An Evaluation of Context-Aware Infomobility Systems

An Evaluation of Context-Aware Infomobility Systems

Federica Paganelli (National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications, Italy) and Dino Giuli (National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-290-9.ch015
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The delivery of real-time, context-aware, and personalized information to end-users for mobility support is a high-priority objective in improving mobility services efficiency and effectiveness. This chapter aims at providing an analysis of existing studies in the field of context awareness research targeted to the infomobility application domain. The authors propose an evaluation framework for infomobility services based on the elicitation of context information items and high-level requirements. The framework is applied to some relevant state-of-the art research works among personal navigation systems, infomobility service integration frameworks and context-aware location-based communication platforms. Evaluation results are discussed in order to highlight open research challenges in the infomobility application domain.
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The mobility of people and goods and the efficiency of transport systems are calling for requirements which are more and more critical in our society in terms of social, economical and individual issues. Traffic congestion and related environment problems represent serious threats to citizens’ quality of life and economic development. According to a study for the European Commission, it is estimated that congestion costs will represent 1% of the gross domestic product of the European Union in 2010 (European Commission, 2001).

In order to face these problems, national and local governments are promoting several efforts to make mobility more efficient and sustainable. Sustainable mobility relies on the capabilities of optimizing each transport mode with respect to safety, environmental friendliness and energy efficiency.

Obviously, proper actions for transport services and infrastructure enhancement are needed in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of mobility services. Nonetheless, providing valuable on-time information services to end-users can strongly contribute to more efficient mobility. Thus, the delivery of real-time and personalized information services to end users for mobility support (i.e. “infomobility services”) is a high-priority objective. At present most commercially available infomobility services are conceived as static information delivery. They are usually targeted to drivers and rarely to pedestrians and often focus on a single transportation mode (e.g. either private, pedestrian or public transport) (Rehrl et al., 2007). As a consequence, the burden of managing different transportation modes when planning travel and modifying travel plans according to up-to-date information about traffic events (e.g. accidents and congestion, parking places availability, delays in public transportation) is mainly placed on end-users.

Infomobility services typically include a wide range of services: navigation, route planning and re-planning, geo-referenced content delivery (e.g. Points of Interest descriptions, localization of nearest shops, railway and bus stations, parking facilities, etc.), alerts about critical events (incidents, congestion, public transport delays, etc.), payment services and facilities booking (e.g. parking and seat reservation). Infomobility services for mobility of persons can also be named as Traveler Information Services (U. S. Department of Transportation, 1998).

Research on context-awareness can provide significant progress in the infomobility application domain with respect to the systems and applications state of the art. As a matter of fact, information delivery for user mobility support (infomobility) is a domain that is especially challenging for research activities in the field of context awareness. This is due to several reasons, but mainly because application focus is on user location, which is a first-level context attribute. Not surprisingly, initial research studies on context awareness have focused on location-aware applications, such as the Active Badge Location System (Want et al., 1992) and location-aware tour guides (Abowd et al., 1997; Cheverst et al., 2000). In the infomobility domain, location strongly influences user information and service requirements, as well as other contextual attributes (especially those related to the environment surrounding the user). User requirements for infomobility services’ content and delivery channel adaptation may be influenced by context events, such as incidents, traffic congestion and public transport delays that may require assisting users with appropriate navigation services and re-planning trip schedules.

A relevant challenge is also determined by the fact that in this application domain, context knowledge should include a large amount and a variety of information (ex. user location, current transport mode, traffic and public transport events, weather conditions, etc.) to be appropriately acquired and managed in order to provide users with up-to-date, reliable and complete information for navigation and mobility assistance.

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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
About the Contributors