A decision-theoretic approach to task assistance for persons with dementia

TitleA decision-theoretic approach to task assistance for persons with dementia
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBoger, J., P. Poupart, J. Hoey, C. Boutilier, G. Fernie, and A. Mihailidis
Conference NameNineteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Date Published07/2005
Conference LocationEdinburgh, Scotland
Keywordsdementia, task assistance

Cognitive assistive technologies that aid people with dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease) hold the promise to provide such people with an increased level of independence. However, to realize this promise, such systems must account for the specific needs and preferences of individuals. We argue that this form of customization requires a sequential, decision-theoretic model of interaction. We describe both fully and partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) models of a handwashing task, and show that, despite the potential computational complexity, these can be effectively solved and produce policies that are evaluated as useful by professional caregivers.