Enhancing User Experience with Context-Dependent Tasks in Smart Home

Enhancing User Experience with Context-Dependent Tasks in Smart Home

Hongbo Ni (Northwestern Polytechnical University, China), Xingshe Zhou (Northwestern Polytechnical University, China), Zhiwen Yu (Kyoto University, Japan) and Daqing Zhang (National Institute of Telecommunications, France)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-046-2.ch042
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Abstract

The vision of pervasive computing is floating into the domain of the household and aims to assist inhabitants (users) to live more conveniently and harmoniously. Due to the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of pervasive computing environments, it is difficult for an average user to obtain right service and information in the right place at the right time. This chapter proposes a context-dependent task approach to address the challenge. The most important component is its task model, which provides an adequate high-level description of user-oriented tasks and their related contexts. Leveraging the model, multiple entities can easily exchange, share, and reuse their knowledge. The conversion of OWL task ontology specifications to the First-Order Logic (FOL) representations is presented. The performance of FOL rule-based deducing in terms of task number, context size, and time is evaluated. Finally, we present a task supporting system (TSS) to aid an inhabitant’s tasks in light of his or her lifestyle and environment conditions in smart home.
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Introduction

Beginning with Weiser’s (1993) vision of ubiquitous computing, much progress has been achieved in resource discovery mechanisms, programming environments, middleware, and user interfaces that simplify the creation of user-centered applications that adapt to the various resources available in various computing environments. However, despite these advances, little research has addressed how a pervasive computing application should use all the sensors, actuators, and other computing devices available in order to actually help a user carry out a task without disturbance and notice. Consequently, many pervasive computing applications operate in a myopic mode and lack the ability to proactively assist the user in his or her task, inform the user when he or she is unfamiliar with the task, and gracefully fail-over (and explain the rationale for this behavior) when resources become unavailable.

From our point of view, there are two critical challenges in building pervasive computing systems. One is how to stay user-focused by understanding a user’s goal, and the other is how to achieve these goals and activities adaptively with the available services and resources. Obviously, pervasive computing systems should shift paradigm from technology-oriented to user-centered; that is, they should recognize a user’s intentions and then autonomously fill in any details that the user left out and assist the user in a particular set of tasks. Recently, the task computing (TC) paradigm has gained increasing acceptance as the choice computing model for pervasive computing environments (Masuoka et al., 2003; Wang & Garlan, 2000). The key idea behind TC is that the system should take over many low-level management activities so that users can interact in a pervasive computing environment in terms of high-level, user-centric tasks that they wish to accomplish (i.e., WHAT) rather than the actual mechanisms to perform those tasks (i.e., HOW). Another attraction of TC is its ability to manage the tasks in runtime by having the capability to suspend from one environment and resume the same task later in another environment. This is made possible by the way a task is often specified independent of both the actual underlying services and resources and the surrounding environment itself. The underlying TC software infrastructure achieves this by providing the necessary support to maintain and manage task-associated context information in the form of task states (e.g., user preferences) from one environment to another. Despite its promises, however, there exists a number of challenges in TC that are still to be addressed fully; that is, how to model the tasks and context information and how a task can be associated with the underlying service (see Related Work).

Smart home has always been considered as an important part of pervasive computing. The home system will effectively integrate communication and computing networks among the previously separated equipments in homes and incorporate core tenets of pervasive computing. If the home system intends to dynamically adapt its behaviors according to the user’s activities and environments, awareness of the user’s activities and environment is required.

Given the need for smart home applications to be smarter in assisting their users, we propose a context-dependent task model established in the fact that man is a creature of habit, and he will perform a certain activity at a particular situation as a routine. The context-dependent task modeling approach uses the abstraction of tasks in order to separate logical relations of relevant items from the services realizing and fulfilling the intended goals. This approach is able to support human requirements and preferences better for the following reasons:

  • 1.

    Task definition models human preferences and requirements better than service-orientation models adopted in earlier works;

  • 2.

    Separation of tasks and services would allow for greater flexibility of changing the tasks without changing the services and vice versa;

  • 3.

    It hides the complexity of compositing embedded services in pervasive environment from the users.

The rest of this chapter is structured as follows: Section 2 gives a brief review of relevant work. Section 3 introduces the context-dependent task model. The details of construction of context-dependent task model using OWL is presented in Section 4, followed with performance evaluation in Section 5. Finally, we propose a task supporting system architecture based on the context-dependent task model.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Context: Any information that can be used to characterize the situation of an entity. An entity is a person, place, or object that is considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and applications themselves.

