Evaluating Mobile Applications in Virtual Environments: A Survey

Evaluating Mobile Applications in Virtual Environments: A Survey

Ioannis Delikostidis (Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi), University of Münster, Münster, Germany), Thore Fechner (Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi), University of Münster, Münster, Germany), Holger Fritze (Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi), University of Münster, Münster, Germany), Ahmed Mahmoud AbdelMouty (Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi), University of Münster, Münster, Germany) and Christian Kray (Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi), University of Münster, Münster, Germany)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/ijmhci.2013100101

Abstract

Context plays a central role in mobile applications but is very difficult to control, and therefore, the evaluation of context-aware applications can be challenging. Traditionally, researchers had to choose either field-based or lab-based studies but recently, virtual environments have been proposed as a middle-ground between those two methods. In this paper, the authors review previous work on using virtual environments to evaluate mobile applications. the authors identify and classify different approaches to simulate specific aspects of the real world, and analyse their relative properties with respect to evaluating different facets of context-aware mobile applications. Based on this analysis, the authors derive criteria and selection strategies that can help researchers in picking specific evaluation approaches. The authors also point out a number of research challenges in this area as well as a number of promising areas for future research.
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Background

Virtual Environments (VEs) are relatively new communication and interaction media, developed to convincingly simulate reality and enable a broad range of different applications in a variety of fields. Example uses include gaming (e.g. Second Life, 2012), flight and driving simulators, planetariums, and military training systems. Overall, they provide a different kind of experience to users than what is possible, for example, on a desktop PC or a gaming console (Bowman & McMahan, 2007).

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