Leila Alem is an Adjunct professor at the UTS faculty of engineering and information technology .She was a principal research scientist at the CSIRO Digital Productivity and Services based in Sydney. Her formal training is in artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. Over the past 23+ years of her career at CSIRO she has designed , evaluated and delivered ICT solutions and services for industries such as aviation, mining, manufacturing and health . Leila has an established international profile in Human Computer Interaction with a special interest in enhancing users experiences through novel ways of working together using mobile and wearable technologies. She is the editor of two books with Springers on mobile collaborative augmented reality systems. Her main focus of research has been in the area Human Factors in computer mediated collaboration settings. Drawing on cognitive psychology, social science and human-computer-interface research she has investigated the media factors, the cognitive factors and the social factors at play in telepresence systems and environments.
Over the past 7 years she lead the User Interaction and Collaboration research team within CSIRO. Leila has a strong track record in securing external R&D funding ( commercial and government research contracts), initiating strategic research and developing innovative research projects to deliver impact. Under her leadership the UIC team won 3 state innovation awards and has successfully commercialised two of its collaborative technology platform. One of the most recent successful R&D project include a contract with Boeing Research and Technologies ( see www.csiro.au/remote ). As the result of the success of this project, Boeing is now actively seeking to use ReMoTe technology across their maintenance and training programs. Leila won the 2013 NSW State Innovation Awards in research and development for her work on ReMoTe.
Human Computer Interaction
Computer supported cooperative work
Natural User Interface
Tele presence, tele heath and tele monitoring
Huang, W, Kim, S, Billinghurst, M & Alem, L 2019, 'Sharing hand gesture and sketch cues in remote collaboration', JOURNAL OF VISUAL COMMUNICATION AND IMAGE REPRESENTATION, vol. 58, pp. 428-438.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Huang, W, Alem, L, Tecchia, F & Duh, HB-L 2018, 'Augmented 3D hands: a gesture-based mixed reality system for distributed collaboration', JOURNAL ON MULTIMODAL USER INTERFACES, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 77-89.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Huang, W, Li, J & Alem, L 2018, 'Towards Preventative Healthcare: A Review of Wearable and Mobile Applications', Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, vol. 251, pp. 11-14.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. Wearable and mobile devices are now commonly used in our daily activities, giving users instant access to various information. One the one hand, wearable and mobile technologies are developing at a fast rate and have been increasingly ubiquitous. On the other hand, the potential of their application in health is yet to be fully explored. This paper attempts to sketch an overview of wearable and mobile applications in the healthcare domain. We first review how various wearable and mobile applications are being used to monitor and manage health conditions. Then how connections between physiological factors and psychological factors can help with disease prevention is presented. Finally, challenges and future directions for further developments of these emerging technologies in health are discussed.
Khoshkbarforoushha, A, Wang, M, Ranjan, R, Wang, L, Alem, L, Khan, SU & Benatallah, B 2016, 'Dimensions for Evaluating Cloud Resource Orchestration Frameworks', Computer, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 24-33.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 IEEE. Despite the proliferation of cloud resource orchestration frameworks (CROFs), DevOps managers and application developers still have no systematic tool for evaluating their features against desired criteria. The authors present generic technical dimensions for analyzing CROF capabilities and understanding prominent research to refine them.
Lukosch, S, Billinghurst, M, Alem, L & Kiyokawa, K 2015, 'Collaboration in Augmented Reality', Computer Supported Cooperative Work: CSCW: An International Journal, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 515-525.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015, The Author(s). Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that allows users to view and interact in real time with virtual images seamlessly superimposed over the real world. AR systems can be used to create unique collaborative experiences. For example, co-located users can see shared 3D virtual objects that they interact with, or a user can annotate the live video view of a remote worker, enabling them to collaborate at a distance. The overall goal is to augment the face-to-face collaborative experience, or to enable remote people to feel that they are virtually co-located. In this special issue on collaboration in augmented reality, we begin with the visions of science fiction authors of future technologies that might significantly improve collaboration, then introduce research articles which describe progress towards these visions, finally we outline a research agenda discussing the work still to be done.
Wang, L, Ranjan, R, Kołodziej, J, Zomaya, A & Alem, L 2015, 'Software tools and techniques for big data computing in healthcare clouds', Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 43-44, pp. 38-39.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Celler, BG, Sparks, R, Nepal, S, Alem, L, Varnfield, M, Li, J, Jang-Jaccard, J, Mcbride, SJ & Jayasena, R 2014, 'Design of a multi-site multi-state clinical trial of home monitoring of chronic disease in the community in australia', BMC Public Health, vol. 14, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
©2014 Celler et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Background: Telehealth services based on at-home monitoring of vital signs and the administration of clinical questionnaires are being increasingly used to manage chronic disease in the community, but few statistically robust studies are available in Australia to evaluate a wide range of health and socio-economic outcomes. The objectives of this study are to use robust statistical methods to research the impact of at home telemonitoring on health care outcomes, acceptability of telemonitoring to patients, carers and clinicians and to identify workplace cultural factors and capacity for organisational change management that will impact on large scale national deployment of telehealth services. Additionally, to develop advanced modelling and data analytics tools to risk stratify patients on a daily basis to automatically identify exacerbations of their chronic conditions. Methods/Design: A clinical trial is proposed at five locations in five states and territories along the Eastern Seaboard of Australia. Each site will have 25 Test patients and 50 case matched control patients. All participants will be selected based on clinical criteria of at least two hospitalisations in the previous year or four or more admissions over the last five years for a range of one or more chronic conditions. Control patients are matched according to age, sex, major diagnosis and their Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). The Trial Design is an Intervention control study based on the Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design. Discussion: Our preliminary data indicates that most outcome variables before and after the intervention are not stationary, and accordingly we model this behaviour using linear mixed-effects (lme) models which can flexibly model within-group correlation often present in longitudinal data with repeated measures. We expect reduced incidence of unscheduled hospitalisation as well as improvement in the management of c...
