Full Paper and Work in Progress at Percom 2010

Together with Matthias Kranz and Carl Fisher we had a full paper at Percom 2010 – and I had the honor to present it [1]. The paper reports work that explored using the existing DECT (the wireless phone standard) infrastructure (available especially in Europe) as basic technology for localization. We compared DECT and Wifi and it is interesting that in most places you see more DECT based stations than Wifi. Overall it is a really interesting alternative to WLAN location.

From the joint work with Docomo-Eurolabs in Munich in the project AmbiVis we presented a work in progress poster. In the project we look at different options for visualizing context information – especially in ambient ways [2]. As display technologies we employed the Nabaztag and a digital picture frame.

[1] Matthias Kranz, Carl Fischer, Albrecht Schmidt: A Comparative Study of DECT and WLAN Signals for Indoor Localization. In: 8th Annual IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (Percom 2010). IEEE Mannheim 2010, S. 235-243.

[2] Florian Alt, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Andreas Kaiser, Ken Pfeuffer, Emre Gürkan, Albrecht Schmidt, Paul Holleis, Matthias Wagner: Exploring Ambient Visualizations of Context Information (Work in Progress). In: WIP, Proceedings of the Eighth Annual IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications, PerCom 2010. IEEE, Mannheim, Germany 2010

Keynote by Pertti Huuskonen: Ten Views to Context Awareness

Pertti Huuskonen from Nokia presented his keynote at Percom in Mannheim. I worked with Pertti in 1999 on a European Project TEA – creating context-aware phones [1].

After telling us about CERN and some achievements in physics he raised the issue that an essential skill of humans is that they are context-aware. Basically culture is context-awareness – learning how to appropriately behave in life is essential to be accepted. We do this by looking at other people and by learning how how they act and how others react. “Knowing how to behave” we become fit for social life and this questions the notion of intuitive use as it seems that most of it is learned or copied from others.

He gave a nice overview of how we can context-awareness is useful. One very simple example he showed is that people typically create context at the start of a phone call.

One example of a future to come may be ubiquitous spam – where context may be the enabler but also the enabler for blogging adverts. He also showed the potential of context in the large, see Nokoscope. His keynote was refreshing – and as clearly visible he has a good sense of humor 😉

[1] Schmidt, A., Aidoo, K. A., Takaluoma, A., Tuomela, U., Laerhoven, K. V., and Velde, W. V. 1999. Advanced Interaction in Context. In Proceedings of the 1st international Symposium on Handheld and Ubiquitous Computing (Karlsruhe, Germany, September 27 – 29, 1999). H. Gellersen, Ed. Lecture Notes In Computer Science, vol. 1707. Springer-Verlag, London, 89-101.

Opening of Percom, Keynote by Kurt Rothermel

About 300 people are at Percom 2010, which is held in the palace in Mannheim – and amazing location! The conference had 233 submission and is truly international (1/3 of the papers come from Europe, 1/3 from America, and 1/3 from Asia/pacific) and highly competitive (acceptance rate of about 12%).

Kurt Rothermel from the University of Stuttgart presented the opening Keynote on Large-scale Context Management. He presented a set of interesting example from Nexus (Collaborative Research Center 627, Spatial World Models for Mobile Context-Aware Applications) that showed the challenge in large scale systems. The size of the problem is can be easily seen when considering that half the population of the planet is using a mobile device and hence needs to be located… Now imagine everyone is contributing sensor data at a rate of one update per minute… For more details on their work see their 2009 percom paper [1]. In his talk he gave also some references to other interesting research platforms in this space: SensorWeb/SensorMap by Microsoft [2] and SensorPlanet by Nokia [3].

[1] Lange, R., Cipriani, N., Geiger, L., Grossmann, M., Weinschrott, H., Brodt, A., Wieland, M., Rizou, S., and Rothermel, K. 2009. Making the World Wide Space happen: New challenges for the Nexus context platform. In Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE international Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (March 09 – 13, 2009). PERCOM. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 1-4. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/PERCOM.2009.4912782

[2] Kansal, A., Nath, S., Liu, J., and Zhao, F. 2007. SenseWeb: An Infrastructure for Shared Sensing. IEEE MultiMedia 14, 4 (Oct. 2007), 8-13. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MMUL.2007.82

[3] Abdelzaher, T., Anokwa, Y., Boda, P., Burke, J., Estrin, D., Guibas, L., Kansal, A., Madden, S., and Reich, J. 2007. Mobiscopes for Human Spaces. IEEE Pervasive Computing 6, 2 (Apr. 2007), 20-29. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2007.38