Context-Aware Adaptation in an Ecology of Applications

Context-Aware Adaptation in an Ecology of Applications

Davy Preuveneers (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium), Koen Victor (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium), Yves Vanrompay (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium), Peter Rigole (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) and Manuele Kirsch Pinheiro (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belg)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-290-9.ch001
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In recent years, many researchers have studied context-awareness to support non-intrusive adaptability of context-aware applications. Context-aware applications benefit from emerging technology that connects everyday objects and provides opportunities to collect and use context information from various sources. Context-awareness helps to adapt continuously to new situations and to turn a static computing environment into a dynamic ecology of smart and proactive applications. In this chapter, we present our framework that manages and uses context information to adapt applications and the content they provide. We show how application adaptation can be handled at the composition level, by reconfiguring, redeploying and rewiring components, e.g. to fall back into reduced functionality mode when redeploying an application on a handheld. The key features of our context-aware adaptation framework notonly include local adaptations of context-aware applications and content, but also the addressing of context in large scale networks and the contextaware redeployment of running applications in a distributed setting. We discuss how adaptation is handled along various levels of abstraction (user, content, application, middleware, network) and illustrate the flexibility of context-aware content and application adaptation by means of a realistic use case scenario.
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We witness nowadays a trend towards ubiquitous information and pervasive communication networks. Technology is emerging that connects everyday mobile objects and embeds intelligence in our environment. The ability to collect and combine data from various sources and adapt to changes in our surroundings is crucial to turn static environments into smart and proactive ones. In such environments, as envisioned by Weiser (1991), computing is pushed away from the traditional desktop to small embedded and networked computing devices around us. In recent years, the use of context-awareness to support non-intrusive adaptability of content and applications has received a lot of attention (Moran & Dourish, 2001; Islam & Fayad, 2003; Gheis et al. 2006; Chaari et al., 2006; Yang & Shao, 2007).

It goes without saying that context-awareness plays a key role in such systems in order (1) to meet changing user expectations, (2) to satisfy changing device and application resource constraints and (3) to optimize the quality of service.

As Chaari et al. (2006) explain, context-awareness is the capability of perceiving the user situation in all its forms, and of adapting in consequence the system behavior, i.e., the services and content supplied to the users. Or as Charles Darwin stated earlier: “It is not the most intelligent of the species that survive the longest, it is the most adaptable.” In order to be successful, applications need to adapt continuously to their environment and therefore require information from this environment for the adaptation to be effective.

Developing mobile and pervasive applications with support for context-driven adaptation is a daunting task. The problem is threefold. First of all, to carry out application adaptation at runtime, we require a proper application design methodology that facilitates customizing the functionality during the deployment and runtime life cycle of the application. Secondly, the design methodology needs to be complemented with runtime support that enables applications to dynamically adapt their behavior and the content they offer to the user whenever the applications’ context changes. And thirdly, applications must take into account the characteristics of the systems on which they are deployed, the environment in which they are embedded, and the user expectations regarding the application in order to exhibit optimal behavior. Hence, context-awareness is a key concern that needs to be supported within the adaptation framework from the ground up. To address these challenges, we present in this chapter an integrated approach to context-aware adaptation of applications and the content they supply. The focus of our contribution is (1) a design methodology in which applications are composed out of loosely coupled distributed components, enhanced with (2) an adaptation framework that provides solutions to facilitate context-aware adaptation of applications and the content supplied by those applications. Context-aware adaptation in our framework consists of application adaptation and content adaptation and is handled at different levels.

Context-aware applications have a component-based design with basic constructs such as components, component ports, connectors, contracts and context interfaces. Components provide the functionality of the application and communicate with other components through connectors attached to their component ports. Contracts and context interfaces ensure a specific behavior in a particular situation. These concepts are further explained in section 4. Application adaptation is handled at the architectural level by reconfiguring and redeploying components, while content adaptation is addressed internally by the components, for example, through content filtering (e.g. selecting content related to a given location, or selecting a content format that fits the capabilities of the client device) and/or content transformation (e.g. transforming content to a data format supported by the user’s device).

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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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