How researchers will use maths to support people to make decisions on their health and wellbeing

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) researcher has been given a €183,000 grant to create a new mathematical model which will support people to make decisions on their health and wellbeing.


Francisco Chiclana, Professor of Computational Intelligence and Decision Making at DMU’s School of Computer Science and Informatics, was awarded the money under the European Commission’s prestigious Horizon 2020 Framework.

Prof Chiclana and researcher Dr Raquel Ureña, currently at the University of Cádiz (Spain), will work on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship project for the next 24 months.

They will combine for the first time four different areas of research: social network analysis, fuzzy preference modelling, multiple attribute group decision-making and game theory.

Prof Chiclana said it was the first time these four areas had been combined. The model would use trust and consensus to make the suggestions, he said, “paving the way for an entirely new form of automated decision support.”

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The first year will be spent on developing the theoretical mathematical model. It will be tested during the second phase of the project, on patients recovering from cancer in Spain.

It will be used to create an app, which acts like an e-health recommender system – such as a Fitbit – that will suggest healthy lifestyle changes to patients.

The research team will then evaluate the success of the e-health recommender system by analysing whether the patients prefer the direct recommendations based on their given profile or rather the personalised and consensus-based recommendations from those users and experts who they trust.

Prof Chiclana said: “This research aims to achieve more accurate and realistic decision making models for trust-based social choice.

“In collaboration with the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of Granada (Spain), the proposed framework will be applied to build an Android mobile app to provide patients recovering from cancer with personalised recommendations on how to keep a healthy life-style.

“This impact will be manifest as a quality of life enhancement.”

Posted on Monday 15 May 2017

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