Personal Analytics

The Personal Analytics centre of competence is an interdisciplinary junior research group subsidised by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The research focus is the field of Human Computer Interaction for demographic change. The team consists of scientists from the disciplines computer science, cognitive science, electrical engineering, health science and philosophy.


Publications - 09.04.2018 Do self-monitoring applications promote social inequality?

When it comes to improving the health of the genereal population, mHealth technologies with self-monitoring and intervention components hold a lot of promise. However, due to various factors such as access, targeting, personal resources or incentives, self-monitoring applications run the risk of favouring certain populations. Thus, can self-monitoring applications increase health inequalities, thereby creating a problem of social justice? The new article "Promoting inequality? Self-monitoring applications and the problem of social justice" by Katrin Paldan, Hanno Sauer and Nils-Frederic Wagner deals with that question. It has been published in the journal "AI & Society" and can be found here.

Our team members Katja Herrmanny (l.) and Katrin Paldán / WAZ

Press Review - 21.10.2017 Research Team at University Duisburg-Essen is looking for "Better Eaters"

On the occasion of the start of the evaluation our app "Besser Esser" ("Better Eater") our team members Katja Herrmanny and Katrin Paldán were interviewed by the local newspaper "Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung" (WAZ). The main topic was the status quo of the research project, notably of the apps developed for this purpose. The link to the full article can be found here (German language).

The "Besser Esser" study is currently carried out. If you are interested in participating, feel free to write a message to the organisator The study is conducted in German. For further information please consult the correspondent page on our website (Becoming research assistant).

The participants of the workshop

Informatik 2017 - 10.10.2017 Participatory Development of Socio-Technical Systems

This year's meet-up of the junior research groups "development of interdisciplinary competences" funded by BMBF took place during the Informatik 2017 (47th Annual Conference of the Society for Computer Science/Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI)) from 25.09. - 29.09.2017 in Chemnitz. It was arranged during the Workshop "Participatory Development of Socio-Technical Systems". As representative of Personal Analytics our team member Michael Schwarz (4th person from right on the photo) attended the workshop. The focus this year concentrated on the interdisciplinary aspects of the participatory development of socio-technical systems with elderly people. Thus, it was a question of how to integrate elderly people in the development process to meet the needs of this target group. Apart from that, the workshop aimed to encourage interdisciplinary discussion and networking between the junior research groups.

UMAP - 12.07.2017 Promoting activity with Implementation Intentions

From 9th to 12th July 2017 the 25th Conference on User Modeling, Adaption and Personalization, short UMAP, took place in Bratislava (Slovakia). Within the scope of the workshop "Temporal and Holistic User Modeling", our team member Michael Schwarz presented a project work on the topic of supporting active behaviour with the help of User Modelling. This work with the title "An Approach to Improve Physical Activity by Generating Individual Implementation Intentions" deals with the support of users in building healthy habits. Over a certain period, the app "DayActivizer" collects activity data which is used to derive a user model. If a lack of activity is detected, the app suggests time slots and activities that match the users interests and routines - based on the user model. Then the users can create so-called Implementation Intentions that aim to help them with the formation of their new habits. To reach this goal, Implementation Intentions have to be viable and to be formulated precisely. As an example: "If I have finished work on Thursdays, I will go running for 30 min."

Zukunftskongress - 04.07.2017 PAnalytics at Zukunftskongress

On 26th and 27th June the 3rd "Zukunftskongress" on the topic of "Bringing technology to the people" took place in Bonn. PAnalytics presented the card game "App Privacy Game" that was developed by our student assistant Alexandra Bergen as part of her Bachelor thesis. The game serves to explain playfully which permissions need to be granted to a health app in order to access which functions. In the course of that, an ethical discussion on data security aspects was encouraged.

Our student assistant Alexandra with Boris Roskothen

Workshops - 23.05.2017 A playful approach to science

In the context of their Bachelor theses our student assistants Alexandra Bergen and Simone Löppenberg organized creative workshops with game experts from the respective domains:

Alexandra started with a workshop on the development of a game to increase the awareness for data security aspects in health monitoring apps and to encourage ethical discussions on this topic. The workshop was attended by the PAnalytics project members and Boris Roskothen, owner of the toy shop Roskothen in Duisburg, who contributed not only his knowledge, but also the rooms for the workshop.

For her Bachelor thesis our student assistant Simone develops an Escape Game to encourage the ethical reflection on the topic autonomy. To her workshop expert Nicolas Ehring from Geschlossene Gesellschaft Duisburg was invited. Together with the PAnalytics staff he worked on the creation of ideas for the game concept.