paper, we extend our previous work of an application that synthesizes dataset variations using 3D models and augments anomalies on real backgrounds using the Unity Engine. We developed a high-usability user interface for our application through a series of RITE experiments and evaluated the final product with the help of deep-learning specialists who provided positive feedback regarding its usability, accessibility, and user experience. Finally, we tested if the proposed solution can be used in the context of traffic surveillance by augmenting the train data from the challenging Street Scene dataset. We found that by using our synthetic data, we could achieve higher detection accuracy. We also propose the next steps to expand the proposed solution for better usability and render accuracy through the use of segmentation pre-processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Computer Graphics & Visual Computing (CGVC 2023))
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23 pages, 2222 KiB  
Article
How to Develop Information Systems to Improve Accessible Tourism: Proposal of a Roadmap to Support the Development of Accessible Solutions
by Pedro Teixeira, Celeste Eusébio and Leonor Teixeira
Computers 2024, 13(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030069 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 797
Abstract
The right to tourism has become a crucial aspect of society. Through more accessible tourism, it is possible to improve travel conditions for people with disabilities. Nonetheless, barriers still exist, with the lack of information about accessibility conditions representing a main obstacle. Information [...] Read more.
The right to tourism has become a crucial aspect of society. Through more accessible tourism, it is possible to improve travel conditions for people with disabilities. Nonetheless, barriers still exist, with the lack of information about accessibility conditions representing a main obstacle. Information systems can help overcome these hurdles. However, it is verified that methodologies to support the development of accessible IS are currently very scarce. Thus, this study intends to develop an accessible IS for accessible tourism and propose a roadmap to support the creation of accessible IS solutions. To obtain the intended accessible tourism solution, an action research methodology was followed, which involved adapting already established frameworks, that combine Agile development and user-centered design techniques. Following the methodology, a web application named access@tour by action was created. This mobile solution is capable of improving information management within the accessible tourism market. From this experimental study, a proposal for a methodological roadmap emerged. This roadmap helps to better understand how to develop accessible IS by demonstrating techniques for gathering accessibility requirements and validating them. The roadmap is adaptable and suitable for IS projects involving accessibility. Both results provide a better perspective on how to integrate accessibility during the development of IS, possibly supporting future researchers in creating accessible solutions. Full article
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13 pages, 1181 KiB  
Article
Inverse Trigonometric Fuzzy Preference Programming to Generate Weights with Optimal Solutions Implemented on Evaluation Criteria in E-Learning
by Emi Iryanti, Paulus Insap Santosa, Sri Suning Kusumawardani and Indriana Hidayah
Computers 2024, 13(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030068 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Nielsen’s heuristics are widely recognized for usability evaluation, but they are often considered insufficiently specific for assessing particular domains, such as e-learning. Currently, e-learning plays a pivotal role in higher education because of the shift in the educational paradigm from a teacher-centered approach [...] Read more.
Nielsen’s heuristics are widely recognized for usability evaluation, but they are often considered insufficiently specific for assessing particular domains, such as e-learning. Currently, e-learning plays a pivotal role in higher education because of the shift in the educational paradigm from a teacher-centered approach to a student-centered approach. The criteria utilized in multiple sets of heuristics for evaluating e-learning are carefully examined based on the definitions of each criterion. If there are similarities in meaning among these criteria, they are consolidated into a single criterion, resulting in the creation of 20 new criteria (spanning three primary aspects) for the evaluation of e-learning. These 20 new criteria encompass key aspects related to the user interface, learning development, and motivation. Each aspect is assigned a weight to facilitate prioritization when implementing improvements to evaluate e-learning, which is especially beneficial for institutions with limited resources responsible for the relevant units. In terms of weighting, there is room for enhancement to attain more optimal weighting outcomes by employing a Fuzzy Preference Programming method known as Inverse Trigonometric Fuzzy Preference Programming (ITFPP). The higher the assigned weight, the greater the priority for implementing improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Innovation, Communication and Engineering)
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22 pages, 3218 KiB  
Article
Integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) in SPA Medicine: Innovations and Challenges in Digital Wellness
by Mario Casillo, Liliana Cecere, Francesco Colace, Angelo Lorusso and Domenico Santaniello
Computers 2024, 13(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030067 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Integrating modern and innovative technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) presents new opportunities in healthcare, especially in medical spa therapies. Once considered palliative, these therapies conducted using mineral/thermal water are now recognized as a targeted and specific [...] Read more.
