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Getting Personal: A Framework for Context-Aware Services and System Design for Contemporary Mobile Environments
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication Systems, CoS. (Computer Communications)
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study explores the subject of providing personalized services to mobile users, by exploiting relevant domain knowledge (i.e. contextual information). Although the process of gathering, modelling and processing of context has been extensively researched, there are only a few studies in the literature showing how such context can be effectively utilized to provide services valuable to the general public. Instead, there exist a multitude of examples of services targeted towards specialized audiences, either because the scope of each service is not of broad interest, or because of custom software and/or hardware requirements. Part of the reason why the scope of such services is so narrow can also be attributed to short service life cycle. While all such services offer relative value to interested audiences, we support that contemporary mainstream mobile devices are now more than ever capable of running large-scale context-aware applications as the required combination of hardware and software is available.

This licentiate thesis challenges the current state-of-the art in context aware services by proposing an alternative perspective, driven from the appreciation of the user rather than from the ideas of a system designer. The potential impact of this work lies in the set of diverse applications which have been implemented using existing mainstream technology, targeting large and diverse sets of audiences.

In order to realize the vision, we have implemented a context-aware system featuring a flexible architecture that is able to scale to the requirements of different services. In order to demonstrate the flexibility of this architecture as well as to prove the aforementioned claims, we have implemented support for two context aware services which have demonstratively had a large appeal to users. These scenarios not only include full implementation and exposure to public use, but they also differ from each other in terms of their functionality:

  • A printing service where the printing resources are scattered within a workspace environment. The system selects the most appropriate printer for a mobile user to print his or her document on, based on the user's location and nature of the document relative to the capabilities of each of the printers.
  • A recommender system service where mobile users are forwarded Web feeds of related interest, based on each user's social signature on the web (i.e. social context). The reader should note the tangible nature of context used in the services above, as context is not only associated - by tradition - with knowledge relative to physical stimuli (e.g. location), but is also related to information present on contemporary media such as the World Wide Web.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2011. , viii, 112 p.
Trita-ICT-COS, ISSN 1653-6347 ; 1104
Keyword [en]
context aware, context-aware, personalized services
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33541OAI: diva2:415955
2011-05-31, Seminar Room C1, Electrum building, Isafjordsgatan 22, Kista, 13:00 (English)
QC 20110516Available from: 2011-05-16 Created: 2011-05-09 Last updated: 2013-09-09Bibliographically approved

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Karapantelakis, Athanasios
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