Tutorial A          DAIS - FMOODS 2003  event    -    18 November 2003

Context Aware Systems for Pervasive Computation

by     Jadwiga Indulska


The emergence of mobile and embedded computing devices and the progress in wireless communication technologies instigated research on pervasive systems, i.e. systems  which (i) provide seamless computing infrastructure for user computing applications allowing user mobility and user independence of computing devices and computer networks, and (ii) can support users in a range of tasks. Such systems are built as context-aware systems they can capture some information about the context of particular applications and adapt the application and/or the whole computing system when the context changes.

This tutorial will present examples of pervasive systems and will overview major research issues in the area of pervasive computing:

  • modelling, processing and managing context information,
  • adaptation to context changes
  • architectures of pervasive systems
  • programming of context-aware applications

This overview will present the state of the art in the design of context aware systems and will highlight the remaining research challenges.


  1. Introduction
  • Definition of pervasive and ubiquitous computing
  • Definitions of context
  • Example context-aware applications
  1. Context modelling, processing, management
  •  Context types
  • Timeliness and quality of context information
  • Example:  gathering and processing of location information
  • physical and virtual location sensors

  • formats of location information

  • resolution of conflicting location information

  • updating location information for moving objects

  • architectures for processing of location information

  • Context Management
  • Privacy of context  information
  1. Adaptations to context changes
  • Types of adaptations
  • Decision engines
  1. Architectures of pervasive systems
  •  Generic architecture
  • Examples of architectures
  1. Programming  context-aware applications
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  1. Conclusions