Integrating modern and innovative technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) presents new opportunities in healthcare, especially in medical spa therapies. Once considered palliative, these therapies conducted using mineral/thermal water are now recognized as a targeted and specific therapeutic modality. The peculiarity of these treatments lies in their simplicity of administration, which allows for prolonged treatments, often lasting weeks, with progressive and controlled therapeutic effects. Thanks to new technologies, it will be possible to continuously monitor the patient, both on-site and remotely, increasing the effectiveness of the treatment. In this context, wearable devices, such as smartwatches, facilitate non-invasive monitoring of vital signs by collecting precise data on several key parameters, such as heart rate or blood oxygenation level, and providing a perspective of detailed treatment progress. The constant acquisition of data thanks to the IoT, combined with the advanced analytics of ML technologies, allows for data collection and precise analysis, allowing real-time monitoring and personalized treatment adaptation. This article introduces an IoT-based framework integrated with ML techniques to monitor spa treatments, providing tailored customer management and more effective results. A preliminary experimentation phase was designed and implemented to evaluate the system’s performance through evaluation questionnaires. Encouraging preliminary results have shown that the innovative approach can enhance and highlight the therapeutic value of spa therapies and their significant contribution to personalized healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Smart Cities 2023)
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22 pages, 6565 KiB  
Article
Bus Driver Head Position Detection Using Capsule Networks under Dynamic Driving Conditions
by János Hollósi, Áron Ballagi, Gábor Kovács, Szabolcs Fischer and Viktor Nagy
Computers 2024, 13(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030066 - 03 Mar 2024
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Monitoring bus driver behavior and posture in urban public transport’s dynamic and unpredictable environment requires robust real-time analytics systems. Traditional camera-based systems that use computer vision techniques for facial recognition are foundational. However, they often struggle with real-world challenges such as sudden driver [...] Read more.
Monitoring bus driver behavior and posture in urban public transport’s dynamic and unpredictable environment requires robust real-time analytics systems. Traditional camera-based systems that use computer vision techniques for facial recognition are foundational. However, they often struggle with real-world challenges such as sudden driver movements, active driver–passenger interactions, variations in lighting, and physical obstructions. Our investigation covers four different neural network architectures, including two variations of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) that form the comparative baseline. The capsule network (CapsNet) developed by our team has been shown to be superior in terms of efficiency and speed in facial recognition tasks compared to traditional models. It offers a new approach for rapidly and accurately detecting a driver’s head position within the wide-angled view of the bus driver’s cabin. This research demonstrates the potential of CapsNets in driver head and face detection and lays the foundation for integrating CapsNet-based solutions into real-time monitoring systems to enhance public transportation safety protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Learning and Explainable Artificial Intelligence)
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24 pages, 6569 KiB  
Article
A First Approach to Co-Design a Multimodal Pedagogic Conversational Agent with Pre-Service Teachers to Teach Programming in Primary Education
by Diana Pérez-Marín, Raquel Hijón-Neira and Celeste Pizarro
Computers 2024, 13(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030065 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 831
Abstract
Pedagogic Conversational Agents (PCAs) are interactive systems that engage the student in a dialogue to teach some domain. They can have the roles of a teacher, student, or companion, and adopt several shapes. In our previous work, a significant increase of students’ performance [...] Read more.
