Mining for Patterns of Behaviour in Children with Autism Through Smartphone Technology

  • William BurnsEmail author
  • Mark Donnelly
  • Nichola Booth
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8456)


A requirement to maintain detailed recording of child behaviour is commonplace for families engaged in home-based autism intervention therapy. Periodically, a Behaviour Analyst reviews this data to formulate new behaviour change plans and as such, the quality and accuracy of data is paramount. We present a smartphone application that aims to streamline the traditional paper based approaches, which are prone to non-compliance and erroneous detail. In addition, we have applied association rule mining to the collected behaviour data to extract patterns in terms of behaviour causes and effects with a view to offer intelligent support to the Behaviour Analysts when formulating new interventions. The paper outlines the results of a small evaluation of the smartphone component before introducing the methodology used to mine that data to highlight behaviour rules and patterns. Consequently, based on an initial sample of child behaviours, the methodology is then compared to a Behaviour Analyst’s assessment of corresponding paper based records.


Smartphone Behaviour monitoring Autism spectrum disorders Health records Intelligent data analysis Association rule mining 



This research is supported by a research grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK (EP/K014420/1).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science Research InstituteUniversity of UlsterJordanstownUK
  2. 2.PEAT NI, Parents’ Education as Autism TherapistsBelfastUK

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