Ambient Intelligence Perspectives contains selected papers from the first international ambient Intelligence Forum – AmIF 2008 in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. The forum is intended as the beginning of a series of rather broadly oriented discussion opportunities for discussing interdisciplinary, if not transdisciplinary aspects of rapidly evolving areas of Ambient Intelligence. Its aims were to review and discuss recent advances and promising research trends in AmI technology, intelligent environments, methods, middleware development, as well as applications in areas such as healthcare, product lifecycle and transport services. The intention to provide an opportunity of a very broad interaction among a wide rank of authors coming from different surroundings means a great enrichment to all participants and gives ground to the success of the conference. Finally it led towards an interesting choice of three invited and twenty-five contributed papers, which are published in this book. All papers were carefully reviewed by the international program committee. Participants from twelve countries contributed to the scientific program and established a fruitful discussion atmosphere.
This book contains selected papers from the first international meeting Ambient Intelligence Forum – AmIF 2008 in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. The forum is intended as the beginning of a series of rather broadly oriented discussion opportunities for discussing interdisciplinary, if not transdisciplinary aspects of rapidly evolving areas of Ambient Intelligence. This year's conference aims to review and discuss recent advances and promising research trends in AmI technology, intelligent environments, methods, middleware development, as well as applications in areas such as healthcare, product lifecycle, as well as transport services, among others.
The intention to provide an opportunity of a very broad interaction among a wide rank of authors coming from different surroundings means a great enrichment to all participants and gives ground to the success of the conference. Finally it led towards an interesting choice of three invited and twenty five contributed papers, that are published in this book. All papers were carefully reviewed by the international programme committee. Participants from twelve countries contributed to the scientific programme and established a fruitful discussion atmosphere with a number of interesting outcomes.
We wish to express our deep gratitude to all who contributed to the success of the conference and enabled the publication of this book. We wish to thank all the participants, in particular the invited lecturers Prof. Yang Cai (Carnegie – Mellon University), Prof. José Bravo Rodriguez (Castilla – La Mancha University), as well as Prof. Tomáš Sabol (Technical University of Košice), who accepted our invitation. We also thank all contributors and conference participants for creating a very pleasant and fruitful conference atmosphere. Of course, our special thanks go to the members of programme committee.
We further acknowledge the work of all partners who helped organizing the conference as well as the generous financial support provided by our sponsors: University of Hradec Králové, Technical University of Košice, Hradec Králové Regional Authority, AITPL European Cluster, FLUID-WIN European Project, the Czech Scientific Foundation Project No. 402/06/1325 AmIMaDeS, and also the firms Poly PLASTY Jaroměř and Unicorn, a.s. Prague.
Last but not least, we wish to thank IOS Press BV, Amsterdam, for a very good collaboration and helpful assistance in preparing this book for press, and of course, for publishing the book. Special thanks go to Dr. Juan Carlos Augusto and Maarten Fröhlich.
Building and running AmI applications suffers from inflexible and/or difficult to achieve interoperability of basic technological elements. Semantic technologies represent a promising approach how to enable a flexible architectures providing wide range of interoperability (e.g. service-service, service-device, service-goal, etc.). The focus of the presented paper is on incorporating these technologies into the model driven architecture approach to designing and running AmI applications. Employment of semantics is illustrated for design-time as well as run-time. Transition from physical to semantic devices enables developers to work on a higher level when designing applications. Enabling semantics in run-time provides possibility for flexible discovering and resolving.
The field of tangible interaction currently studies how the user interaction with physical products can be improved through physical feedback, as a more direct experience. Here we explore this subject further with particular emphasis on the elements of visual attraction of illuminated surfaces as an early factor in the interaction process. Richard Appleby is an experienced industrial designer who has developed many consumer products where the surface definition and visual language has had a significant impact on the perceived values and tangibility of the product. These changing surface interactions should not be difficult or challenging, but intuitive and enjoyable to live with. The systems may be complex, but the way they reveal and offer their actions can heighten our awareness and sensitivity in new and unique ways. It is a question of subtlety and detail. As the surfaces we interact with have the intelligence to appreciate a much wider range of human conditions and user feedback, their response can be attuned more closely to our different senses and feelings, particularly as this leads to more subjective and sensorial types of interaction, with varying dimensions and magnitude. These surfaces change through colour and form that attract the user we coin ‘light tangible interaction’. Particularly within the field of intelligent technologies, project examples show design concepts that support social interaction and remote communications in new ways.
