Ambient Diagnostics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ambient Diagnostics

1st Edition

By Yang Cai

CRC Press

404 pages | 353 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466510418
pub: 2014-12-01
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781482228052
pub: 2014-09-02
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Ambient Diagnostics addresses innovative methods for discovering patterns from affordable devices, such as mobile phones, watches, cameras, and game interfaces, to interpret multimedia data for personal health monitoring and diagnosis. This is the first comprehensive textbook on multidisciplinary innovations in affordable healthcare—from sensory fusion, pattern detection, to classification.

Connecting the Dots

The material in this book combines sensing, pattern recognition, and visual design, and is divided into four parts, which cover fundamentals, multimedia intelligence, pervasive sensors, and crowdsourcing. The author describes basic pattern discovery models, sound, color, motion and video analytics, and pattern discovery from games and social networks. Each chapter contains the material’s main concepts, as well as case studies, and extensive study questions.

  • Contains overviews about diagnostic sensors on mobile phones
  • Reflects the rapidly growing platforms for remote sensing, gaming, and social networking
  • Incorporates cognitive tests such as fatigue detection
  • Includes pseudo code and sample code
  • Provides vision algorithms and multimedia analytics

Covers Multimedia Intelligence Extensively

Ambient Diagnostics includes concepts for ambient technologies such as point-and-search, the pill camera, active sensing with Kinect, digital human labs, negative and relative feature spaces, and semantic representations. The book also introduces methods for collective intelligence from online video games and social media.


"… not only the first book of its kind, it’s the only reference I know of that shows how designers and engineers might create a new world of ambient healthcare with non-invasive, low-cost and accessible sensors. Yang Cai’s book is a very readable, extremely comprehensive collection of technologies and applications for readily accessible sensors and mobile technologies for immediate application in everyday diagnosis across the spectrum of health situations. Yang Cai’s book is especially valuable as a deeply-researched and reliable source for engineers, product and medical device designers to quickly learn and adapt the emerging tools and sensors to facilitate what is so brilliantly framed as "ambient diagnostics."

—Peter Jones, PhD, OCAD University, Toronto

"The main contribution of this book is a comprehensive transversal approach that combines this ample background into a single matter … a combination of diverse methodologies and strategies that are directly applicable to sense, perceive and recognize a great diversity of ambient parameters. Its easy-to-read style and its frequent references to real life examples make the book very attractive to the reader."

—Julio Abascal, University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Table of Contents

Part I. Fundamentals


What is Ambient Diagnostics?

Diagnostic Models

Multimedia Intelligence

Crowd Sourcing

Soft Sensors

Science of Simplicity

Personal Diagnoses

Basic Algorithms

Basic Tools




Early Discoveries of Heartbeat Patterns

Transforms, Features, and Attributes

Sequential Features

Spatiotemporal Features

Shape Features

Imagery Features

Frequency Domain Features

Multi-Resolution Features



Pattern Recognition

Similarities and Distances

Clustering Methods

Classification Methods

Classifier Accuracy Measures



Part II. Multimedia Intelligence

Sound Recognition

Microphone Apps

Modern Acoustic Transducers (Microphones)

Frequency Response Characteristics

Digital Audio File Formats

Heart Sound Sensing

Lung Sound Sensing

Snore Meter

Spectrogram (STFT)

Ambient Sound Analysis

Sound Recognition

Recognizing Asthma Sound

Peak Shift

Feature Compression


Noise Issues

Future Applications



Color Sensors

Color Sensing

Human Color Vision

Color Sensors

Color Matching Experiments

Color Spaces

Color Segmentation

Color Consistency Calibration

Surface Color Diagnosis

Colorimetric Paper Sensor ¬– Lab on Paper

Colorimetric Smell Sensors



Kinect Sensors

The Kinect Revolution

How Does It Work?

Object Tracking

Gesture Alignment

Gesture Recognition

Surface Modeling

Biometric Measurements

Sound Source Location



Video Analytics

Object Detection by Motion

Object Tracking

Shape Descriptions

Visualization of Video Data

Activity Recognition

Color and Motion Amplification


Fatigue Sensing

Diseases- and Treatment-Related Fatigue

Vigilance Theories

The Vigilance Clock

Facial Fatigue Detection

Passive Face Detection

Passive Face Tracking

Active Sensing for Detecting Blinking and Yawning



Part III. Pervasive Sensors

Mobile Sensors



Magnetic Field Sensor

Orientation Sensor

Touch Gesture Sensors

Environment Sensors

Proximity Sensor

Near Field Communication (NFC) Sensors

GPS Sensors

WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) Sensing

Bluetooth Sensing

Sensory Fusion

Motion Classification

Accessing Sensors on Mobile Phones



Body Media

Emerging Wearable Sensors

Body Area Networks (BANs)

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)

Epidermal Electronics (Smart Fiber)

Pill Cameras



Pocket Microscopes

The Amateur Expert

Sizes of Microoorganisms

Mobile Phone Microscopes

Digital Microscopes

Spectrum Lighting

Observing Yeast Cells

Observing Parasitic Worms

Time-Lapse Video

Laser Holography

Virtual Microscopy

Labeling and Counting

Usability Study



Personal Spectrometers

Beer’s Law

Diffraction Grating

DIY Spectrometer

Analytical Algorithm

Urine Sample Test

Crowd Sourcing Spectrometer

Diagnostic Applications



Part IV. Crowd Sourcing

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing in Public Space

Human Body Segmentation

Waist Perimeter and Body Mass Calculations

Fuzzy Diagnostic Heuristics

Digital Human Modeling

Physically Augmented Virtual Human Model

Surface Analysis



Games for Diagnosis

Emerging Games for Diagnosis

Anatomy of Game Engines


Finite State Machine

World Modeling

Motion Capture and Control

Game Displays

Game Development Toolkits



Social Media

The Pregnant Man

Relevancy Analysis

Reputation Analysis

Visualizing Social Networks

Correlation Analysis



Further Readings

Sample Source Code


About the Author

Yang Cai is a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, where he has taught graduate courses in cognitive video, multimedia, human algorithms, creativity, and innovation process. Cai is the founder of the Visual Intelligence Studio and author of the emerging theories of instinctive computing, ambient diagnostics, and empathic computing. He has hosted international workshops on ambient intelligence for scientific discovery, instinctive computing, digital human modeling, and video intelligence. He has been working on research projects with the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Air Force Research Lab, and various industries.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Database Management / Data Mining
MEDICAL / Biotechnology