Context-Dependent Task Model: A model proposed to describe the context-dependent task and its contract.

Task Contract: A plan predefined to guide the pervasive computing system to complete a task.

TSS: Task Supporting System, a prototype system to help users complete their tasks.

OWL Rule: Rules defined by OWL, which include some context instances to infer a context-dependent task.

Context-Dependent Task: System activities based on some contexts that help users to achieve a goal.

Pervasive Computing: Refers to the use of computers in everyday life, including PDAs, smartphones, and other mobile devices. It also refers to computers contained in commonplace objects such as cars and appliances, and implies that people are unaware of their presence. In pervasive computing environment, all these devices communicate with each other over wireless networks without any interaction required by the user.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Gabriele Kotsis
Acknowledgment
Ismail Khalil
Chapter 1
Elhadi Shakshuki, Xinyu Xing, Haroon Malik
Wireless multimedia sensor networks (WMSNs) are a new and emerging type of sensor networks that contain sensor nodes equipped with cameras... Sample PDF
An Introduction to Wireless Multimedia Sensor Networks
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Chapter 2
Jing Wang
Wireless sensor networks have seen a wealth of research efforts and practical implementations in recent years. With the advance of CMOS cameras and... Sample PDF
Enabling Wireless Multimedia Sensor Networks
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Chapter 3
Julio Aráuz
On the stage of today’s communications world, broadband mobile technologies are a continuously flourishing trend. In this context, WiMAX, a... Sample PDF
Research Challenges in Multimedia WiMAX
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Chapter 4
Reinhard Kronsteiner
This chapter is about mobile multimedia and its usage in group decisions. With respect to the complexity of mobile decision scenarios, this paper... Sample PDF
Engineering Mobile Group Decision Support
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Chapter 5
The Ubiquitous Grid  (pages 66-75)
Patricia Sedlar
The strength of grid computing, namely being able to aggregate distributed computing and data storage capacities for solving larger, more complex... Sample PDF
The Ubiquitous Grid
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Chapter 6
Paul Fergus
The number of consumer devices that are being equipped with networking capabilities is increasing rapidly. This is seen as a fundamental strategy... Sample PDF
Next Generation Mobile Multimedia
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Chapter 7
Reinhard Kronsteiner, Bettina Thurnher
This chapter considers the mobility of persons while they are changing between different working environments and the influence of increasing... Sample PDF
Opportunities and Risks for Mobile Decision Support
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Chapter 8
Volker Derballa
Mobile technology enables enterprises to invent new business models by applying new forms of organization or offering new products and services. In... Sample PDF
Business Model Typology for Mobile Commerce
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Chapter 9
Edgar R. Weippl
While security in general is increasingly well addressed, both mobile security and multimedia security are still areas of research undergoing major... Sample PDF
Security, Trust, and Privacy on Mobile Devices and Multimedia Applications
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Chapter 10
Goran Gvozden, Mislav Grgic, Sonja Grgic, Miran Gosta
This chapter gives description and comparison of video coding standards currently used in bandwidth limited mobile communications emphasizing at the... Sample PDF
Comparison of Video Coding Standards Used in Mobile Applications
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Chapter 11
Saad Harous
In this chapter, we will introduce mobile ad hoc networks and issues related to routing data in such networks. Mobile ad hoc networks (MANET) are... Sample PDF
Routing Algorithms for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
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Chapter 12
Mamun I. Abu-Tair
Recently there have been considerable interests focusing on the performance evaluation of IEEE 802.11e Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols, which... Sample PDF
Performance Analysis and Evaluation of IEEE 802.11E MAC in WLANs with Hidden Stations and Multimedia Applications
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Chapter 13
High Speed Packet Access  (pages 175-190)
Mario Cvitkovic
Data services and multimedia are expected to have significant growth over the next few years and will likely become the dominant source of 3G... Sample PDF
High Speed Packet Access
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Chapter 14
Sami Habib
The evolutionary search approach has demonstrated its effectiveness in many real world applications, such as the coverage problem in wireless sensor... Sample PDF
Exploring Coverage within Wireless Sensor Networks through Evolutionary Computations
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Chapter 15
René Rosenbaum
Imagery must be adequately processed and adapted to be used in mobile environments. This contribution shows that this can be reached by a rigorous... Sample PDF
Mobile Image Communication: New Concepts Using JPEG2000