Jang-Jaccard, J, Nepal, S, Alem, L & Li, J 2014, 'Barriers for delivering telehealth in rural Australia: A review based on Australian trials and studies', Telemedicine and e-Health, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 496-504.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Background: Australians in rural and remote areas live with far poorer health outcomes than those in urban areas. Telehealth services have emerged as a promising solution to narrow this health gap, as they improve the level and diversity of health services delivery to rural and remote Australian communities. Although the benefits of telehealth services are well studied and understood, the uptake has been very slow. Materials and Methods: To understand the underpinning issues, we conducted a literature review on barriers to telehealth adoption in rural and remote Australian communities, based on the published works of Australian clinical trials and studies. Results: This article presents our findings using a comprehensive barrier matrix. This matrix is composed of four stakeholders (governments, technology developers and providers, health professionals, and patients) and five different categorizations of barriers (regulatory, financial, cultural, technological, and workforce). We explain each cell of the matrix (four stakeholders×five categories) and map the reported work into the matrix. Conclusions: Several exemplary barrier cases are also described to give more insights into the complexity and dilemma of adopting telehealth services. Finally, we outline recent technological advancements that have a great potential to overcome some of the identified barriers. Copyright © 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Evaluating telehealth programs is a challenging task, yet it is the most sensible first step when embarking on a telehealth study. How can we frame and report on telehealth studies? What are the health services elements to select based on the application needs? What are the appropriate terms to use to refer to such elements? Various frameworks have been proposed in the literature to answer these questions, and each framework is defined by a set of properties covering different aspects of telehealth systems. The most common properties include application, technology, and functionality. With the proliferation of telehealth, it is important not only to understand these properties, but also to define new properties to account for a wider range of context of use and evaluation outcomes. This article presents a comprehensive framework for delivery design, implementation, and evaluation of telehealth services. We first survey existing frameworks proposed in the literature and then present our proposed comprehensive multidimensional framework for telehealth. Six key dimensions of the proposed framework include health domains, health services, delivery technologies, communication infrastructure, environment setting, and socioeconomic analysis. We define a set of example properties for each dimension. We then demonstrate how we have used our framework to evaluate telehealth programs in rural and remote Australia. A few major international studies have been also mapped to demonstrate the feasibility of the framework. The key characteristics of the framework are as follows: (a) loosely coupled and hence easy to use, (b) provides a basis for describing a wide range of telehealth programs, and (c) extensible to future developments and needs. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014.
Thilakanathan, D, Chen, S, Nepal, S, Calvo, R & Alem, L 2014, 'A platform for secure monitoring and sharing of generic health data in the Cloud', Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 35, pp. 102-113.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The growing need for the remote caring of patients at home combined with the ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices due to their ubiquitous nature has resulted in many apps being developed to enable mobile telecare. The Cloud, in combination with mobile technologies has enabled doctors to conveniently monitor and assess a patient's health while the patient is at the comfort of their own home. This demands sharing of health information between healthcare teams such as doctors and nurses in order to provide better and safer care of patients. However, the sharing of health information introduces privacy and security issues which may conflict with HIPAA standards. In this paper, we attempt to address the issues of privacy and security in the domain of mobile telecare and Cloud computing. We first demonstrate a telecare application that will allow doctors to remotely monitor patients via the Cloud. We then use this system as a basis to showcase our model that will allow patients to share their health information with other doctors, nurses or medical professional in a secure and confidential manner. The key features of our model include the ability to handle large data sizes and efficient user revocation. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation of two gesture representations (overlaying hands and cursor pointer) in a video-mediated scenarioremote collaboration on physical task. Our study assessed the relative value of the two gesture representations with respect to their effectiveness in task performance, user's satisfaction, and user's perceived quality of collaboration in terms of the coordination and interaction with the remote partner. Our results show no clear difference between these two gesture representations in the effectiveness and user satisfaction. However, when considering the perceived quality of collaboration, the overlaying hands condition was statistically significantly higher than the pointer cursor condition. Our results seem to suggest that the value of a more expressive gesture representation is not so much a gain in performance but rather a gain in user's experience, more specifically in user's perceived quality of collaborative effort. Copyright 2011 Leila Alem and Jane Li.
Hrimech, H, Alem, L & Merienne, F 2011, 'How 3D interaction metaphors affect user experience in collaborative virtual environment', Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 2011.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In this paper we presents the results of our experimental study which aims to understand the impact of three interaction 3D metaphors (ray casting, GoGo, and virtual hand) on the user experience in a semi-immersive collaborative virtual environment (the Braccetto System). For each session, participants are grouped in twos to reconstruct a puzzle by an assemblage of cubes. The puzzle to reconstruct corresponds to a gradient of colors. We found that there is a significant difference in the user experience by changing the interaction metaphor on the copresence, awareness, involvement, collaborative effort, satisfaction usability, and preference. These findings provide a basis for designing 3D navigation techniques in a CVE. Copyright © 2011 Hamid Hrimech et al.
