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Dependability Requirements to Aid the Design of Virtual Companions for Later Life*

Summary: 1
Dependability Requirements to Aid the Design
of Virtual Companions for Later Life*
Dennis Maciuszek, Nahid Shahmehri, Johan Aberg
Department of Computer and Information Science
Linköping University
S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
{denma, nahsh, johab}@ida.liu.se
Abstract: Frail older people can normally not be given round-the-clock care-giving assistance. Dur-
ing the time there is no other person around they must be independent. Electronic assistive technology
(EAT) can increase an older person's independence in everyday life, but to do so it must be depend-
able. This paper examines issues of dependability for a special class of EAT software, virtual com-
panions for later life. A virtual companion is a personal system of interconnected functions aiming to
assist an elderly user by imitating elder-caregiver interaction. In order to provide designers with an aid
for defining, designing, and validating virtual companions, the first part of the paper identifies and
discusses the special dependability requirements to be put on such software. The second part describes
our own approach, and gives suggestions on how to design for dependability.
Keywords: electronic assistive technology, elderly, independence, dependability, trustworthiness,
virtual companion, requirements, multiagent system, agent-oriented software design, user-centred
software design, human-computer interaction


Source: Aberg, Johan - Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköpings Universitet


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences