The Fifth International Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing & Multimedia (MoMM2007)

Tutorials at MoMM 2007

Context Awareness for Multiple Space Management: Assistive Environment Use Case

Mohamad Ali Feki

Department of Computer Graphics and Interface

Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore

Mohamed Ali Feki


The recent convergence of ubiquitous computing and context-aware computing has seen a considerable rise in interest in applications that exploit aspects of the contextual environment to enhance implicit user interaction, offer services, present information, tailor application behavior or trigger adaptation. However, as a result of the lack of generic mechanisms for supporting context-awareness, context-aware applications remain very difficult to build and developers must deal with a wide range of issues related to representing, sensing, aggregating, storing, querying and reasoning of context. In order to remedy this situation, there is a need for better understanding of the design process associated with context-aware applications, architectural support for the entire context processing flow, and improved programming abstractions that ease the prototyping of applications.

This tutorial in context-aware computing will focus on the architectural support for context-aware application development. It will present a set of requirements for context-aware applications, based on which we designed and implemented our architectural support, including an ontology-based context model, a context-aware architecture (namely Context Aware Explorer) and a set of programming abstractions. The research reported here is investigating: how context can be acquired, distributed, and used and how it changes human computer interaction in Ubiquitous Computing.

While this tutorial will focus on context aware applications, it will cover following sections:

  • Context aware acquisition and management (interpretation, reasoning and prediction)
  • Context aware in assistive environment: from usage analysis to application design and prototype
  • Methods to measure context aware system performance and end users evaluation

Detailed outline

The tutorial is structured in the following way. In section 2 the terms of Design Interaction, User Environment Interaction, and Context awareness are assessed. Then the concept of context-aware framework is introduced and an overview of related work is presented.

Section 3 follows the basic question of how to represent context in order to deal with context modeling and reasoning. In particular the relationship between reasoning performance and ontology distribution is proposed. An overview of semantic web and its features is analyzed and ways to use it as key solution for context modeling and reasoning are described. Our ontological approach that supports the context modeling and reasoning is well described with examples. In the last part of section 3, one particular issue of context awareness in relation with the User Environment Interaction is assessed: Context prediction. First the prediction nature of context is analyzed. Then an overview of candidates' solutions is deeply described and a convergence solution to the Q-learning algorithm is presented.

The architectural design of our proposed context framework supporting the ontological approach based context modeling and reasoning is described in section 4. This section examines our layered architecture and presents functional design of each layer as well as its implementation steps, and the APIs provided.

Section 5 presents the overall evaluation efforts. It starts out with a quest for suitable evaluation methods assessing shortcomings of standard evaluation methods known in a Ubiquitous Computing environment. Evaluation methods related to prototyping are introduced and simulation results are presented.

The conclusion in section 6 summarizes the contributions made in the tutorial, but also critically assesses the shortcomings and limitations detected in the course of the research. Furthermore new issues that have been surfacing, while working on the thesis, are addressed in the future work section.

Expected Audience and Background

The tutorial will be organized in such a way that does not require any specific knowledge. All architectural and technological aspects of reconfigurable systems will be demonstrated on illustrative examples, which enable the attendees to understand easily all the succeeding more advanced topics of the tutorial. We hope that the majority of engineering degrees in computer science can be considered as a sufficient required background.


1-2 hours

Brief biography of the presenter

Mohamed Ali Feki got his PHD in computer science from national Institute of telecommunication in France in April 2007. He is a research fellow in Handicom laboratory. Mohamed Ali Feki has obtained his Master degree from University of Technology in Troys France and his engineer diploma from National School of Engineer in Sfax Tunisia. Mohamed Ali's research activity focus on User interface design and development for Pervasive software applications. He is also interested in Service based approaches for Context aware application: Human machine impact in case of people with disabilities.

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