Alem, L, Joseph, M, Kethers, S, Steele, C & Wilkinson, R 2008, 'Information environments for supporting consistent registrar medical handover', HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 9-24.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Mee, W, Katz, E, Alem, L & Kravis, S 2007, 'Sociotechnical challenges in the design of a knowledge portal', Information Communication and Society, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 5-28.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper describes the authors' experiences as a multidisciplinary team within a national science research organization, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in building a web-based knowledge portal to support water quality management in an Australian wet tropical region, the Douglas Shire. Their initial assumption was that a knowledge-sharing tool developed through community participation would enhance efforts towards sustainable development in this predominantly sugar cane growing area of far north Queensland. After presenting the general context of the study and a description of the web portal developed, we discuss three sociotechnical challenges faced: the question of value, i.e. understanding what motivates members of a community to become involved in co-design of technology; the problem of translation, i.e. how to develop common understandings and shared visions, given the often differing epistemologies in the so-called lay-expert knowledge divide and between the different discipline areas; and the paradox of meta-design, i.e. the difficulty of asking people to commit to a project of collaborative technology development at a stage when - by the very nature of co-design - that technology is still undefined and emergent. The article ends by offering some tentative conclusions on the authors' experience. © 2007 Taylor & Francis.
Huang, W, Billinghurst, M, Alem, L & Kim, S 2018, 'HandsInTouch: Sharing Gestures in Remote Collaboration', PROCEEDINGS OF THE 30TH AUSTRALIAN COMPUTER-HUMAN INTERACTION CONFERENCE (OZCHI 2018), 30th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI), ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, pp. 396-400.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lukosch, S, Alem, L, Billinghurst, M, Feiner, S, Kiyokawa, K & Prilla, M 2017, 'Workshop on Collaborative Mixed Reality Environments (CoMiRE) Summary', Adjunct Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2016, pp. xxxv-xxxvi.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The world is becoming more complex and problem solving often requires teams of experts to work together at the same or from different locations. To support this there is a need for collaborative tools, and a variety of teleconferencing and telepresence technologies have been developed. However, most of them involve some variation of traditional video conferencing, which has limitations, such as not being able to effectively convey spatial cues or share the user's task space. This workshop will focus on how these limitations can be overcome by using Mixed Reality (MR) technology, leading to the development of radically new types of collaborative experiences.
Brondi, R, Avveduto, G, Carrozzino, M, Tecchia, F, Alem, L & Bergamasco, M 2015, 'Immersive Technologies and Natural Interaction to Improve Serious Games Engagement', Games and Learning Alliance, International Conference of the Games and Learning Alliance (GALA), Springer, Rome, Italy, pp. 121-130.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Newly available technologies and natural interaction in video games are reshaping the role of immersion and interaction on game enjoyment. The current work aims at assessing a highly immersive setup exploiting natural user interaction, combining Head Mounted Display and a depth camera, with the objective of evaluating its use as a platform for Serious Games through a series of experiments whose results are presented and discussed. Initial findings suggest that the introduced technological setup offers high level of engagement and facilitate the achievement of the flow state.
Capodieci, A, Mainetti, L & Alem, L 2016, 'An innovative approach to digital engineering services delivery: An application in maintenance', Proceedings - 2015 11th International Conference on Innovations in Information Technology, IIT 2015, pp. 342-349.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015 IEEE. Nowadays companies are rapidly moving towards transforming their business into digital businesses. Being digital often means exploiting emerging technologies to enable new ways of serving customers. This paper presents two digital tools that have been designed to drive innovation in maintenance operations. A remote assistance collaboration tool combining wearable technologies and augmented reality is presented to allow a specialist from an engineering services company to remotely assist in real time a maintenance operator located at an operation site. A visible and open collaborative business model built to model the B2B process between the engineering services and the operation companies is presented to monitor compliance to the service level agreement contract and provide a basis for improving customer facing interactions. This paper provides an example of digital innovation in maintenance operations that integrates new technologies with business process models.
Brondi, R, Alem, L, Avveduto, G, Faita, C, Carrozzino, M, Tecchia, F & Bergamasco, M 2015, 'Evaluating the impact of highly immersive technologies and natural interaction on player engagement and flow experience in games', Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), pp. 169-181.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. Social interaction in videogames has a big impact on players experience and is often used to increase enjoyment and retention. In the current study a highly immersive setup based on the Oculus Rift and depth cameras and exploiting natural user interaction is compared with a classical Keyboard & Mouse configuration in the context of a videogame experience taking place in a shared Virtual Environment. The research aims at assessing the impact of new technologies and interaction metaphors on users engagement when playing social games. Initial findings from our study suggest that while players perform better using the classic Keyboard & Mouse setup, the new technological setup and the Natural User Interface offer higher level of engagement and facilitate user flow state.
Brondi, R, Avveduto, G, Alem, L, Faita, C, Carrozzino, M, Tecchia, F, Pisan, Y & Bergamasco, M 2015, 'Evaluating the effects of competition vs collaboration on user engagement in an immersive game using natural interaction.', VRST '15 Proceedings of the 21st ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, ACM, BeiJing, China, pp. 191-191.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Social experience can deeply impact on gaming experience and is often used to increase enjoyment and retention. In the literature two main categories of social interaction can be identified: competition and collaboration. Player engagement has been widely studied under different conditions related to the type of social interaction taking place during the game. However, rich and newly available contexts based on emerging paradigms, such as those enabled by Natural User Interfaces, have not been yet extensively addressed. In the current study the impact of collaborative and competitive goal structures on player engagement, awareness and social presence is evaluated in the context of a jigsaw puzzle game taking place in a Shared Virtual Environment using a highly immersive setup exploiting natural user interaction.