Pedagogic Conversational Agents (PCAs) are interactive systems that engage the student in a dialogue to teach some domain. They can have the roles of a teacher, student, or companion, and adopt several shapes. In our previous work, a significant increase of students’ performance when learning programming was found when using PCAs in the teacher role. However, it is not common to find PCAs used in classrooms. In this paper, it is explored whether pre-service teachers would accept PCAs to teach programming better if they were co-designed with them. Pre-service teachers are chosen because they are still in training, so they can be taught what PCAs are and how this technology could be helpful. Moreover, pre-service teachers can choose whether they integrate PCAs in the teaching activities that they carry out as part of their degree’s course. An experiment with 35 pre-service primary education teachers was carried out during the 2021/2022 academic year to co-design a robotic PCA to teach programming. The experience validates the idea that involving pre-service teachers in the design of a PCA facilitates their involvement to integrate this technology in their classrooms. In total, 97% of the pre-service teachers that stated in a survey that they believed robot PCA could help children to learn programming, and 80% answered that they would like to use them in their classrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Computer-Assisted Learning)
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14 pages, 2801 KiB  
Article
Predicting the RUL of Li-Ion Batteries in UAVs Using Machine Learning Techniques
by Dragos Alexandru Andrioaia, Vasile Gheorghita Gaitan, George Culea and Ioan Viorel Banu
Computers 2024, 13(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030064 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1007
Abstract
Over the past decade, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have begun to be increasingly used due to their untapped potential. Li-ion batteries are the most used to power electrically operated UAVs for their advantages, such as high energy density and the high number of [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have begun to be increasingly used due to their untapped potential. Li-ion batteries are the most used to power electrically operated UAVs for their advantages, such as high energy density and the high number of operating cycles. Therefore, it is necessary to estimate the Remaining Useful Life (RUL) and the prediction of the Li-ion batteries’ capacity to prevent the UAVs’ loss of autonomy, which can cause accidents or material losses. In this paper, the authors propose a method of prediction of the RUL for Li-ion batteries using a data-driven approach. To maximize the performance of the process, the performance of three machine learning models, Support Vector Machine for Regression (SVMR), Multiple Linear Regression (MLR), and Random Forest (RF), were compared to estimate the RUL of Li-ion batteries. The method can be implemented within UAVs’ Predictive Maintenance (PdM) systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Autonomous Vehicle Solutions)
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38 pages, 10287 KiB  
Article
Proposed Fuzzy-Stranded-Neural Network Model That Utilizes IoT Plant-Level Sensory Monitoring and Distributed Services for the Early Detection of Downy Mildew in Viticulture
by Sotirios Kontogiannis, Stefanos Koundouras and Christos Pikridas
Computers 2024, 13(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030063 - 28 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Novel monitoring architecture approaches are required to detect viticulture diseases early. Existing micro-climate decision support systems can only cope with late detection from empirical and semi-empirical models that provide less accurate results. Such models cannot alleviate precision viticulture planning and pesticide control actions, [...] Read more.
Novel monitoring architecture approaches are required to detect viticulture diseases early. Existing micro-climate decision support systems can only cope with late detection from empirical and semi-empirical models that provide less accurate results. Such models cannot alleviate precision viticulture planning and pesticide control actions, providing early reconnaissances that may trigger interventions. This paper presents a new plant-level monitoring architecture called thingsAI. The proposed system utilizes low-cost, autonomous, easy-to-install IoT sensors for vine-level monitoring, utilizing the low-power LoRaWAN protocol for sensory measurement acquisition. Facilitated by a distributed cloud architecture and open-source user interfaces, it provides state-of-the-art deep learning inference services and decision support interfaces. This paper also presents a new deep learning detection algorithm based on supervised fuzzy annotation processes, targeting downy mildew disease detection and, therefore, planning early interventions. The authors tested their proposed system and deep learning model on the grape variety of protected designation of origin called debina, cultivated in Zitsa, Greece. From their experimental results, the authors show that their proposed model can detect vine locations and timely breakpoints of mildew occurrences, which farmers can use as input for targeted intervention efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Industrial IoT Applications)
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19 pages, 1270 KiB  
Article
Horizontal Learning Approach to Discover Association Rules
by Arthur Yosef, Idan Roth, Eli Shnaider, Amos Baranes and Moti Schneider
Computers 2024, 13(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030062 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Association rule learning is a machine learning approach aiming to find substantial relations among attributes within one or more datasets. We address the main problem of this technology, which is the excessive computation time and the memory requirements needed for the processing of [...] Read more.
Association rule learning is a machine learning approach aiming to find substantial relations among attributes within one or more datasets. We address the main problem of this technology, which is the excessive computation time and the memory requirements needed for the processing of discovering the association rules. Most of the literature pertaining to the association rules deals extensively with these issues as major obstacles, especially for very large databases. In this paper, we introduce a method that requires substantially lowers the run time and memory requirements in comparison to the methods presently in use (reduction from O(2m) to O2m2 in the worst case). Full article
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12 pages, 2607 KiB  
Article
Suicide-Related Groups and School Shooting Fan Communities on Social Media: A Network Analysis
by Anastasia Peshkovskaya, Sergey Chudinov, Galina Serbina and Alexander Gubanov
Computers 2024, 13(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030061 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 925
Abstract
As network structure of virtual communities related to suicide and school shooting still remains unaddressed in scientific literature, we employed basic demographics analysis and social network analysis (SNA) to show common features, as well as distinct facets in the communities’ structure and their [...] Read more.
