A Methodology for the Design, Development and Validation of Adaptive and Context-Aware Mobile Services

A Methodology for the Design, Development and Validation of Adaptive and Context-Aware Mobile Services

Heinz-Josef Eikerling (Siemens AG SIS C-LAB, Germany) and Pietro Mazzoleni (IBM Watson Research, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-290-9.ch008
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Abstract

The authors present a holistic approach for the efficient design, implementation, and validation of context-aware mobile services. The according concepts have been developed within the PLASTIC project which devises a methodology based on model-to-model transformations to be applied at different stages of the service lifecycle. Starting from a conceptual model, these models reflect characteristic properties of the mobile service under development such as context information. For the implementation of the service, a middleware suite then is used which comprises a set of constituents which significantly simplify and shorten the mobile services development cycle. The authors focus on demonstrating the concepts in terms of mobile business-to-business field services as opposed to business-to-consumer services. Here through the methodology and tools the dynamicity can be significantly enhanced. By using the contained adaptation mechanism, service specifications (static by nature) can be qualified to deal with additional information (e.g., context) needed for achieving a better quality of service and usability.
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Introduction

During the last few years, many companies started (or envisioned to start) a slow but radical transformation in the way they conduct businesses. There are two important factors which, among others, help explaining such trend: the widespread need for Mobility and Service-oriented Computing.

Mobility of humans and objects has become a characteristic and perhaps, more than that, an essential requirement of daily life. Basic functions like for instance telephony, data exchange, as well as more advanced functions like conducting / tracking / steering businesses, sampling and transmission of critical data etc. are required to be accessed anywhere, anytime and anyhow.

On the other hand, Service Computing is becoming a paradigm more and more popular within enterprises because it proposes an architecture which can promote IT agility through modularity and to align transformation to business priorities. Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) help in fact to cost-efficiently create IT solutions composed by loosely coupled web services which can be reused and seamlessly integrated with others promoting business alignment as well as cross-enterprise collaborations.

In this chapter we recognize and address some of the challenges of combining mobility and service computing. In our work, we focus on context-awaremobile web services” which are going to be offered to users in varying situations, adapting service provisioning to the environment so as to offer the best quality of service in the most cost-effective way. Such quality is assumed to be specified through functional and/or non-functional attributes (like average service response time, availability, …) which can be observed at the service interface.

Note that while there is a W3C standard definition of web service (“a software system designed to support interoperable machine to machine interaction over a network”) there is no widely accepted definition for mobile web service. The notion of mobile web service is less clear since it suggests that (i) either the web service can be consumed from within a mobile setting or (ii) that the service can be deployed on (and made available by) mobile devices. In either case, one of the key problems is handling adaptation for service consumer or service provider (or both) to a changing environment like the one offered in a B3G (Beyond 3G) network setting. The goal of B3G is in fact to exploit the integration of different connectivity standards (WiFi, Bluetooth, GRPS/UMTS, Ethernet, IrDA, etc.) while preserving the heterogeneity of the various networking systems and their qualitative and quantitative characteristic.

The work presented in this chapter is part of an initiative carried out in PLASTIC1 (Providing Lightweight & Adaptable Service Technology for pervasive Information & Communication). PLASTIC is a project funded by the European Union to address several challenges pertaining to the development of adaptable and context-aware mobile services. In order to validate the broad applicability of the approach, the real-world usage in the e-Health, e-Voting, e-Learning and e-Business domains is demonstrated. The project devises a methodology and a platform comprising:

  • A development environment enabling the thorough design and modeling of context- and resource-aware adaptive services, which may be deployed on the various networked nodes, including mobile terminals and handheld devices.

  • A middleware enabling B3G networking through the comprehensive integration of multi-radio networks and further context-aware, discovery, and access to networked services.

  • A validation framework enabling off-line and on-line validation of networked services regarding functional and non-functional properties.

After reviewing the state-of-the art in the area, we will introduce the complete methodology developed within PLASTIC and we explain how it has been applied to a realistic e-Business application from the Field Service Management (FSM) domain and how it improves particularly the development practice currently in place. As some aspects of the project are beyond the scope of this book, in the following we focus on the aspect directly related to collecting, managing, and consuming context information.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Thomas Strang
Foreword
Theo Kanter
Preface
Dragan Stojanovic
Acknowledgment
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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About the Contributors