Li, J, Alem, L & Huang, W 2015, 'Supporting Frontline Health Workers Through the Use of a Mobile Collaboration Tool', Health Information Science (LNCS), 4th International Conference on Health Information Science, Springer, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 31-36.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper presents our work in exploring the design of a mobile collaboration tool to support frontline health workers who deliver healthcare services at local communities and patients' homes. Our design addresses their collaboration needs when they discuss patient cases with remote clinicians during the home visits. The tool is tablet-based and supports real-time communication and information sharing between health workers and clinicians and also asynchronous information exchange between them through the recording of rich media annotations. We present preliminary results from a pilot study examining the usability of the tool.
Donovan, A, Alem, L, Huang, W, Liu, R & Hedley, M 2014, 'Understanding how network performance affects user experience of remote guidance', Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), CYTED-RITOS International Workshop on Groupware, pp. 1-12.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Much research has been done to support remote collaboration on physical tasks. However, the focus of the research has been mainly on system and interface design and their impact on collaboration. Relatively less attention has been paid to investigating how network performance can affect user experience and task performance. In this paper, we present a preliminary user study on this issue in which participants were asked to work collaboratively in pair using a remote mobile tele-assistance system we developed. In this study, five network scenarios were examined and network performance (QoS) was measured using four metrics including delay, jitter, bandwidth and packet loss. User experience (QoE) was measured using both objective and subjective metrics. The formal included time taken and number of instructions repeated for task performance while the latter included user ratings of quality of audio experience, quality of video experience and overall quality of experience. The results indicated that the packet loss rate in QoS is the biggest contributor to loss in QoE. We also discuss implications of the study and possible directions of future work. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.
Li, J, Alem, L, Varnfield, M & Celler, B 2014, 'A study on the implementation of large-scale home telemonitoring service', Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW, pp. 193-196.View/Download from: Publisher's site
We present the early findings from a longitudinal study of a multi-site home telemonitoring program for chronic disease management. The study aims to find out how the telehealth service is integrated into existing models of care at each site and how it impacts on practices and care processes within each particular setting. We identified potential implementation barriers perceived by clinicians. We highlight differences in healthcare settings and various ways that structures and practices have been configured in these sites. Our study seeks to expend the focus of research longitudinally and across different local settings and contributes to recent research in large-scale and home care applications.
Tecchia, F, Avveduto, G, Brondi, R, Carrozzino, M, Bergamasco, M & Alem, L 2014, 'I'm in VR!: Using your own hands in a fully immersive MR system', Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST, pp. 73-76.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Copyright © 2014 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc (ACM). This paper presents a novel fully immersive Mixed Reality system that we have recently developed where the user freely walks in a life-size virtual scenario wearing an HMD and can see and use her/his own body when interacting with objects. This form of natural interaction is made possible in our system because the user's hands are real-time captured by means of a RGBD camera on the HMD. This allow the system to have in real-time a texturized geometric mesh of the hands and body (as seen from her/his own perspective) that can be rendered like any other polygonal model in the scene. Our hypothesis is that by presenting to the users an egocentric view of the virtual environment "populated" by their own bodies, a very strong feeling of presence is developed as well.
Tecchia, F, Avveduto, G, Carrozzino, M, Brondi, R, Bergamasco, M & Alem, L 2014, 'Interacting with your own hands in a fully immersive MR system', ISMAR 2014 - IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality - Science and Technology 2014, Proceedings, pp. 313-314.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2014 IEEE. This poster introduces a fully immersive Mixed Reality system we have recently developed, where the user is free to walk inside a virtual scenario while wearing a HMD. The novelty of the system lies in the fact that users can see and use their real hands - by means of a Kinect-like camera mounted on the HMD - in order to naturally interact with the virtual objects. Our working hypothesis are that the introduction of the photorealistic capture of users' hands in a coherently rendered virtual scenario induces in them a strong feeling of presence and embodiment without the need of using a synthetic 3D modelled avatar as a representation of the self. We also argue that the users' ability of grasping and manipulating virtual objects using their own hands not only provides an intuitive interaction experience, but also improves self-perception as well as the perception of the environment.
Huang, W & Alem, L 2013, 'HandsInAir: A wearable system for remote collaboration on physical tasks', Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW, pp. 153-156.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Many real world scenarios involve a remote helper guiding a local worker performing manipulations of physical objects (physical tasks). Technologies and systems have been developed to support such collaborations. However, existing systems often confine collaborators in fixed desktop settings. Yet, there are many situations in which collaborators are mobile and/or desktop settings are not possible to set up. In this paper, we present HandsInAir, a real-time collaborative wearable system for remote collaboration. HandsInAir is designed to support mobility of both the worker and the helper and to provide easy access to remote expertise. In particular, this system implements a novel approach that allows helpers to perform hand gestures in the air and frees two hands of workers for object operations. We describe the system and an evaluation of it and envision future work. Copyright © 2012 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. (ACM).
