Predicting Activity Duration in Smart Sensing Environments Using Synthetic Data and Partial Least Squares Regression: The Case of Dementia Patients

Miguel Ortiz-Barrios, Eric Järpe, Matías García-Constantino, Ian Cleland, Chris Nugent, Sebastián Arias-Fonseca, Natalia Jaramillo-Rueda

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The accurate recognition of activities is fundamental for following up on the health progress of people with dementia (PwD), thereby supporting subsequent diagnosis and treatments. When monitoring the activities of daily living (ADLs), it is feasible to detect behaviour patterns, parse out the disease evolution, and consequently provide effective and timely assistance. However, this task is affected by uncertainties derived from the differences in smart home configurations and the way in which each person undertakes the ADLs. One adjacent pathway is to train a supervised classification algorithm using large-sized datasets; nonetheless, obtaining real-world data is costly and characterized by a challenging recruiting research process. The resulting activity data is then small and may not capture each person’s intrinsic properties. Simulation approaches have risen as an alternative efficient choice, but synthetic data can be significantly dissimilar compared to real data. Hence, this paper proposes the application of Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) to approximate the real activity duration of various ADLs based on synthetic observations. First, the real activity duration of each ADL is initially contrasted with the one derived from an intelligent environment simulator. Following this, different PLSR models were evaluated for estimating real activity duration based on synthetic variables. A case study including eight ADLs was considered to validate the proposed approach. The results revealed that simulated and real observations are significantly different in some ADLs (p-value 0.05), nevertheless synthetic variables can be further modified to predict the real activity duration with high accuracy (R2(pred)>90%).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5410
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages22
Issue number14
Early online date20 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 20 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has received funding under the REMIND project Marie Sklodowska-Curie EU Framework for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, under Grant Agreement No. 734355.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • activity recognition
  • activity duration
  • partial least square regression (PLSR)
  • people with dementia (PwD)
  • simulated data
  • artificial intelligence
  • sensor systems
  • smart homes


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