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In JMIR mHealth and uHealth

BACKGROUND : Emotional state in everyday life is an essential indicator of health and well-being. However, daily assessment of emotional states largely depends on active self-reports, which are often inconvenient and prone to incomplete information. Automated detection of emotional states and transitions on a daily basis could be an effective solution to this problem. However, the relationship between emotional transitions and everyday context remains to be unexplored.

OBJECTIVE : This study aims to explore the relationship between contextual information and emotional transitions and states to evaluate the feasibility of detecting emotional transitions and states from daily contextual information using machine learning (ML) techniques.

METHODS : This study was conducted on the data of 18 individuals from a publicly available data set called ExtraSensory. Contextual and sensor data were collected using smartphone and smartwatch sensors in a free-living condition, where the number of days for each person varied from 3 to 9. Sensors included an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a compass, location services, a microphone, a phone state indicator, light, temperature, and a barometer. The users self-reported approximately 49 discrete emotions at different intervals via a smartphone app throughout the data collection period. We mapped the 49 reported discrete emotions to the 3 dimensions of the pleasure, arousal, and dominance model and considered 6 emotional states: discordant, pleased, dissuaded, aroused, submissive, and dominant. We built general and personalized models for detecting emotional transitions and states every 5 min. The transition detection problem is a binary classification problem that detects whether a person's emotional state has changed over time, whereas state detection is a multiclass classification problem. In both cases, a wide range of supervised ML algorithms were leveraged, in addition to data preprocessing, feature selection, and data imbalance handling techniques. Finally, an assessment was conducted to shed light on the association between everyday context and emotional states.

RESULTS : This study obtained promising results for emotional state and transition detection. The best area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve for emotional state detection reached 60.55% in the general models and an average of 96.33% across personalized models. Despite the highly imbalanced data, the best AUROC curve for emotional transition detection reached 90.5% in the general models and an average of 88.73% across personalized models. In general, feature analyses show that spatiotemporal context, phone state, and motion-related information are the most informative factors for emotional state and transition detection. Our assessment showed that lifestyle has an impact on the predictability of emotion.

CONCLUSIONS : Our results demonstrate a strong association of daily context with emotional states and transitions as well as the feasibility of detecting emotional states and transitions using data from smartphone and smartwatch sensors.

Sultana Madeena, Al-Jefri Majed, Lee Joon


artificial intelligence, digital biomarkers, digital phenotyping, emotion detection, emotional transition detection, mHealth, mental health, mobile phone, spatiotemporal context, supervised machine learning