Bridging the Gap between Mobile Application Contexts and Semantic Web Resources

Bridging the Gap between Mobile Application Contexts and Semantic Web Resources

Stefan Dietze (Open University, UK), Alessio Gugliotta (Open University, UK) and John Domingue (Open University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-290-9.ch009
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Context-awareness is highly desired, particularly in highly dynamic mobile environments. Semantic Web Services (SWS) address context-adaptation by enabling the automatic discovery of distributed Web services based on comprehensive semantic capability descriptions. Even though the appropriateness of resources in mobile settings is strongly dependent on the current situation, SWS technology does not explicitly encourage the representation of situational contexts. Therefore, whereas SWS technology supports the allocation of resources, it does not entail the discovery of appropriate SWS representations for a given situational context. Moreover, describing the complex notion of a specific situation by utilizing symbolic SWS representation facilities is costly, prone to ambiguity issues and may never reach semantic completeness. In fact, since not any real-world situation completely equals another, a potentially infinite set of situation parameters has to be matched to a finite set of semantically defined SWS reso rce descriptions to enable context-adaptability. To overcome these issues, the authors propose Mobile Situation Spaces (MSS) which enable the description of situation characteristics as members in geometrical vector spaces following the idea of Conceptual Spaces (CS). Semantic similarity between situational contexts is calculated in terms of their Euclidean distance within a MSS. Extending merely symbolic SWS descriptions with context information on a conceptual level through MSS enables similarity-based matchmaking between real-world situation characteristics and predefined resource representations as part of SWS descriptions. To prove the feasibility, the authors provide a proof-of-concept prototype which applies MSS to support context-adaptation across distinct mobile situations.
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Current and next generation wireless communication technologies will encourage a widespread use of available resources – data and services - via a broad range of mobile devices resulting in the demand for a rather context-adaptive resource retrieval. Context-adaptation is a highly important feature across a wide variety of application domains and subject to intensive research throughout the last decade (Dietze, Gugliotta & Domingue, 2007; Schmidt & Winterhalter, 2004; Gellersen, Schmidt & Beigl, 2002). Whereas the context is defined as the entire set of surrounding situation characteristics, each individual situation represents a specific state of the world, and more precisely, a particular state of the actual context (Weißenberg, Gartmann & Voisard, 2006). Particularly, a situation description defines the context of a specific situation, and it is described by a combination of situation parameters, each representing a particular situation characteristic. Following this definition, context-adaptation can be defined as the ability of Information Systems (IS) to adapt to distinct possible situations.

To achieve this, we base on a promising technology for distributed and highly dynamic service oriented applications: Semantic Web Services (SWS). SWS technology (Fensel et al., 2006) addresses context-adaptation by means of automatic discovery of distributed Web services as well as underlying data for a given task based on comprehensive semantic descriptions. First results of SWS research are available in terms of reference ontologies – e.g. OWL-S (Joint US/EU ad hoc Agent Markup Language Committee, 2004) and WSMO (WSMO Working Group, 2004) – as well as comprehensive frameworks (e.g. DIP project1 results). However, whereas SWS technology supports the allocation of appropriate services for a given goal based on semantic representations, it does not entail the discovery of appropriate SWS goal representations for a given situation. Particularly in mobile settings, the current situation of a user heavily determines the intentional scope behind a user goal and consequently, the appropriateness of particular resources. For instance, when attempting to retrieve localized geographical information, the achievement of a respective goal has to consider the location and device of the user.

