Soft Comput (2017) 21:4917–4923
Non-intrusive quantiﬁcation of performance and its relationship
· André Pimenta
· Paulo Novais
Published online: 3 October 2016
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016
Abstract The number of jobs that takes place entirely or
partially in a computer is nowadays very signiﬁcant. These
workplaces, as many others, often offer the key ingredi-
ents for the emergence of stress and the performance drop
of its long-term effects: long hours sitting, sustained cog-
nitive effort, pressure from competitiveness, among others.
This has a toll on productivity and work quality, with sig-
niﬁcant costs for both organizations and workers. Moreover,
a tired workforce is generally more susceptible to negative
feelings and mood, which results in a negative environment.
This paper contributes to the current need for the develop-
ment of non-intrusive methods for monitoring and managing
worker performance in real time. We propose a framework
that assesses worker performance and a case study in which
this approach was validated. We also show the relationship
between performance and mood.
Keywords Worker performance · Mood ·
Statistical analysis · Distributed intelligence
Communicated by C. Analide.
Algoritmi Centre/Department of Informatics,
University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
CIICESI, ESTG, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto,
We currently live in a society that moves at an unprecedented
pace. People need to ﬁnd a balance between work, family and
leisure, and doing so is increasingly harder (Kobayashi and
Demura 2006). In an attempt to achieve it, people stretch
their limits and their days, usually at the expense of rest and
relaxation time. This together with inadequate sleep patterns
is leading causes of fatigue.
Mental fatigue may not be felt immediately or may not
even be felt at all, but it has effects at many different levels,
including health, performance, decision-making and even
safety. These effects are often visible in students preparing
for examinations, ofﬁce or industrial workers, healthcare pro-
fessionals, drivers, pilots or military personnel. Fatigue may
even put people working in safety-sensitive jobs at risk, and
any mistake on their part can lead to loss of lives (Tucker
2003; Jaber and Neumann 2010).
Mental fatigue can be seen as a state that involves a number
of effects on a set of cognitive, emotional and motivational
skills and usually results in overall discomfort, as well as the
emergence of performance limitations (Perelli 1980). Some
of these limitations imply that a tired person is often less
willing to engage in tasks of effort, or perform the task of a
conditioned form, well below their normal capacity (Lorist
et al. 2000). Thus, mental fatigue may be characterized by
a perception of a lack of mental energy. Persons who are
affected by mental fatigue may feel like they have less energy
than usual and are unusually tired and lethargic. Excessive
activity and stimulation of the brain can cause a person to
feel mentally exhausted, and the feeling is similar to what the
body feels when a person is physically fatigued (Williamson
et al. 2005).
Fatigue effects may occur at any moment and they may
persist from only a few hours to several consecutive days.