Researchers strive hard to develop effective ways to detect and cope with enduring high-level daily stress as early as possible to prevent serious health consequences. Although research has traditionally been conducted in laboratory settings, a set of new studies have recently begun to be conducted in ecological environments with unobtrusive wearable devices. Since patterns of stress are ideographic, person-independent models have generally lower accuracies. On the contrary, person-specific models have higher accuracies but they require a long-term data collection period. In this study, we developed a hybrid approach of personal level stress clustering by using baseline stress self-reports to increase the success of person-independent models without requiring a substantial amount of personal data. We further added decision level smoothing to our unobtrusive smartwatch based stress level differentiation system to increase the performance by correcting false labels assigned by the machine learning algorithm. In order to test and evaluate our system, we collected physiological data from 32 participants of a summer school with wrist-worn unobtrusive wearable devices. This event is comprised of baseline, lecture, exam and recovery sessions. In the recovery session, a stress management method was applied to alleviate the stress of the participants. The perceived stress in the form of NASA-TLX questionnaires collected from the users as self-reports and physiological stress levels extracted using wearable sensors are examined separately. By using our system, we were able to differentiate the 3-levels of stress successfully. We further substantially increase our performance by personal stress level clustering and by applying high-level accuracy calculation and decision level smoothing methods. We also demonstrated the success of the stress reduction methods by analyzing physiological signals and self-reports.
- Stress recognition
- daily life physiological data
- machine learning
- wearable sensors