Huang, W, Alem, L & Tecchia, F 2013, 'HandsIn3D: Augmenting the shared 3D visual space with unmediated hand gestures', SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 Emerging Technologies, SA 2013.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Nowadays technologies used in equipment and machinery are becoming increasingly complex and ubiquitous. The technical complexities of the equipment often require specialized knowledge and expertise to operate and maintain. However, experts who have the required knowledge and expertise are not always locally available. When a machine breaks down, there is a need to arrange and fly an expert in and out to have the machine fixed, which can be time-consuming and is not cost effective. It is often seen that the lack of adequate skill sets and the cost of bringing an expert onsite translate to the loss in productivity [Alem et al. 2011]. Therefore, there is a high demand in industries for technologies that support remote collaboration in which a remote helper guides a local worker performing tasks on physical objects. With such technologies, the expert would no longer need to be flown onsite and is able to, for example, fix a machine remotely with assistance from a local technician. 2013 Copyright held by the Owner/Author.
Huang, W, Alem, L & Tecchia, F 2013, 'HandsIn3D: Supporting Remote Guidance with Immersive Virtual Environments', HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2013, PT I, 14th IFIP TC 13 INTERACT International Conference on Designing for Diversity, SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA, pp. 70-77.
Huang, W, Alem, L, Nepal, S & Thilakanathan, D 2013, 'Supporting tele-assistance and tele-monitoring in safety-critical environments', Proceedings of the 25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration, OzCHI 2013, pp. 539-542.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Underground mines are hazardous environments. With more and more high-tech machines being introduced in mines, mine operators are under pressure of keeping machinery running smoothly as well as maintaining safety. To address this issue we have developed a remote guiding system called ReMoTe to allow an offsite expert to guide and monitor real time an onsite mining operator. This system brings offsite expertise to operators when and where it is needed (and in doing so supporting onthe- job training) and in the same time providing operators with the ability to monitor their level of stress (self monitoring) as well as allowing shift supervisor to remotely monitor their staff stress level. In our view the combination of these two services is key to increasing the productivity of the mines while supporting operators' safety. This paper describes ReMoTe and discusses how safety concerns are addressed in the design and evaluation of it.
Irlitti, A, Von Itzstein, S, Alem, L & Thomas, B 2013, 'Tangible interaction techniques to support asynchronous collaboration', 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR 2013.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Industrial uses of Augmented Reality (AR) are growing, however their uses are consistently fashioned with an emphasis on consumption, delivering additional information to the worker to assist them in the completion of their job. A promising alternative is to allow user data creation during the actual process by the worker performing their duties. This not only allows spatially located annotations to be produced, it also allows an AR scene to be developed in-situ and in real-time. Tangible markers offer a physical interface while also creating physical containers to allow for fluent interactions. This form factor allows both attached and detached annotations, whilst allowing the creation of an AR scene during the process. This annotated scene will allow asynchronous collaboration to be conducted between multiple stakeholders, both locally and remotely. In this paper we discuss our reasoning behind such an approach, and present the current work on our prototype created to test and validate our proposition. © 2013 IEEE.
Jang-Jaccard, J, Li, J, Nepal, S & Alem, L 2013, 'Security analysis of mobile applications: A case study of a collaboration tool in healthcare', Proceedings of the 9th IEEE International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing, COLLABORATECOM 2013, pp. 553-562.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Mobile-based collaboration tools are increasingly used for communication and information sharing in delivering healthcare services that need collaboration across different geographical locations. Some of the typical features found in the collaboration tools include video conferencing facility, images/documents exchange in real-time, and annotations to point and draw on shared rich media content. Though the innovations and conveniences of such collaboration tools are well understood, security implications of such systems are often overlooked. As a result, necessary security mechanisms are not supported by them. This can lead to serious security threats and privacy violations. In this paper, we first present a collaboration tool which was developed to facilitate the collaborations among health care providers using pervasive mobile devices for delivering health services to remote and regional areas. We provide a comprehensive security analysis of the tool. The aim of the analysis is to understand a variety of end-to-end security mechanisms needed in different layers of the system. We also provide security recommendations which can improve the overall security of the system. © 2013 ICST.
Li, J & Alem, L 2013, 'Supporting Distributed Collaborations between Mobile Health Workers and Expert Clinicians in Home Care', Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, pp. 493-498.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The use of collaboration technology to allow community health workers, who provide care in patients' homes, to be supported by remote expert clinicians can enhance the quality of home care services. We have explored the design of two collaboration tools to enable a health worker to discuss patient details with a remote clinician and to be guided by the clinician when performing a physical examination of a patient. One of the tools is hand-held tablet-based and designed to support real-time communication and information sharing, shared annotation on patient data as well as recording of rich media annotations for asynchronous review after the home visits. The second tool is a wearable unit consisting of a computer, a camera and a near-eye display and enables a clinician to use hand gestures to remotely guide a health worker in physical examinations. In this paper we describe our design considerations and outline our design approaches.
