Towards a Symbolic AI Approach to the WHO/ACSM Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

Allocca, Carlo; Jilal, Samia; Ail, Rohit; Lee, Jaehun; Kim, Byungho; Antonini, Alessio; Motta, Enrico; Schellong, Julia; Stieler, Lisa; Haleem, Muhammad Salman; Georga, Eleni; Pecchia, Leandro; Gaeta, Eugenio and Fico, Giuseppe Towards a Symbolic AI Approach to the WHO/ACSM Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. Applied Sciences (In press).


The World Health Organization and the American College of Sports Medicine have released guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, as part of an effort to reduce inactivity world-wide. However, to date, there is no computational model that can facilitate the integration of these recommendations into health solutions (e.g., Digital Coaches). In this paper, we present an operational and machine-readable model that represents and is able to reason about these guidelines. To this end, we adopted a Symbolic AI approach that combines two paradigms of research in Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Ontology and Rules. Thus, we first present HeLiFit, a domain ontology implemented in OWL, which models the main entities that characterize the definition of physical activity, as defined per guidance. Then, we describe HeLiFit-Rule, a set of rules implemented in the RDFox Rule language, which can be used to represent and reason with these recommendations in concrete real-world applications. Furthermore, to ensure a high level of syntactic/semantic interoperability across different systems, our framework is also compliant with the FHIR standard. Through motivating scenarios that highlight the need for such an implementation, we finally present an evaluation of our model that provides results that are both encouraging in terms of the value of our solution, and also provide a basis for future work.

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