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Chapter 16
Ulf Wehling
In this chapter we propose a platform-independent concept for the transparent replication of digital assets in hybrid wireless networks. The concept... Sample PDF
Topic-Based Transparent Replication of Digital Assets
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Chapter 17
Abdulhussain E. Mahdi
Speech quality is the most visible and important aspect of quality of service (QoS) for telecommunication networks. Hence, the ability to monitor... Sample PDF
Perception-Based Speech Quality Measurement in Modern Telecommunications
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Chapter 18
Árpád Huszák
In this chapter we present a novel selective retransmission scheme, based on congestion control algorithm. Our method is efficient in narrowband... Sample PDF
Adaptive Retransmission Scheme for Video Streaming Applications
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Chapter 19
Gregor Rozinaj
In this chapter we describe a proposal of a metropolitan information system (MIS) for providing various information for inhabitants of the city, as... Sample PDF
Terminals for the Smart Information Retrieval
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Chapter 20
Oredope Adetola
The concept of multimedia streaming gives the end-users the ability to playback various multimedia contents while they are still being downloaded... Sample PDF
Streaming Multimedia via Peer-to-Peer Systems
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Chapter 21
Hamidah Ibrahim
An important problem for a database system is to guarantee database consistency. Difficulty arises in devising an efficient algorithm for checking... Sample PDF
Event-Condition-Action (ECA) Rules for Maintaining the Integrity Constraints of Mobile Databases
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Chapter 22
Janne Lahti
Video management research has been neglecting the increased attractiveness of using camera-equipped mobile phones for the production of short... Sample PDF
Context-Aware Capture and Sharing of Mobile Videos
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Chapter 23
Panayotis Fouliras
Data dissemination has already been identified as one of the most important aspects for mobile environments and particularly so for large volumes of... Sample PDF
Video and Data Dissemination in Mobile Broadcasting Environments
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Chapter 24
Wanji Mai, Chris Tweed, Peter Hung, Seán McLoone, Ronan Farrell
In this chapter, the idea of identification of outdoor buildings using mobile devices is presented. The prototype system involves integration of... Sample PDF
A Practical Perspective on Building Identification from Low-Resolution Mobile Images
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Chapter 25
Chris Stary
Although mobile interactivity is becoming quite common, for content-rich applications, such as educational hypermedia systems, user-centered design... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Access to Adaptive Hypermedia
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Chapter 26
Danilo Avola
The actual mobile technology and the increasing need to obtain rich multimedia content about each and every aspect of the human life are changing... Sample PDF
Context Modelling Approaches for Mobile Systems
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Chapter 27
Eduardo Antonio Viruete Navarro
In the last years, much work has been done to create a complete solution in m-Health environments. The problem can be summarized as follows: any... Sample PDF
Mobility Support in 4G Heterogeneous Networks for Interoperable M-Health Devices
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Chapter 28
László Bokor
The support of broadcasting and multicasting as an efficient L3-based service poses rigorous requirements to the next generation mobile... Sample PDF
Novel Results on MBMS Service Provisioning in UMTS/WLAN Heterogeneous Architectures
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Chapter 29
Paolo Barsocchi, Alan A. Bertossi, M. Cristina Pinotti, Francesco Potortì
Broadcasting is an efficient and scalable way of transmitting data over wireless channels to an unlimited number of clients. In this chapter the... Sample PDF
Quality of Service of Data Broadcasting Algorithms on Erroneous Wireless Channels
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Chapter 30
Shiguo Lian
Digital fingerprinting is reported and used in copy tracing. It embeds different information, for example, Customer ID, into multimedia content... Sample PDF
Traitor Tracing in Mobile Multimedia Communication
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Chapter 31
Do van Thanh, Ivar Jørstad
Although promised for some time now, advanced multimedia services for mobile devices were not yet a reality. With IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), the... Sample PDF
Advanced Mobile Multimedia Services with IMS
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Chapter 32
Tania Das
Movement prediction oriented adaptive location management provides a major role in personal communication service (PCS) system. Generally the GSM... Sample PDF
Movement Prediction Oriented Adaptive Location Management
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Chapter 33
Yoshio Nakajima, Alireza Goudarzi Nemati, Tomoya Enokido, Makoto Takizawa
In a peer-to-peer (P2P) overlay network, a peer process (peer) communicates with other peers and manipulates objects like databases in the peers.... Sample PDF
