PhD Proposal by Ceara Bryne
Title: WIDGETs: Wireless Interactive Devices for Gauging and Evaluating the Temperaments of Service and Working Dogs
School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
Time: 1:45pm - 3:45pm (EST)
Location: TSRB Room 223
Prof. Melody Moore Jackson, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Prof. Thad Starner, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Prof. Gregory Abowd, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Prof. Thomas Plötz, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
Prof. Cynthia Otto, School of Veterinary Medicine Working Dog Center, University of Pennsylvania
Prof. David Roberts, Computer Science Department, North Carolina State University
Both service and working dogs are significantly beneficial to society; however, a substantial number of dogs are released from time consuming and expensive training programs because of unsuitability in behavior. Early prediction of successful placement in their respective programs would save time, resources, and funding. My research focus is to explore whether aspects of canine temperament can be detected from interactions with sensors, and to develop machine learning models that use sensor data to predict the success of service and working dogs-in-training.
In a 2-year study, we showed the potential of instrumented ball and tug toys for predicting, with 87.5% accuracy, the success (or failure) of dogs entering advanced training in the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) Program. The proposed work extends this research to see if our existing model for service dogs is generalizable to predicting placement of working dogs-in-training. This proposal also investigates instrumenting problem-solving toys to better understand working dog roles. By quantifying a dog’s problem-solving capabilities, such as how they search for a treat or their problem-solving preferences and strategies, we may be able to apply this to candidate selection for working dog programs.