As network structure of virtual communities related to suicide and school shooting still remains unaddressed in scientific literature, we employed basic demographics analysis and social network analysis (SNA) to show common features, as well as distinct facets in the communities’ structure and their followers’ network. Open and publicly accessible data of over 16,000 user accounts were collected with a social media monitoring system. Results showed that adolescents and young adults were the main audience of suicide-related and school shooting fan communities. List of blocked virtual groups related to school shooting was more extensive than that of suicide, which indicates a high radicalization degree of school shooting virtual groups. The homogeneity of followers’ interests was more typical for subscribers of suicide-related communities. A social network analysis showed that followers of school shooting virtual groups were closely interconnected with their peers, and their network was monolithic, while followers of suicide-related virtual groups were fragmented into numerous communities, so presence of a giant connected component in their network can be questioned. We consider our results highly relevant for better understanding the network aspects of virtual information existence, harmful information spreading, and its potential impact on society. Full article
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27 pages, 542 KiB  
Systematic Review
Cyber Threat Intelligence on Blockchain: A Systematic Literature Review
by Dimitrios Chatziamanetoglou and Konstantinos Rantos
Computers 2024, 13(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030060 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) has become increasingly important in safeguarding organizations against cyber threats. However, managing, storing, analyzing, and sharing vast and sensitive threat intelligence data is a challenge. Blockchain technology, with its robust and tamper-resistant properties, offers a promising solution to address [...] Read more.
Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) has become increasingly important in safeguarding organizations against cyber threats. However, managing, storing, analyzing, and sharing vast and sensitive threat intelligence data is a challenge. Blockchain technology, with its robust and tamper-resistant properties, offers a promising solution to address these challenges. This systematic literature review explores the recent advancements and emerging trends at the intersection of CTI and blockchain technology. We reviewed research papers published during the last 5 years to investigate the various proposals, methodologies, models, and implementations related to the distributed ledger technology and how this technology can be used to collect, store, analyze, and share CTI in a secured and controlled manner, as well as how this combination can further support additional dimensions such as quality assurance, reputation, and trust. Our findings highlight the focus of the CTI and blockchain convergence on the dissemination phase in the CTI lifecycle, reflecting a substantial emphasis on optimizing the efficacy of communication and sharing mechanisms, based on an equitable emphasis on both permissioned, private blockchains and permissionless, public blockchains, addressing the diverse requirements and preferences within the CTI community. The analysis reveals a focus towards the tactical and technical dimensions of CTI, compared to the operational and strategic CTI levels, indicating an emphasis on more technical-oriented utilization within the domain of blockchain technology. The technological landscape supporting CTI and blockchain integration emerges as multifaceted, featuring pivotal roles played by smart contracts, machine learning, federated learning, consensus algorithms, IPFS, deep learning, and encryption. This integration of diverse technologies contributes to the robustness and adaptability of the proposed frameworks. Moreover, our exploration unveils the overarching significance of trust and privacy as predominant themes, underscoring their pivotal roles in shaping the landscape within our research realm. Additionally, our study addresses the maturity assessment of these integrated systems. The approach taken in evaluating maturity levels, distributed across the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale, reveals an average balance, indicating that research efforts span from early to mid-stages of maturity in implementation. This study signifies the ongoing evolution and maturation of research endeavors within the dynamic intersection of CTI and blockchain technology, identifies trends, and also highlights research gaps that can potentially be addressed by future research on the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BLockchain Enabled Sustainable Smart Cities (BLESS 2022))
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18 pages, 408 KiB  
Article
Static Malware Analysis Using Low-Parameter Machine Learning Models
by Ryan Baker del Aguila, Carlos Daniel Contreras Pérez, Alejandra Guadalupe Silva-Trujillo, Juan C. Cuevas-Tello and Jose Nunez-Varela
Computers 2024, 13(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030059 - 23 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Recent advancements in cybersecurity threats and malware have brought into question the safety of modern software and computer systems. As a direct result of this, artificial intelligence-based solutions have been on the rise. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the efficacy [...] Read more.