Subjective and Objective Trustworthiness of Acquaintance Peers
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Chapter 34
Hui Zhu
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An Improved Particle Swarm Optimization for Indoor Positioning
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Chapter 35
Ben Abdallah Abderazek, Arquimedes Canedo, Kenichi Kuroda
Mobile processors are used in numerous embedded systems, including laptops, personal digital organizers, wearable computers, cellular phones, mobile... Sample PDF
Processor for Mobile Applications
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Chapter 36
Kashinath Basu
A significant proportion of the traffic on the 4th generation of mobile networks (4G) will be interactive multimedia traffic. This chapter presents... Sample PDF
A Model for Providing Mobile Multimedia Services Over 4G Networks
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Chapter 37
Wieland Schwinger, Christoph Grün, Birgit Pröll, Werner Retschitzegger
Today’s tourists expect to get personalized access to tourism information at anytime, from anywhere with any media. Mobile tourist guides provide... Sample PDF
Context-Awareness in Mobile Tourist Guides
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Chapter 38
Daniel C. Doolan, Sabin Tabirca, Laurence T. Yang
Today in the beginning of the 21st century, mobile devices are now ubiquitous. No matter where we go or what we do, we are touched by this new... Sample PDF
Unlocking the Hidden Power of the Mobile
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Chapter 39
Daniel C. Doolan, Sabin Tabirca, Laurence T. Yang
The Message Passing Interface (MPI) was published as a standard in 1992. Since then, many implementations have been developed. The MPICH library is... Sample PDF
Parallel Computing on a Mobile Device
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Chapter 40
Daniel C. Doolan, Kevin Duggan, Sabin Tabirca, Laurence T. Yang
The growth of mobile phone sales is phenomenal, with estimated sales for 2007/2008 expected to be approximately $1 billion. The majority of these... Sample PDF
From Single to Multiplayer Mobile Bluetooth Gaming
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Chapter 41
Christos K. Georgiadis
Discovering and redirecting multimedia services in a personalized manner is achieving increasing importance for mobile users. It is a powerful... Sample PDF
Mobile Agents and Personalized Multimedia Services
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Chapter 42
Hongbo Ni, Xingshe Zhou, Zhiwen Yu, Daqing Zhang
The vision of pervasive computing is floating into the domain of the household and aims to assist inhabitants (users) to live more conveniently and... Sample PDF
Enhancing User Experience with Context-Dependent Tasks in Smart Home
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Chapter 43
Pavol Podhradský, Eugen Mikóczy, Matejka Juraj, Ondrej Lábaj, Róbert Tomek
This chapter presents results of practical experience with NGN and mainly its application layer. The presented university laboratory based mainly on... Sample PDF
Practical Experience with New Services and Applications Supported by NGN
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Chapter 44
Jong-Woon Yoo
This chapter presents an intelligent interface system, including a new gesture-based wearable input device called iThrow as a main user interface... Sample PDF
A Gesture-Based Intuitive Interaction System and its Target Selection Algorithm
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Chapter 45
Diego Liberati
This chapter is about the effects on perception of joint sensory stimulation. It shows that by combining various simultaneous stimuli, it is... Sample PDF
Attention Facilitation via Multimedia Stimulation
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Chapter 46
Mercedes Paulini
Mobile computing provides a new dimension in communication and access to data resources that is transforming the way people use information and... Sample PDF
Context-Aware Urban Exploration: A Paradigm for Non-Directed Exploration in Mobile Computing
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Chapter 47
Robert Schmohl, Uwe Baumgarten, Lars Köthner
Recent advances in mobile computing have spawned a very heterogeneous environment of mobile devices, which is reflected by the presence of the... Sample PDF
Content Adaptation for Heterogeneous Mobile Devices
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Chapter 48
Roman Y. Shtykh, Qun Jin, Shunichi Nakadate, Norihiro Kandou, Takeshi Hayata, Jianhua Ma
Mobile social networking services (MoSNS) are a yet unexplored environment for human networked socialization. By introducing the concept of... Sample PDF
Mobile SNS from the Perspective of Human Self-Extension
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Chapter 49
Stephan Reiff-Marganiec, Yi Hong, Hong Qing Yu, Schahram Dustdar, Christoph Dorn, Daniel Schall
Collaborative Work Environments are software systems that allow teams, which are nowadays often distributed in location and organization to which... Sample PDF
Context Aware Collaborative Working Environments
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Chapter 50
Baud Haryo Prananto
Lifelog media system stores and manages users’ everyday experiences in the form of multimedia data. To build such a system, we require an integrated... Sample PDF
Design and Implementation of a Mobile and Portable Lifelog Media System
