Adaptive Social Exergame

Project Overview

This research project “CHS: Small: Balancing Individual and Group Needs in Personalized Adaptive Systems for Improved Health” is a collaboration between Drs.  Jichen Zhu (Digital Media, PI), Santiago Ontañón (Computer Science), and Evan Forman (Psychology). Dr. Danielle Arigo (Psychology, Rowan University) is a consultant.

The past decade has witnessed a surge of intelligent systems capable of providing personalized user experiences in many aspects of modern life. Personalized adaptive systems such as personalized search, social media filtering, and e-commerce recommendation systems have demonstrated potentials to improve productivity and enjoyment. However, by catering to the immediate preferences on individuals and de-emphasizing collective needs, these systems also contributed to emergent social issues such as intellectual isolation. This project seeks to understand how to reduce the current blind spots in personalized adaptive systems and will directly address two key challenges in personalized adaptive systems: how to balance 1) short- and long-term needs/preferences and 2) needs of multiple individuals in a group.

Specifically, this project investigates how to increase and sustain physical activity using personalized adaptive systems for health. Two thirds of the adult population in the U.S. are affected by overweight and obesity, with sedentary behavior as a primary cause. In addition to address a public health issue, the technology developed in this project will advance theories in human behavior science. The empirical data generated from the planned system can shed light on the dynamic nature of people’s social comparison process and reactions. To address the aforementioned challenges, the team will investigate novel participant modeling algorithms, specifically designed to model dynamic participant characteristics. Additionally, the research will contribute to the literature of experience management by developing algorithms that exploit those participant models to adapt interactive experiences to groups of users rather than individuals. The approach is innovative in bootstrapping design theory, algorithmic innovation, and health behavior science in a synergistic way to make scientific advancement.




Conference Proceedings 

  • R. C. Gray, J. Zhu and S. Ontañón, “Multiplayer Modeling via Multi-Armed Bandits” in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference of Games (CoG’21), 2021
  • S. Ontañón and J. Zhu, “The Personalization Paradox: The Conflict between Accurate User Models and Personalized Adaptive Systems” in Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference on Intelligent User Interface (IUI 2021), 2021
  • J. Zhu, D.H. Dallal, R.C. Gray, J. Villareale, S. Ontañón, E.M. Forman, D. Arigo, “Personalization Paradox in Behavior Change Apps: Lessons from a Social Comparison-Based Personalized App for Physical Activity,” ACM PACM on Human Computer Interaction, 2021.
  • J. Zhu, J. Villareale, N. Javvaji, S. Risi, M. Löwe, R. Weigelt, and C. Harteveld, “Player-AI Interaction: What Neural Network Games RevealAbout AI as Play” in Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’21), 2021
  • R. C. Gray, J. Zhu and S. Ontañón, “Regression Oracles and Exploration Strategies for Short-Horizon Multi-Armed Bandits” in Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Conference of Games (COG ’20), 2020
  • R. C. Gray, J. Zhu, D. Arigo, E. Forman and S. Ontañón, “Player Modeling via Multi-armed Bandits” in Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG ’20), 2020
  • J. Zhu and S. Ontañón, “Player-Centered AI for Automatic Game Personalization: Open Problems” in Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG ’20), 2020
  • J. Zhu and S. Ontañón, “Experience Management in Multi-player Games” in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Games (COG ’19), forthcoming.
  • J. Villareale, R. C. Gray, A. Furqan, T. Fox, and J. Zhu, “Enhancing Social Exergames through Idle Game Design” in Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG ’19), forthcoming.
  • J. Zhu, T. Day, Y. Feng, J. Nebolsky, A. Furqan, K. Caro, R. Gray, “Towards Extending Social Exergame Engagement with Agents,” in Companion of the 2018 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing(CSCW 2018), Jersey City, NJ, 2018, pp. 349-352.
  • K. Caro, Y. Feng, T. Day, E. Freed, B. Fox, and J. Zhu, “Understanding the Effect of Existing Positive Relationships on a Social Motion-based Game for Health,” in Proceedings of 12th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth 2018), New York, USA, pp.77-87, 2018.