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Table 1 Glossary of terms

From: The Human Behaviour-Change Project: harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning for evidence synthesis and interpretation

Term Definition Source
Algorithm Sequence of actions to perform calculation, data processing and automated reasoning tasks.  
Annotation Process of identifying selections of content from BCI evaluation reports describing features of BCI evaluations, together with specification of the features described using the BCIO.  
Artificial Intelligence (AI) The theory and practice of building computer programs to perform tasks that a human would reasonably regard as requiring intelligence. [31]
Attribute A quality or disposition of an object, collection of objects, process or collection of processes. [10]
Automated annotation Annotation that is undertaken by a computer program.  
Basic Formal Ontology An upper level ontology consisting of continuants and occurrents developed to support integration especially of data obtained through scientific research. [10]
BCI database The database containing all information about BCI evaluation reports and inferences from these, organised according to the BCIO.  
BCI evaluation A comparison between two or more BCI scenarios focusing particularly on estimating the differences in outcomes between these scenarios.  
BCI evaluation report Description of a BCI evaluation, usually in the form of a published research report.  
BCI Knowledge System An automated system delivering comprehensive, high quality, timely and accessible syntheses and interpretations of evidence in the domain of behaviour change.  
BCI ontology (BCIO) An ontology that represents entities and relationships related to BCI evaluations and their reports.  
BCI scenario A scenario (a sequence or development of events) consisting of a BCI, its target behaviours, and factors that influence the outcome of the BCI in relation to the target behaviour.  
Behaviour Anything a person does in response to internal or external events. Actions may be overt (motor or verbal) and directly measurable or, covert (activities not viewable but involving voluntary muscles) and indirectly measurable; behaviours are physical events that occur in the body and are controlled by the brain. [32]
Behaviour Change Intervention (BCI) A product, service, activity or structural change, intended to achieve behaviour change. It can be specified in terms of the content of the intervention and the way this is delivered. [33]
Behaviour Change Technique (BCT) The smallest component of an intervention compatible with retaining the postulated active ingredients, and can be used alone or in combination with other BCTs. [34]
Behaviour Change Techniques Taxonomy version 1 (BCTTv1) A hierarchical classification system (taxonomy) for reliably specifying intervention components in terms of 93 well-defined behaviour change techniques (BCTs), organised into 16 groupings. [35]
Cochrane Collaboration A global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. It is a not-for-profit organisation with contributors from more than 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. They work to produce reviews that summarise the best available evidence generated through research to inform decisions about health. [36]
Context Features of a BCI scenario, independent of the BCI itself that may influence the outcome. [33]
Delivery Features of a BCI related to the manner in which the intervention is enacted. [33]
Effect The estimated effect size for the combination of intervention, usage (exposure and engagement), context, mechanism of action and behaviour, always specified in relation to a comparator. [33]
Engagement The amount and manner of use of, or interaction with, an intervention among people who use it at least to some degree. [33]
Entity Anything that exists, that can be a continuant or an occurrent as defined in the BFO.  
Exposure Factors relating to the interaction between the intervention and the target population (the extent and nature of the target population’s access to and engagement with the intervention) that may influence the intervention’s effect. Consists of reach and engagement.  
Extensible Markup Language (XML) A markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.  
Feature An instance of a BCIO entity that forms part of a BCI evaluation or BCI evaluation report.  
Human Computer Interaction (HCI) An area of study that focuses on ways in which humans and computers interact.  
Knowledge base A repository of information from the domain of interest linking classes into the ontology to instances. [11]
Machine learning (ML) Computer algorithms that learn from sample inputs and apply that learning to make predictions on data or classify data into categories. [37]
Mechanism of Action Process that mediate the effect of the intervention on the behavioural outcome. These can be specified in terms of changes to capability, opportunity, motivation or other behaviours. [28]
Method The set of features of methods used in BCI evaluations, containing features relating to study design (e.g., controlled trial), measures, sample identification and recruitment, sample size, and risk of bias.  
Natural Language Processing (NLP) Algorithms that extract meaning from passages of text in a form that can be used for inference by computers. [38]
Object A material entity that is 1) spatially extended in three dimensions, 2) causally unified, and 3) maximally self connected. [10]
Ontology A standardised representational framework providing a set of terms for the consistent description (or “annotation” or “tagging”) of data and information across disciplinary and research community boundaries. [10]
Outcome Absolute numerical value of target behaviour associated with a BCI scenario.  
OWL A formal language for describing ontologies. It provides methods to model classes of “things”, how they relate to each other and the properties they have. OWL is designed to be interpreted by computer programs and is extensively used in the Semantic Web where rich knowledge about web documents and the relationships between them are represented using OWL syntax. In the HBC project elements of OWL are used to express ontologies relevant to behaviour change in a way that can be processed by reasoning and machine learning systems. [39]
PICO An ontology used by Cochrane that represents important entities in medical and population science, focusing on evaluations of clinical and public health inteventions. The acronym stands for: Patient, Population or Problem, Intervention, Comparison (group intervention is compared to) and Outcome. [40]
Population Characteristics of the individuals, groups, sub-populations or populations whose behaviour one is seeking to change, including their other behaviours, mental health status etc. [33]
Process An entity that exists in time by occurring or happening, has temporal parts, and always depends on at least one object as participant. [10]
Reach Uptake of intervention. [33]
Reasoning algorithms Computer programs that can generate conclusions from available knowledge. In the HBCP project, reasoning algorithms may derive conclusions through combinations of logic based reasoning (where basic axioms about the behaviour of the environment are provided as a basis for reasoning) and statistical learning (where patterns are used to construct new facts).  
Risk of bias feature Features of BCI evaluation method and reporting that may lead to the reported effect size of the evaluation not being accurate. [41]
Setting Features of the social and physical environment that may influence the outcome of a BCI. [33]
Target Behaviour Behaviour that a BCI seeks to influence.  
Taxonomy A classification system in which classes are uniquely assigned to a higher level class. [42]
User Interface (HBCP) The means by which the user and a computer system interact, in particular the use of input devices (keyboards, screens etc) and software. The HBCP interface will consist of a machine interface and a human user interface. The machine interface will provide application programming interfaces that will allow other programs to query and provide information to the BCI Knowledge System (e.g. results of searches for BCI evaluation reports). The human user interface will be a website and associated supporting programs to allow users to query and inform the BCI Knowledge System. [43]