Nepal, S, Jang-Jaccard, J, Celler, B, Yan, B & Alem, L 2013, 'Data architecture for telehealth services research: A case study of home tele-monitoring', Proceedings of the 9th IEEE International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing, COLLABORATECOM 2013, pp. 458-467.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Telehealth services research projects often require to access a variety of data sources under different data access policies and privacy constrains. There is a need to link these clinical and administrative records from different data custodians and produce a research data for analytics. One of the challenges is that the research data must meet the data access policies and privacy constraints of all data custodians participating in the project. These data custodians often operate in different jurisdictions. In this paper, we present our practical experience through the design and implementation of a service-oriented data architecture for extracting research data for telehealth services research in the context of a tele-home monitoring project. This project is being carried out at six locations in five different states in Australia. Each site represents a different model of care for the management of chronic disease in the community ranging from community-based, nurse-led programs to a hospital-focused, chronic-disease management program. The aims of this project are wide ranging and investigate many aspects of deploying at home telehealth services to better manage chronic disease. This paper however focuses on data architecture. We highlight the underlying issues, our experience and explain a practical health data linkage protocol adopted in the project. We also explain the features of the research data service portal in operation. © 2013 ICST.
Robert, K, Zhu, D, Huang, W, Alem, L & Gedeon, T 2013, 'MobileHelper: Remote guiding using smart mobile devices, hand gestures and augmented reality', SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 Symposium on Mobile Graphics and Interactive Applications, SA 2013.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Due to the rapid development in wearable computing, gestural interaction and augmented reality in recent years, remote collaboration has been seen as a fast growing field with many advanced designs and implementations for a wide range of applications. Most of existing remote guiding or collaboration solutions still rely on specifically designed hardware systems on both helper and worker side with limitations on usage, mobility, flexibility and portability. Considering widespread deployment of smart mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in the past a few years, it already provides us numerous potentials of migrating conventional remote guiding solutions to such powerful platforms with the possibility of overcoming many existing issues and limits. In this paper, we introduce MobileHelper, a remote guiding prototype that is developed on a tablet device with the feature of allowing helpers to use hand gestures to guide the remote worker for various physical tasks. The interface used on the worker side integrates a near eye display to support mobility and real time representations of the helper's hand gestures using augmented reality technologies. We present the design and features of MobileHelper along with the description of detailed implementation of the prototype system. Stable system performance is also reported from our preliminary internal test runs. © 2013 ACM.
Huang, W & Alem, L 2012, 'A Usability and Spatial Awareness Study of Near-Eye Displays', PROCEEDINGS 2012 IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SYSTEMS, MAN, AND CYBERNETICS (SMC), IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC), IEEE, Seoul, SOUTH KOREA, pp. 906-911.
Huang, W, James, C, Alem, L, Widzyk-Capehart, E & Haustein, K 2012, 'A scenario- and observation-based requirement analysis for delivery of remote mining services', Proceedings of the 24th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2012, pp. 249-252.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Market pressure to access wider markets, whilst reducing costs of delivering support to distant clients, is driving the demand for systems that support remote delivery of customer service. Although systems have been developed to meet such demand, the delivery of remote mining engineering services posts unique challenges that require specific attention. In this paper, we report a study conducted as part of a collaborative project between CSIRO and a company specialising in the provision of mining engineering services, to understand user requirements for delivering mining engineering services remotely. In this study, we employ an approach that applies user-experience design methods, combined with scenario-based software design techniques in requirements elicitation and analysis. We review related work, describe the procedure and techniques of the approach, present our design recommendations and discuss future work. © 2012 ACM.
Tecchia, F, Alem, L & Huang, W 2012, '3D helping hands: A gesture based MR system for remote collaboration', Proceedings - VRCAI 2012: 11th ACM SIGGRAPH International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry, pp. 323-328.View/Download from: Publisher's site
There is currently a strong need for collaborative systems with which two or more participants interact over a distance on a task involving tangible artifacts (e.g., a machine, a patient, a tool). The present paper focuses on the specific category of remote-collaboration systems where hand gestures are used by a remote helper to assist a physically distant worker to perform manual tasks. Existing systems use a combination of video capturing, 2D monitors or 2D projectors, however displaying a video of the remote workspace and allowing helpers to gesture over the video does not provide helpers with sufficient understanding of the spatial relationships between remote objects and between their hands and the remote objects. In this paper we introduce our tele-presence Mixed Reality system for remote collaboration on physical tasks based on real-time capture and rendering of the remote workspace and of the helper's hands. We improve on previous 2D systems introducing 3D capturing and rendering, and exploiting the possibility offered by the use of real 3D data to increase the feeling of immersion offered by the system using head tracking, stereoscopic rendering, inter-occlusion handling and virtual shadowing. We performed initial usability test of our system to verify if users are satisfied with the spatial awareness the system provides. © 2012 ACM.
Alem, L & Huang, W 2011, 'Developing Mobile Remote Collaboration Systems for Industrial Use: Some Design Challenges', HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2011, PT IV, 13th IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, Lisbon, PORTUGAL, pp. 442-445.
Rapid advances in networking and hardware have made it possible for remotely located individuals to perform physical tasks together. Although a range of systems have been developed for remote collaboration, how to support the richness of hand gestures for an expert guiding a mobile worker located in a non-traditional-desktop environment has not been fully explored. HandsOnVideo is a system developed to fill this gap. The system uses a near-eye display to support mobility and unmediated representations of hands to support remote gestures. A usability evaluation has been conducted to gain in-depth understanding of the usefulness and usability of HandsOnVideo and the study yields positive results. In this paper, we describe the evaluation method, report the experimental results, discuss the findings and envision possible future improvements.
