The structure of EvAAL (in terms of boards and responsibilities) can be retrieved in the EvAAL website (evaal.aaloa.org). This guide is intended as a short FAQ to specify better some aspects of the organization.


Q1: What is the role of the steering board with respect to the other committees?

The steering board has a sort of political role, in the sense that it decides the guidelines of the competition, each year it chooses the place, selects the technical challenges (this year is the first one and it was selected only indoor localization), and it constitutes the technical program committees (one for each specific technical challenge).


Q2: what are the technical challenges?

EvAAL is organized as a conference with many tracks. Each tracks is a competition on a specific topic. In 2011 there will be only one track about indoor localization for AAL.

We expect that in the future, when (hopefully) EvAAL will become more known, many other technical challenges will appear (for example related to sensing/acting, reasoning, etc.), provided they are related to AAL. In this year we begin with just one challenge because we need to set up the whole thing and to make experience.


Q3: What is the role of the technical program committee?

This year, since there is only one technical challenge, which is indoor localization for AAL, we will have one program committee that will focus only on the technical aspects of this competition. What is required to this committee is to solve the technical problem inherent to such a competition and to “invent” a way to compare localization system that now are incomparable. Of course we do not expect to solve such a problem in one year, and in fact we plan to organize EvAAL in many years to come. Our hope is that, by improving each year this competition, we will be able in the end to form a general consensus on how to evaluate and compare core functionalities of AAL systems. Being indoor localization one of these functionalities, we plan to organize a competition on such special theme for many years to come.

Now coming to the work to be done, the first role of the technical program committee is to prepare the Call for Competition (CfC), that will specify the rules and evaluation criteria and possibly constraints to the admitted technologies.

This committee will then select the competitors and manage a shepherding phase in which the competitors will adjust their artifacts according to the map of the living lab, the refinement of the evaluation criteria, the benchmarks, and the benchmarking software that this committee will develop.

Finally this committee will establish an evaluation team that will run the benchmarks on-site and will select the winner.


Q4: What is the role of the PC chairs in a technical program committee?

One PC chair will lead the definition of the evaluation criteria and selection of participants. One TPC Chair will coordinate the actual development of benchmarks, one will coordinate the actual implementation of the competition and the on-site evaluation of competing artifacts, and one will coordinate with the hosting living lab in order to define the requirements and constraints of the competition.


Q5: Who will support the logistics?

To support the competition activities, the local organization committee (this year a team of people in Valencia, the place hosting the competition) will manage all the aspects related to logistics. In particular it will make an agreement with the living lab (that will be available for the competition almost for free), and it will provide all the support for travel and lodging.


Q6: What is a “living lab”? Why do we need to select competitors?

A living lab is an apartment to be used for experiments and tests of AAL. The reason for using a living lab rather than just a room in a conference is that we would like to make the benchmark of localization systems for AAL as much realistic as possible. The idea is to use “actors” that will simulate activities in the apartment and the different systems will have to locate and track them.

However, since the infrastructure is limited and we cannot sustain too many evaluators and technical people supporting the benchmarks, we need to limit the number of competitors.


Q7: Why the competition is organized in a living lab? What is the output of EvAAL?

We expect to collect from the benchmarks a large amount of data that could be very useful to researchers in AAL to simulate and test their solutions. The meaningfulness of this dataset will due to the fact that they will be collected in a realistic environment (the living lab).

The production of such a data set, that will be made freely available to everyone, may open new perspectives in AAL  as other datasets produced in other fields have done. This year the dataset will only be related to localization information, and detailed logs of the competing localization systems. Next year, if the competition will be opened also to other themes, it will be richer.


Q8: What is the final goal?

The point is that we are not just doing the competition to distribute a prize, but to give an impulse to research in AAL by trying to make it the most meaningful we can (at the best of our capacity). Since this is the first year there are few of us, but if people will start using the dataset and using EvAAL to promote competitions on other themes, EvAAL will grow and will find more and more support. In other words, it will create a community of researchers interested in specific topics around AAL. That’s in the end is our most ambitious objective.

We believe that this result will be reached by the constitution of a growing community of people interested in AAL.

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