SHMUC Use Case  D4

Taking A Shower While Cooking: (Ver. 1.0)


SHMUC prototype  >  D_Behaviour_Pattern_Abnormalities_Use_Cases  >  D4_Taking_A_Shower_While_Cooking



To detect unsafe behaviour while Mary prepares lunch.

Actors Mary, the Smart Home, Debbie

Initial State

Debbie's mother, Mary, was at home alone.


Mary began to prepare her lunch. Her activities can be described
in the figure below

After washing her hands Mary went to the kitchen. While she was cooking some food on the stove, she left the kitchen and went to bathroom to take a shower. At that time, the system recognized that "bathing'' should not occur while "cooking lunch'' because it can cause a dangerous situation. Therefore, the system made an alarm to warn her.

Norm The inhabitant does not mix showering and cooking


An alarm was raised to warn Mary's mother that she had forgotten
something, and an alert was sent to Mary.

System Design Implications

Some behaviours should not be interrupted, and their order matters.

Some pairs of behaviours may sensibly be intermixed; for example the inhabitant may very well make and drink a cup of tea while cooking a meal without causing any danger. Other behaviour pairs may not. For example, having a snooze, while a pan of chips is on the stove deep-frying in oil, would not be sensible. However, the boundary between safe and dangerous task intermingling is not clear. For example another situation involving intermingled cooking and sleeping is probably safe; if an inhabitant to set the oven to cook a roast for two hours and, feeling well satisfied, went for a nap, setting the bedside alarm to ring half an hour before the roast was ready, they well feel aggrieved if the smart home contacted the carer and reported a dangerous behaviour pattern.

The examples chosen here are clearly safe and unsafe behaviours, but the boundary is not distinct. What if the inhabitant felt that their sleeping patterns were sufficiently reliable to dispense with the alarm? What if the inhabitant were boiling a pot of potatoes? The smell would be awful, and the pot would be ruined, but the house would probably not burn down.

There is another problem; combinatorial explosion. It is difficult enough to enumerate and allocate a danger-rating to all the individual behaviours that an inhabitant might indulge in. Rating every possible pair of coincident behaviours would be prohibitively time-consuming, and the indistinct boundaries between safe and unsafe behaviours would, it seems to us, make it practically impossible.