František Babič, Ján Paralič, Michal Raček, Jozef Wagner
42 - 49
This paper presents some aspects of the IST project called Knowledge Practices Laboratory (KP-Lab), which aims at facilitating innovative practices of working with knowledge (knowledge practices) in education and workplaces. The project is based on the idea of trialogical learning that refers to the process where learners are collaboratively developing shared objects of activity (such as conceptual artifacts, practices, products) in systematic fashion. It is important do develop relevant flexible tools and functionalities for supporting this new innovative approach like semantic middleware with collaborative working or learning environment, etc.
In this paper we present the emulation of a location tracking system that uses active tags to identify the position of the active tag wearer. Using emulation we were able to carry out live experiments with such active tag applications. Emulation is done using QOMET, a wireless communication emulator, and the active tag processor emulator. Experiments are performed using the experiment-support software RUNE. Emulation is used during the development of the pedestrian localization system so as to perform large-scale experiments easily and in a repeatable manner.
J. Bravo, R. Hervas, G. Casero, R. Peña, M. Vergara, S. Nava, G. Chavira, V. Villarreal
58 - 65
Ambient Intelligent are usually emerged in contexts like health, education, business and so on. However there are not many researches focusing on social aspects as public administrations. In these kinds of contexts, some problems are continuously in our minds. Especially these that people waste time on clues or solving dubs about the required documents. In this work we present a proposal through the adaptability of the Near Field Communication technology (NFC). With it, some tags and readers can interact with the mobile phones, running different applications according to the places, contexts and users' requirements.
Reputation mechanisms are considered as trust-building processes which are highly relevant in e-commerce marketplaces. The different forms of reputation building mechanisms have different level of significance and necessity for trust building. The paper presents results from pilot research, where the significance and necessity of particular trust building mechanisms esp. reputation building services for electronic marketplace was analyzed. Together, the possibilities of service model are discussed.
Abraham Esquivel, Pablo A. Haya, Manuel García-Herranz, Xavier Alamán
73 - 81
Ambient Intelligence is a promising research area that opens attractive perspective for improving human-computer interaction. Since AmI systems require knowing user's private information, privacy issues are especially relevant. This paper follows a two-fold approach. Firstly, a privacy framework for AmI systems is introduced. We analyses the elements involved in privacy management and the nature of personal information. Mainly we will focus on control privacy for shortterm information. Secondly, this work presents a privacy management solution, simple enough for the common understanding, but rather flexible to fulfill users and services expectations. This proposal, named as “Fair-Trade” metaphor, relays on trading quality of service for information. This strategy combined with optimistic access control and a logging mechanism, enhances users' confidence in the system while encouraging them to share their information, with the consequent benefit for the community.
AmI technologies are mainly based on the combination of concepts from ubiquitous and pervasive computing and the production of software embedded in everyday objects and devices, for many kind of users and supporting different applications types. A Software Product Line approach would be very appropriate to express the different requirements of either devices or applications in terms of commonalities and variabilities defining a family of AmI middleware platforms. One of the main services that an AmI middleware has to provide is the management of the context. There are several properties that affect the current context of the middleware: device constraints, applications restrictions, user preferences and runtime environment state. A feature model will help to specify and reason about the different middleware configurations tailored to either devices or application constraints. This feature model will enable different versions of a specific middleware for AmI to be generated, with the minimum number of services being required by the specific context properties.
Diego Gachet, Manuel de Buenaga, Ignacio Giráldez, Victor Padrón
90 - 97
This paper explores the role of information and communication technologies in managing risk and early discharge patients, and suggests innovative actions in the area of E-Health services. Treatments of chronic illnesses, or treatments of special needs such as cardiovascular diseases, are conducted in long-stay hospitals, and in some cases, in the homes of patients with a follow-up from primary care centre. The evolution of this model is following a clear trend: trying to reduce the time and the number of visits by patients to health centres and derive tasks, so far as possible, toward outpatient care. Also the number of Early Discharge Patients (EDP) is growing, thus permiting a saving in the resources of the care center. The adequacy of agent and mobile technologies is assessed in light of the particular requirements of health care applications. A software system architecture is outlined and discussed. The major contributions are: first, the conceptualization of multiple mobile and desktop devices as part of a single distributed computing system where software agents are being executed and interact from their remote locations. Second, the use of distributed decision making in multiagent systems, as a means to integrate remote evidence and knowledge obtained from data that is being collected and/or processed by distributed devices. The system will be applied to patients with cardiovascular or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) as well as to ambulatory surgery patients. The proposed system will allow to transmit the patient's location and some information about his/her illness to the hospital or care centre.
