EgoSpaces: Facilitating Rapid Development of Context-Aware Mobile Applications

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Christine Julien, Gruia-Catalin Roman
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 32(5), pages 281-298
May 2006

Today's mobile applications require constant adaptation to their changing environments, or contexts. Technological advances have increased the pervasiveness of mobile computing devices such as laptops, handhelds, and embedded sensors. The sheer amount of context information available for adaptation places a heightened burden on application developers as they must manage and utilize vast amounts of data from diverse sources. Facilitating programming in this data-rich environment requires a middleware that provides context information to applications in an abstract form. In this paper, we demonstrate the feasibility of such a middleware that allows programmers to focus on high-level interactions among programs and to employ declarative abstract context specifications in settings that exhibit transient interactions with opportunistically encountered components. We also discuss the novel context-aware abstractions the middleware provides and the programming knowledge necessary to write applications using it. Finally, we provide examples demonstrating the infrastructure's ability to support differing tasks from a wide variety of application domains