Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Computer Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Sriram Chellappan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sriram Chellappan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kaushik Dutta, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paul Rosen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Srinivas Katkoori, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yasin Yilmaz, Ph.D.


Wearables in Healthcare, Wearable Sensing, Supervised Machine Learning


In the past decade, Human Activity Recognition (HAR) has been an important part of the regular day to day life of many people. Activity recognition has wide applications in the field of health care, remote monitoring of elders, sports, biometric authentication, e-commerce and more. Each HAR application needs a unique approach to provide solutions driven by the context of the problem. In this dissertation, we are primarily discussing two application of HAR in different contexts. First, we design a novel approach for in-home, fine-grained activity recognition using multimodal wearable sensors on multiple body positions, along with very small Bluetooth beacons deployed in the environment. State-of-the-art in-home activity recognition schemes with wearable devices are mostly capable of detecting coarse-grained activities (sitting, standing, walking, or lying down), but cannot distinguish complex activities (sitting on the floor versus on the sofa or bed). Such schemes are not effective for emerging critical healthcare applications – for example, in remote monitoring of patients with Alzheimer's disease, Bulimia, or Anorexia – because they require a more comprehensive, contextual, and fine-grained recognition of complex daily user activities. Second, we introduced Watch-Dog – a self-harm activity recognition engine, which attempts to infer self-harming activities from sensing accelerometer data using wearable sensors worn on a subject's wrist. In the United States, there are more than 35,000 reported suicides with approximately 1,800 of them being psychiatric inpatients every year. Staff perform intermittent or continuous observations in order to prevent such tragedies, but a study of 98 articles over time showed that 20% to 62% of suicides happened while inpatients were on an observation schedule. Reducing the instances of suicides of inpatients is a problem of critical importance to both patients and healthcare providers. Watch-dog uses supervised learning algorithm to model the system which can discriminate the harmful activities from non-harmful activities. The system is not only very accurate but also energy efficient. Apart from these two HAR systems, we also demonstrated the difference in activity pattern between elder and younger age group. For this experiment, we used 5 activities of daily living (ADL). Based on our findings we recommend that a context aware age-specific HAR model would be a better solution than all age-mixed models. Additionally, we find that personalized models for each individual elder person perform better classification than mixed models.