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Chapter 51
Diego Moreira Alves
The main objective of this chapter is to present a solution to the development of speech synthesis and speech recognition systems through mobile... Sample PDF
Speech Synthesis and Recognition Based on Mobile Computing Application
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Chapter 52
Dietmar G. Wiedemann
This chapter introduces the concept of mobile viral marketing as an innovative marketing tool. The outcome of the chapter is a description model... Sample PDF
Creating Successful Mobile Viral Marketing Strategies
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Chapter 53
Henrik Stormer
In the last years, mobile devices have become more and more popular. To further enhance the success of mobile devices, companies in the mobile... Sample PDF
Customizable Viewlets: A Generic Approach for the Mobile Web
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Chapter 54
Mahieddine Djoudi, Saad Harous
Support for the Semitic language on mobile devices, while not yet universal, is becoming more ubiquitous. Many items and data contents written in... Sample PDF
Text Entry System for Semitic Languages on Mobile Devices
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Chapter 55
Patrícia Dockhorn Costa, Luís Ferreira Pires, Marten van Sinderen
Context-awareness has been investigated for almost a decade and is considered as a convenient and desirable feature in distributed mobile systems... Sample PDF
Concepts and Architectures for Mobile Context-Aware Applications
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Chapter 56
Frédéric Lassabe, Philippe Canalda, Damien Charlet, Pascal Chatonnay, François Spies
Advances in technology have enabled a proliferation of mobile devices and a broad spectrum of novel and outbreaking solutions for new applications... Sample PDF
Mobility within Rich Multimedia Services
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Chapter 57
Anastasis A. Sofokleous, Marios C. Angelides, Christos N. Schizas
Mobile communications and computing has changed forever the way people communicate and interact and it has made “any information, any device, any... Sample PDF
Mobile Computing: Technology Challenges, Constraints, and Standards
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Chapter 58
Say Ying Lim
In this chapter, we present an extensive study of database operations on mobile devices which provides an understanding and direction for processing... Sample PDF
A Taxonomy of Database Operations on Mobile Devices
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Chapter 59
Spatial Data on the Move  (pages 850-864)
Wee Hyong Tok, Stéphane Bressan, Panagiotis Kalnis, Baihua Zheng
The pervasiveness of mobile computing devices and wide-availability of wireless networking infrastructure have empowered users with applications... Sample PDF
Spatial Data on the Move
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Chapter 60
Ioannis Priggouris, Evangelos Zervas, Stathes Hadjiefthymiades
The vision that wireless technology in the near future will provide mobile users with at least similar multimedia services as those available to the... Sample PDF
Location-Based Network Resource Management
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Chapter 61
Ghita Kouadri Mostéfaoui
The abstract should be changed to this new abstract: Research on mobile multimedia mainly focuses on improving wireless protocols in order to... Sample PDF
Software Engineering for Mobile Multimedia: A Roadmap
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Chapter 62
Yuping Yang
One current vision of future communication systems lies in a universal system that can deliver information and communications at any time and place... Sample PDF
Personalized Redirection of Communication and Data
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Chapter 63
Florian Ledermann
In this chapter, a domain independent taxonomy of sign functions rooted in an analysis of physical signs found in public space is presented. This... Sample PDF
Towards a Taxonomy of Display Styles for Ubiquitous Multimedia
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Chapter 64
Do Van Thanh, Ivar Jørstad, Schahram Dustdar
Mobile communication and Web technologies have paved the way for mobile multimedia collaborative services that allows people, team and organisation... Sample PDF
Mobile Multimedia Collaborative Services
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Chapter 65
Mohamed Ali Feki
This chapter will describe our experience concerning a model-based method for environment design in the field of smart homes dedicated to people... Sample PDF
Context Awareness for Pervasive Assistive Environment
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Chapter 66
Damien Charlet, Frédéric Lassabe, Philippe Canalda, Pascal Chatonnay, François Spies
Advances in technology have enabled a proliferation of mobile devices and a broad spectrum of novel and out breaking solutions for new applications... Sample PDF
Mobility Prediction for Multimedia Services
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Chapter 67
Roland Wagner, Franz Gruber, Werner Hartmann
After the enormous success of the internet and mobile networks, the next upcoming boost for information technology will be the combination of both.... Sample PDF
Distribution Patterns for Mobile Internet Applications
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About the Contributors