James, CA, Bednarz, TP, Haustein, K, Alem, L, Caris, C & Castleden, A 2011, 'Tele-operation of a mobile mining robot using a panoramic display: An exploration of operators sense of presence', IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering, pp. 279-284.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The mining industry is interested in tele-operation systems to remove mining operators from hazardous or inconvenient environments without losing efficiency. The increased availability of high-speed wired and wireless data networks is promoting the use of immersive environments, but there is not enough evidence yet to support whether such environments significantly improve the field-tested performance of tele-operation systems or not. We are interested in investigating a mixed-presence, tele-operation scenario involving an offsite operator remotely operating a robot as well as an onsite operator co-located with the robot. These scenarios are common in industry, yet poorly researched. We have conducted a trial to explore the effects of immersion on operator spatial awareness, sense of presence and satisfaction, in a mixed presence tele-operation scenario. This paper presents the results of our trial using a panoramic display system that provides some level of immersion. The outcome of our work provides a first step in the exploration of cost effective technologies of potential value to the mining industry. © 2011 IEEE.
Juan, MC, Furió, D, Alem, L, Ashworth, P & Cano, J 2011, 'ARGreenet and BasicGreenet: Two mobile games for learning how to recycle', 19th International Conference in Central Europe on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision, WSCG 2011 - In Co-operation with EUROGRAPHICS, Full Papers Proceedings, pp. 25-32.
In this paper, a new Augmented Reality (AR) mobile phone game 'ARGreenet' is presented. The game aims to raise individuals' awareness of the importance of recycling and teaching participants how to do it. In this research, the 'ARGreenet' is compared with a similar 'Basic' mobile phone game for recycling. Thirty eight children aged from 8 to 13 years of age participated in this study. To quantify aspects of the utility and effectiveness of the games, the children answered questionnaires both before and after using each game. Aspects examined included the level of engagement and fun of each game, the ease of use and perceived value of each game, and the perceived learning about recycling. We report a positive change in intended behavior with both games. The results suggest that playing both games is likely to have a positive influence in changing participants' recycling behaviour. These preliminary results also suggest that the mobile phone is potentially a good platform for not only learning about recycling but also influencing people to change their behaviour. A majority of the participants expressed a preference for ARGreenet game. They perceived it as easy to use and more engaging and fun than the BasicGreenet game.
Bednarz, TP, Widzyk-Capehart, E, Caris, C & Alem, L 2010, 'Distributed collaborative immersive virtual reality framework for mining industry', 16th Annual Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice 2010, M2VIP 2010, pp. 85-95.
Hollow, R, Hobbs, G, Champion, DJ, Amy, S, Khoo, J, Chapman, J, Mulcahy, M, Alem, L, Krumm-Heller, A, McKinnon, D, Danaia, L, Jenet, F & Carr, M 2008, 'PULSE@Parkes: Pulsar Observing for High School Students', PREPARING FOR THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY: A HANDS-ON SYMPOSIUM, Symposium and Related Workshops on International Year of Astronomy held in Conjunction with 212th Meeting of the American-Astronomical-Society, ASTRONOMICAL SOC PACIFIC, St Louis, MO, pp. 190-+.
Li, J, Wessels, A, Alem, L & Stitzlein, C 2007, 'Exploring interface with representation of gesture for remote collaboration', Australasian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OZCHI'07, pp. 179-182.
This paper reports on a laboratory study into the gesture representation interface for remote collaboration on physical tasks. Measured by task performance and user's perception of interaction, the experiment assessed two gesture representations (hands vs. cursor pointer) in the context of a video mediated interface which included a view of the remote partner. We did not find any significant difference between the hands condition and the pointer condition when measuring user's task performance. However, our result showed that participants reported an overall preference of using the pointer functionality than using the hands'. We found that participants perceived higher quality of interaction in the hands condition than in the pointer condition and there was a significant difference. Additionally, majority of the participants valued the ability of being able to see each other's face during the collaboration. We conclude with a discussion on the importance of accounting for the user's perception of interaction in addition to the traditional task performance measure in evaluating gesture representation interface, and the importance of considering these two factors in recommending the most suitable interface design with gesture representation for collaboration on physical tasks.
Melo, P & Alem, L 1970, 'Selective analysis of linguistic features used in video mediated collaboration: An indicator of users sense of co-presence', HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2007, PT 2, PROCEEDINGS, 11th IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL, pp. 211-+.
Wickey, A & Alem, L 2007, 'Analysis of hand gestures in remote collaboration: Some design recommendations', Australasian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OZCHI'07, pp. 87-93.
This paper reports on a qualitative analysis of gestures performed during a remote collaboration in which two people are working together with physical objects. CSCW researchers have established the importance of supporting gesture when sharing and interacting from a distance. Recent work reports on a corpus of gestures phrases and a set of gestures functions and roles as observed in remote collaboration on physical tasks. While advances are being made in identifying these gestures, to date the design implications of remote gesture systems is still unclear. In this paper we describe a set of gestures phrases, which we have observed. These gesture phrases are composed of a number of individual gestures. We describe a specific gesture performed by the helper indicative of participant's natural/intuitive and preferred interaction practices. We also describe gestures performed by the helper going beyond pointing or showing a movement or a shape, gestures that suggest that the helper is acting as if manipulating the remote physical objects. We discuss the implications for supporting such more elaborated gesture phrases and present a set of design recommendations for designing remote gesture systems.
