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Progress

Current State

Although it has not been realized so far, overall, the vision of ubiquitous computing as defined by Mark Weiser [WEIS91] is not new. Ever since its formulation in 1991, researchers and practitioners have focused on closing different research gaps. These gaps include the development of communication middleware systems to enable the seamless and trustworthy cooperation of a heterogeneous set of possibly resource-poor connected objects as done in the 3PC [3PC11], GAIA [ROMA02] and AURA [GARL02 projects or the PECES FP7 [PECE11] project, for example. Furthermore, they include the development of new programming paradigms to support the development of adaptive applications, for example, on the basis of components as done by PCOM [HAND09] or flows as done in the ALLOW FP7 project [ALLO11]. In contrast to these projects, the GAMBAS project does not primarily target the development of adaptive communication or application adaptation. Instead, it focuses on the acquisition of context information as well as the processing of environmental information in a secure way, which usually provides the basis for adaptation. The importance of context information for the realization of ubiquitous computing has been recognized very early after the formulation of the vision [SCHI94]. Over the course of several years, researchers have developed a number of middleware systems to acquire and leverage context information, e.g. [HOHL99], [BARD05]. Besides that, the active research in the area of sensor networks and cooperating objects has spawned a number of initiatives to acquire context information from a heterogeneous set of networked sensors that is deployed in an environment. Recent projects at the European level include for example the PLANET FP7 project [PLAN11] which works on concepts to deploy and operate large scale sensor networks to capture environmental information. However, usually these systems focus on low level networking aspects of various sensors or they solve high level data management aspects resulting from the large number of sensors. Thereby, these systems do not have to consider the resulting privacy implications when moving from environmental context – such as temperature or animal population – to personal context – such as human location, activity and plans.

Progress by GAMBAS

In contrast, the GAMBAS middleware specifically targets the acquisition of personal context information. To do this, while ensuring the user’s privacy, the acquisition is performed primarily with personal Internet-connected objects. This empowers the user to limit the sharing of the acquired context. In order not to overwhelm the user, the GAMBAS middleware will contain a framework to automate the sharing in a privacy-preserving manner. Furthermore, in order to directly use the acquired context on the connected object, the middleware will provide concepts to implement intent-aware user interfaces. Finally, in order to use the shared context effectively in enterprise business processes, the middleware will make use of an interoperable data representation with the associated processing infrastructure that supports a large number of sensors. This will provide the basis for efficient object to object interactions and thus, it will enable the development of novel services.

References

  • [WEIS91] Mark Weiser, The Computer of the 21st Century, Scientific American, 1991
  • [3PC11] 3PC Project, Project Homepage, http://www.3pc.info, Last access: January 2011
  • [GARL02]. Garlan, D. Siewiorek, A. Smailagic, P. Steenkiste: Project Aura: Towards Distraction-Free Pervasive Computing, IEEE Pervasive Computing, April-June 2002
  • [PECE11] PECES FP7 Project, Project Homepage, http://www.ict-peces.eu, Last accessed: January 2011
  • [HAND09] M. Handte, System-support for Adaptive Pervasive Applications, Disseration, Universität Stuttgart, 2009
  • [ALLO11] ALLOW FET Proactive, Project Homepage, http://www.allow-project.eu, Last access: January 2011
  • [SCHI94] B. Schilit, N. Adams, R. Want: Context-aware Computing Applications. Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, Santa Cruz, CA, pp. 85-90, December 1994
  • [HOHL99] F. Hohl, U. Kubach, A. Leonhardi, K. Rothermel, M. Schwehm: Next Century Challenges: Nexus – An Open Global Infrastructure for Spatial-Aware Applications. 5th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, 1999
  • [BAR05] J. E. Bardram: The Java Context Awareness Framework (JCAF) – A Service Infrastructure and Programming Framework for ontext-Aware Applications. 3rd International Conference on Pervasive Computing, Munich, Germany, May 2005
  • [PLAN11] PLANET FP7 Project, Project Homepage, http://www.planet-ict.eu, Last accessed: January 2011