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A Software Architecture for User Environments in Ubiquitous Systems

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Title: A Software Architecture for User Environments in Ubiquitous Systems
Author(s): Carvaldo, Dulcineia de Lourdes de Sena
Subject(s): Ubiquitous Computing
Abstract: This dissertation introduces and defines the concept of a {\it User Environment} in ubiquitous systems. Ubiquitous systems are heterogeneous hardware and software systems, potentially spanning various administrative or geographic domains. In these systems people are faced with the reality of users that are increasingly mobile and require access to multiple and heterogeneous devices at different times and places. My thesis argues that a {\it user environment} is a feasible approach to maintaining the activity of interactive users in ubiquitous systems. The main focus of my research is to provide a mobile user with mechanisms that facilitate his activity in hardware and software settings spanning variable spatial domains or temporal windows and potentially changing over time and space. I argue that computation in ubiquitous systems should be tailored to a user's characteristics, should abstract the specificities of the computing platforms hosting such a user, and should satisfy the requirements of the services that he uses. Of particular interest is the ability of a ubiquitous system to predict a user's intent and to adjust to a user's patterns of behavior. My research aims at aggregating the whole activity of a user in a ubiquitous system into an image that is {\it structured, consistent and globally available}. I suggest that if I keep track of the {\it activity of a user} in a ubiquitous system, then as the user moves from location to location, his activity can move with him. If the {\it activity of a user} in the system is associated with the user at all times and is made available to the user at all spaces, then a mobile user can seamlessly continue his activity as he desires. Particularly, upon arrival to a space, a user can continue any session of work that he currently has in any space of the ubiquitous system, or he can start a new session of work. This leads to the introduction of the concept of the {\it user environment}. The concept of {\it user environment} becomes relevant when one considers that a user in a ubiquitous system moves extemporaneously and frequently across geographic and/or administrative domains. My research aims at making the changes in the activity of a user entailed by such movements as seamless as possible to the user. A user that moves from his office to a conference room in a ubiquitous system should seamlessly access the work left at his office and continue such work if he so desires. The same assertion applies if the user should go to his home or travel across the world. This dissertation concentrates in ascertaining a software architecture that realizes the concept of a {\it user environment} that is always present with the user, and that mimics as closely as possible the user's needs and preferences. Such an architecture requires three main capabilities: First, it has to represent and maintain a user environment in a ubiquitous system. Second, it has to deploy a user environment, making it available across the spaces of a ubiquitous system. Finally, it has to match a user environment to the characteristics of a computing space, as well as to adjust a user environment to the user's ever-changing temporal, spatial and functional needs.
Issue Date: 2004-12
Genre: Technical Report
Type: Text
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/11045
Other Identifier(s): UIUCDCS-R-2004-2487
Rights Information: You are granted permission for the non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display, and performance of this technical report in any format, BUT this permission is only for a period of 45 (forty-five) days from the most recent time that you verified that this technical report is still available from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Computer Science Department under terms that include this permission. All other rights are reserved by the author(s).
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-04-20
 

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