Recent advancements in cybersecurity threats and malware have brought into question the safety of modern software and computer systems. As a direct result of this, artificial intelligence-based solutions have been on the rise. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the efficacy of memory-optimized machine learning solutions for the task of static analysis of software metadata. The study comprises an evaluation and comparison of the performance metrics of three popular machine learning solutions: artificial neural networks (ANN), support vector machines (SVMs), and gradient boosting machines (GBMs). The study provides insights into the effectiveness of memory-optimized machine learning solutions when detecting previously unseen malware. We found that ANNs shows the best performance with 93.44% accuracy classifying programs as either malware or legitimate even with extreme memory constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section ICT Infrastructures for Cybersecurity)
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20 pages, 3630 KiB  
Article
A Comparison between Online Quizzes and Serious Games: The Case of Friend Me
by Lampros Karavidas, Georgina Skraparli and Thrasyvoulos Tsiatsos
Computers 2024, 13(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030058 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The rapid changes in digital technology have had a substantial influence on education, resulting in the development of learning technologies (LTs) such as multimedia, computer-based training, intelligent tutoring systems, serious games, social media, and pedagogical agents. Serious games have demonstrated their effectiveness in [...] Read more.
The rapid changes in digital technology have had a substantial influence on education, resulting in the development of learning technologies (LTs) such as multimedia, computer-based training, intelligent tutoring systems, serious games, social media, and pedagogical agents. Serious games have demonstrated their effectiveness in several domains, while there is contradictory data on their efficiency in modifying behavior and their possible disadvantages. Serious games are games that are specifically created to fulfill a primary goal other than entertainment. The objective of our study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a serious game designed for the self-assessment of students concerning their knowledge of web technologies on students with an equivalent online quiz that uses the same collection of questions. The primary hypotheses we stated were that those utilizing the serious game would experience better results in terms of engagement, subjective experience, and learning compared to those using the online quiz. To examine these research questions, the IMI questionnaire, the total number of completed questions, and post-test grades were utilized to compare the two groups, which consisted of 34 undergraduate students. Our findings indicate that the serious game users did not have a better experience or better learning outcomes, but that they engaged more, answering significantly more questions. Future steps include finding more participants and extending the experimental period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Computer-Assisted Learning)
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22 pages, 11159 KiB  
Article
Reviving Antiquity in the Digital Era: Digitization, Semantic Curation, and VR Exhibition of Contemporary Dresses
by Aldo Xhako, Antonis Katzourakis, Theodoros Evdaimon, Emmanouil Zidianakis, Nikolaos Partarakis and Xenophon Zabulis
Computers 2024, 13(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13030057 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1006
Abstract
In this paper, we present a comprehensive methodology to support the multifaceted process involved in the digitization, curation, and virtual exhibition of cultural heritage artifacts. The proposed methodology is applied in the context of a unique collection of contemporary dresses inspired by antiquity. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a comprehensive methodology to support the multifaceted process involved in the digitization, curation, and virtual exhibition of cultural heritage artifacts. The proposed methodology is applied in the context of a unique collection of contemporary dresses inspired by antiquity. Leveraging advanced 3D technologies, including lidar scanning and photogrammetry, we meticulously captured and transformed physical garments into highly detailed digital models. The postprocessing phase refined these models, ensuring an accurate representation of the intricate details and nuances inherent in each dress. Our collaborative efforts extended to the dissemination of this digital cultural heritage, as we partnered with the national aggregator in Greece, SearchCulture, to facilitate widespread access. The aggregation process streamlined the integration of our digitized content into a centralized repository, fostering cultural preservation and accessibility. Furthermore, we harnessed the power of these 3D models to transcend traditional exhibition boundaries, crafting a virtual experience that transcends geographical constraints. This virtual exhibition not only enables online exploration but also invites participants to immerse themselves in a captivating virtual reality environment. The synthesis of cutting-edge digitization techniques, cultural aggregation, and immersive exhibition design not only contributes to the preservation of contemporary cultural artifacts but also redefines the ways in which audiences engage with and experience cultural heritage in the digital age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended or Mixed Reality (AR + VR): Technology and Applications)
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