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42 DigiCULT
achieved as `ambient intelligence able to track the
user, and provide him with contextualised informa-
tion, based on the profile of the user; content deliv-
ery independent from the user device; mixed use of
location-based systems and RFID for accessing the
information'. Described from the user's point of view,
according to Alan Smeaton (Dublin City Universi-
ty, Ireland) this would include: `Personalised access
to cultural heritage artefacts from home and mobile
(the main access areas), which is aware of "local" con-
text, i.e. where I am and what I am currently doing
and why I need access, as well as more "global" con-
text such as what is popular among all users or users
like me, and finally has a long-term model of what I
have already seen, when I saw it, etc., a kind of per-
sonal digital memory.'
But Professor Smeaton, and other forum par-
ticipants who addressed the research area of con-
text-aware systems, saw a need for strong conceptual
frameworks on which to base future RTD efforts. For
example, Peter Ingwersen (Royal School of Library
and Information Science, Denmark) stated that there
is currently `a lack of conceptual frameworks deal-
ing with contexts of various kinds for a variety of
media and task situations that may suggest hypotheses
and solutions'. Pia Borlund (Royal School of Library
and Information Science, Denmark) emphasised that
an improved and well-documented understanding of
information seeking/searching behaviours of all kinds
of users of heritage resources is required for designing
flexible interactive and intuitive applications.
Several experts saw major gaps in RTD in context
capturing as well as effective use of the context infor-
mation, e.g. for information access. There were first
approaches in the instrumentation of capturing of
context and use history, but contextual elements such
as the task and other situations in which content is
searched and used would need much further research.
Such elements should be captured, and indexed for
re-use, when interaction processes occur, e.g. when
using tagged information on mobile devices in a
larger heritage area. Task context-aware systems might
well be first developed for work situations within the
wide range of different cultural heritage institutions.
Preben Hansen (SICS, Sweden) highlighted the
fact that people perform both professional and eve-
ryday tasks in a social and cooperative context, and
demanded that this should receive much more atten-
tion in RTD towards context-aware systems and
applications. `People will interact with other people
and objects synchronously and/or asynchronously in
a distributed context, together creating new objects
and information.'
Context-aware information delivery, according to
Jussi Karlgren (SICS, Sweden), would also include the
capability to provide a user with answers `on any of
several levels of abstraction with generalization based
Location context ontologies
With respect to the importance of context in loca-
tion-centric applications within AmI environments,
(e.g. smart buildings) the role of context models
and contextual ontologies should be noted, which
represent the major approaches in managing con-
text information. Context models provide database-
style management functionality and offer interfaces
for applications to query available context infor-
mation or receive notifications on context changes.
Contextual ontologies are developed for applica-
tions that should have a thorough representation of
knowledge, as they are expected to reason over the
context information and to react accordingly.
At the First International Workshop on Advan-
ced Context Modelling, Reasoning and Manage-
ment held in conjunction with Ubicomp 2004,
Christian Becker and Daniela Nicklas (University
of Stuttgart) proposed combining the two appro-
aches in order to mitigate current weaknesses
when following a single approach. At the Univer-
sity of Singapore's Institute for Infocomm Resear-
ch, a research group has developed an upper-level
context ontology called CONON, which provi-
des extensibility for adding domain-specific onto-
logy, e.g. for experiments in their connected home
lab. They have implemented the ontology and logic
based context-reasoning schemes, and conduc-
ted some interesting performance studies to evalua-
te the feasibility for context reasoning in pervasive
computing environments.
Sources:
C. Becker / D. Nicklas, "Where do spatial con-
text-models end and where do ontologies start? A
proposal of a combined approach" (7 September
2004), http://pace.dstc.edu.au/cw2004/Paper16.
pdf; see also the other workshop contributions at
http://pace.dstc.edu.au/ContextWorkshop2004
Program.html
X. H. Wang et al., "Ontology Based Context
Modeling and Reasoning using OWL". Workshop
on Context Modeling and Reasoning (CoMo-
Rea) at PerCom'04 (14 March 2004), http://
www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~gutao/gutao_NUS/
CoMoRea2004_gutao.PDF
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