Despite the strong impact of a (mobile) context on the semantic meaning and intention behind a user goal, current SWS technology does not explicitly encourage the representation of domain situations. Furthermore, the symbolic approach - describing symbols by using other symbols without a grounding in the real world - of established SWS and Semantic Web (SW) representation standards in general, such as RDF (World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, 2004a), OWL (World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, 2004b), OWL-S (Joint US/EU ad hoc Agent Markup Language Committee, 2004), or WSMO (WSMO Working Group, 2004), leads to ambiguity issues and does not entail semantic meaningfulness, since meaning requires both the definition of a terminology in terms of a logical structure (using symbols) and grounding of symbols to a conceptual level (Cregan, 2007; Nosofsky, 1992).Moreover, while not any situation or situation parameter completely equals another, the description of the complex notion of a specific situation in all its facets is a costly task and may never reach semantic completeness. Apart from that, to enable context-adaptability, a potential infinite set of (real-world) situation characteristics has to be matched to a finite set of semantically defined parameter representations. Therefore, we claim, that fuzzy classification and matchmaking techniques are required to extend and exploit the current functionalities provided by SWS and match the specific requirements of context-aware mobile applications.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Thomas Strang
Theo Kanter
Dragan Stojanovic
Dragan Stojanovic
Chapter 1
Davy Preuveneers, Koen Victor, Yves Vanrompay, Peter Rigole, Manuele Kirsch Pinheiro
In recent years, many researchers have studied context-awareness to support non-intrusive adaptability of context-aware applications. Context-aware... Sample PDF
Context-Aware Adaptation in an Ecology of Applications
Chapter 2
Tarak Chaari, Mohamed Zouari, Frédérique Laforest
Pervasive information systems aim to make information available anywhere and at anytime. These systems should be used in different contexts... Sample PDF
Ontology Based Context-Aware Adaptation Approach
Chapter 3
Florian Daniel
Adaptivity (the runtime adaptation to user profile data) and context-awareness (the runtime adaptation to generic context data) have been gaining... Sample PDF
Context-Aware Applications for the Web: A Model-Driven Development Approach
Chapter 4
I. Roussaki, M. Strimpakou, C. Pils, N. Kalatzis, N. Liampotis
In ubiquitous computing environments, context management systems are expected to administrate large volumes of spatial and non-spatial information... Sample PDF
Distributed Context Management in Support of Multiple Remote Users
Chapter 5
Jared Zebedee, Patrick Martin, Kirk Wilson, Wendy Powley
Pervasive computing presents an exciting realm where intelligent devices interact within the background of our environments to create a more... Sample PDF
An Adaptable Context Management Framework for Pervasive Computing
Chapter 6
Yuanping Li, Ling Feng, Lizhu Zhou
Context is an essential element in mobile and ubiquitous computing. Users’ information needs can be better understood and supplied by means of... Sample PDF
Context-Aware Database Querying: Recent Progress and Challenges
Chapter 7
Carsten Jacob, Heiko Pfeffer, Stephan Steglich
The idea of context-aware services has been around for a long time. The rise of user mobility enabled by well-equipped mobile devices, increasing... Sample PDF
Employing Context Information and Semantics to Advance Responsiveness in Service Composition
Chapter 8
Heinz-Josef Eikerling, Pietro Mazzoleni
The authors present a holistic approach for the efficient design, implementation, and validation of context-aware mobile services. The according... Sample PDF
A Methodology for the Design, Development and Validation of Adaptive and Context-Aware Mobile Services
Chapter 9
Stefan Dietze, Alessio Gugliotta, John Domingue
Context-awareness is highly desired, particularly in highly dynamic mobile environments. Semantic Web Services (SWS) address context-adaptation by... Sample PDF
Bridging the Gap between Mobile Application Contexts and Semantic Web Resources
Chapter 10
Claudia Raibulet
Due to its nature, a mobile-enabled environment is very dynamic: reachable resources and services change very often. Users hardly know which... Sample PDF
Adaptive Resource and Service Management in a Mobile-Enabled Environment
Chapter 11
Nahuel Lofeudo, Andrés Fortier, Gustavo Rossi
Mobile context-aware applications have specific needs regarding data communications and position sensing, that current standard hardware is still... Sample PDF
Kindergarten: A Novel Communication Mechanism for Mobile Context-Aware Applications
Chapter 12
Laurent Gomez, Annett Laube, Alessandro Sorniotti
Access control is the process of granting permissions in accordance to an authorization policy. Mobile and ubiquitous environments challenge... Sample PDF
Access Control in Mobile and Ubiquitous Environments
Chapter 13
Amr Ali Eldin, Semir Daskapan, Jan van den Berg
With the growing interest in context-aware services, attention has been given to privacy and trust issues. Context-aware privacy architectures are... Sample PDF
Privacy Automation in Context-Aware Services
Chapter 14
Adrien Joly, Pierre Maret, Fabien Bataille
These times, when the amount of information exponentially grows on the Internet, when most people can be connected at all times with powerful... Sample PDF
Leveraging Semantic Technologies towards Social Ambient Intelligence
Chapter 15
Federica Paganelli, Dino Giuli
The delivery of real-time, context-aware, and personalized information to end-users for mobility support is a high-priority objective in improving... Sample PDF
An Evaluation of Context-Aware Infomobility Systems
Chapter 16
Nikos Tsianos, Panagiotis Germanakos, Zacharias Lekkas, Constantinos Mourlas
The notion of context in context-aware applications is not merely an issue of external situational circumstances or device/channel properties, but... Sample PDF
Incorporating Human Factors in the Development of Context-Aware Personalized Applications: The Next Generation of Intelligent User Interfaces
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