Lightweight Editing of Distributed Ubiquitous Environments: The CollaborationBus Aqua Editor

Lightweight Editing of Distributed Ubiquitous Environments: The CollaborationBus Aqua Editor

Maximilian Schirmer (Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany) and Tom Gross (University of Bamberg, Germany)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/jdst.2011100105
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Abstract

Cooperative ubiquitous environments support user interaction and cooperative work by adapting to the prevalent situation of the present users. They are typically complex and have many environment components—interconnected devices and software modules—that realise new interaction techniques and facilitate collaboration. Despite this complexity, users need to be able to easily adapt their environments to the respective needs of the workgroups. In this paper, the authors present the CollaborationBus Aqua editor, a sophisticated, yet lightweight editor for configuring ubiquitous environments in groups. The CollaborationBus Aqua editor simplifies the configuration and offers advanced concepts for sharing and browsing configurations among users.
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End-User Editors For Ubiquitous Environments

There are several end-user editors for editing and managing configurations of ubiquitous environments. They provide inspiring concepts with respect to their enabling middleware (e.g., eGadgets), their scheme of the configurations (e.g., iCAP), and easy user interaction (e.g., Jigsaw). As a limiting factor they mostly focus on individual end-users editing configurations of single-user settings.

In eGadgets (Mavrommati et al., 2004) a Gadgetware Architectural Style (GAS) framework for interconnecting reusable components in the form of devices, and a GAS editor for building custom compositions were developed. While an enabling middleware manages and controls all components within the framework, the editor hides complexity from users. The editor retains insight to the dataflow to avoid behaving like a black box for users. By means of connecting the components’ inputs and outputs, users generate a range of scenarios consisting of home appliances that have been adapted to be accessible through the GAS platform. The GAS framework models individual components following a plug-synapse model, where each component offers a set of abilities and requests services from other components. Devices in the physical world are represented as plugs. When different plugs are instantiated and connected, they form synapses. This model abstracts and represents compatible data types and data flows, and thus effectively helps users understand which components can be interconnected. In contrast to the eGadgets editor, CollaborationBus Aqua focuses on a cooperative composing process for ubiquitous computing environments, and offers a sharing and browsing mechanism with synergy notifications.

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