Alem, L, Hansen, S & Li, J 2006, 'Evaluating clinicians' experience in a telemedicine application: A presence perspective', ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, pp. 47-54.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The Virtual Critical Care Unit, (ViCCU®) is a telemedicine system that allows a specialist at a major referral hospital to direct a team in a rural hospital. ViCC® allows remote consultation to take place based on the transmission of multiple channels of real-time video/audio information of the patient, the clinical team, x-ray/paper documents and patient vital signs from the remote site to the specialist. This paper explores clinicians' experience of presence in a telemedicine application. In this study we used a modified version of the Slater-Usoh-Steed (SUS) presence questionnaire to measure clinicians' sense of presence when using ViCC®. We also explored the relationship between presence felt when using ViCCU® and personal, usability and media factors. Initial results indicate that in this context, personal factors influenced clinicians experience of presence and that there was a positive relationship between presence and both usability and media factors. Reflection on some of the challenges in conducting this study in an emergency department and the appropriateness of the SUS presence measure in this real setting are also included. Copyright the author(s) and CHISIG.
Mueller, F, Kethers, S, Alem, L & Wilkinson, R 2006, 'From the certainty of information transfer to the ambiguity of intuition', ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, pp. 63-70.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Handovers between shifts are known causes of preventable adverse events in hospitals. In order to gain an insight into the information transfer that occurs between shifts of senior staff in an emergency department, we observed handovers, interviewed practitioners and distributed questionnaires. We found that merely considering the transfer of "hard data", such as patients' heart rate, blood pressure, etc. can be insufficient: the transfer of "soft data" such as the ambiguity of intuition is also a central aspect in this type of work environment and vital for successful crosscoverage. We describe design concepts that address capture, visualization and transfer of intuition for the handover process. Addressing the issue of intuition support can be a challenge but also a rewarding opportunity for human-computer interaction research in supporting health care handovers. Copyright the author(s) and CHISIG.
Alem, L, McLean, A & Vercoustre, A-M 2003, 'KNOWLEDGE SHARINGTECHNOLOGIES TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION INNATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - A research agenda', Managing Knowledge with Technology, 6th Australian Conference of Knowledge Management and Intelligent Decision Support (ACKMIDS 2003), AUSTRALIAN SCHOLARYLY PUBL PTY LTD, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, pp. 30-41.
Alem, L, Quinn, CN & Eklund, J 1999, 'Learning Effectiveness Assessment: A principle-based framework', ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN EDUCATION, 9th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AI-ED 99), I O S PRESS, LE MANS, FRANCE, pp. 597-599.
Alem, L 1998, 'Learning in the workplace: Initial requirements of a lessons learned centred corporate memory', INTELLIGENT TUTORING SYSTEMS, 4th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS 98), SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, pp. 216-223.
Alem, L & Marcenac, P 1998, 'Management of worker's experiences: A knowledge-based approach', PRICAI'98: TOPICS IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, 5th Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (PRICAI 98), SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE, pp. 216-227.
Zhang, DM & Alem, L 1998, 'A generic case-based framework for assisting instructional design', ADVANCES IN CASE-BASED REASONING, 4th European Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning (EWCBR 98), SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, TRINITY COLL, DUBLIN, IRELAND, pp. 322-333.
Yacef, K & Alem, L 1997, 'Towards an assessment of skill acquisition in student modelling', ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN EDUCATION, 8th World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education - Knowledge and Media in Learning Systems (AI-ED 97), I O S PRESS, KOBE, JAPAN, pp. 530-536.
Zhang, DM & Alem, L 1997, 'From task sequencing to curriculum planning', ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN EDUCATION, 8th World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education - Knowledge and Media in Learning Systems (AI-ED 97), I O S PRESS, KOBE, JAPAN, pp. 347-354.
Yacef, K & Alem, L 1996, 'Evaluation of learner's skills in the context of dynamic and complex systems', INFORMATION INTELLIGENCE AND SYSTEMS, VOLS 1-4, 1996 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Information, Intelligence and Systems, INT ACADEMIC PUBL, BEIJING, PEOPLES R CHINA, pp. 2200-2204.
Zhang, DM & Alem, L 1996, 'Management of exercise-based training process', INFORMATION INTELLIGENCE AND SYSTEMS, VOLS 1-4, 1996 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Information, Intelligence and Systems, INT ACADEMIC PUBL, BEIJING, PEOPLES R CHINA, pp. 2910-2915.
Alem, L 1995, 'Intelligent tutoring system: A knowledge based approach', INDUSTRIAL AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERT SYSTEMS (IEA/AIE 95), 8th International Conference on Industrial and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems (IEA/AIE-95), GORDON AND BREACH SCIENCE PUBL, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, pp. 829-833.
ALEM, L, LEE, M & MONIER, C 1994, 'AN INTELLIGENT TUTORING SYSTEM FOR A SONAR APPLICATION IN AUSTRALIA', MOVING TOWARD EXPERT SYSTEMS GLOBALLY IN THE 21ST CENTURY, 2nd World Congress on Expert Systems - Moving Towards Expert Systems Globally in the 21st-Century, COGNIZANT COMMUNICATION CORP, LISBON, PORTUGAL, pp. 229-236.
ALEM, L & MAHER, ML 1991, 'USING CONCEPTUAL CLUSTERING TO LEARN ABOUT FUNCTION, STRUCTURE AND BEHAVIOR IN DESIGN', KNOWLEDGE MODELING & EXPERTISE TRANSFER, 1ST INTERNATIONAL CONF ON KNOWLEDGE MODELING AND EXPERTISE TRANSFER, I O S PRESS, SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, FRANCE, pp. 163-177.