Carmelo R. García, Francisco Alayón, Ezequiel Beltramo, Ricardo Pérez, Gabino Padrón
98 - 105
In this article we describe a system whose purpose is to provide services, such as payment information at route, etc to the passenger public transport. The system carries out its mission integrating the mobiles local devices of the passengers (pdas and mobile telephones) and using wireless local communications (Bluetooth and Wifi IEEE 802.11). It addresses three important aspects of the system: its architecture, the scheme for implementing the applications that run on mobile devices and its security mechanisms.
Carmelo R. García, Francisco Alayón, Daniel Álvarez, Ricardo Pérez, Gabino Padrón
106 - 111
In this article we describe a ubiquitous system developed and implanted in a public transport company. The system provides services to different actors inside and outside the vehicle as: drivers, operation maintenance and staff and travellers control. The main benefit of the system is that it solves the traditional problems of current systems installed on vehicles of road transport companies, providing the typical features, and also makes possible to develop new ones. This article describes the main features of the system: objectives, overall structure and operating principles and, finally, two examples of ubiquitous applications that run on it.
Research on remote monitoring technologies has led to the development of an Informatics-based Telehomecare system that both allows data input and information display on a BlackBerry mobile device. This integrated system has the advantage over more conventional Telehomecare systems of providing caregivers with usable information as they are delivering care in the homes of their clients.
The architecture includes a secure API, a backbone and separate device networks with standard interface to the backbone. The API decouples innovation of services and service logic from protocols and network elements. It also enables service portability between systems, i.e. a service may be allocated to end-systems or servers, with possible relocation and replication throughout its lifecycle. Machine-to-machine services for Connected Objects (CO) could benefit the society in many areas, including environmental, health care, trade, transportation, alarms and surveillance. However, such development depends on the availability of global interoperability and powerful communications features. There are urgent actions to be taken to pave the way for this development to take place. The pivotal point is service ubiquity which depends on interoperability not only for a standard QoS controlled IP bearer, but also for cross domain security, mobility, multicast, location, routing and management, including fair compensation for utility provisioning. The proposed architecture with its API not only includes these critical elements but also caters for multi-homing, mobile networks with dynamic membership and third party persistent storage based on indirection. The API supports end-to-end service control and offers capability features as a vehicle for service development and ubiquitous deployment. The architecture is more generic than traditional hierarchical sensor and actuator networks as it supports grids and autonomous neural type of networks.
Design of future smart environments (and services and products included in these environments) requires agile and stakeholder involved methodologies for the greater success among targeted user populations. Furthermore the factors affecting to the design decisions in the future are sundry and in many cases frequently in conflict. Currently user and usability studies are conducted in order to get better effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction and user acceptance for new products and services. Even though the design approach is called human-centred or user-centred the design of new products and services has been quite technology or market driven in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) business. Instead of putting technology or market to the core of design process and product development the human needs and values should form the fundamental basis of design. Human Driven Design (HDD) refers to the design approach which broadens the perspective from focused product or service development process model to the more holistic design perspective. Stakeholder Based Design approach (SBD) furthermore broadens the scope and role of involved participant groups in the actual design process. Integrating HDD and SBD includes inevitably ethical assessment of design process and artifacts while trade offs in design have to be well justified. Hence HDD and SBD call for new Empowering Design (ED) practices which could accomplish more deliberative but still agile approach to design of future smart environments.
Mehdi Khouja, Carlos Juiz, Ramon Puigjaner, Farouk Kamoun
137 - 143
Designing an architecture that supports pervasive computing usually addresses two issues: the context within interact the system components and the services which are available in the environment. This paper proposes a semantic approach to design an architecture for pervasive systems focusing on these two issues. The ambient is viewed as a set of context elements named CoxEl. Physically a CoxEl is a (mobile) device presents in the environment. The core of a CoxEl is an ontology that represents the context, the services, the resources and the neighbourhood of every CoxEl. This ontology is also used for semantic interaction between the CoxEls. This paper illustrates the different semantic interactions that may occurs among the CoxEls. It also describes the roles that play the CoxEls within the ambient.
Martin Klima, Miroslav Macik, Elena Urdaneta, Cristina Buiza, Eduardo Carrasco, Gorka Epelde, Jan Alexandersson
144 - 152
In this paper we describe the design, development and evaluation of user interfaces for a modern digital home based on the ISO/IEC 24752 standard: Universal Remote Console—URC. Two target groups were addressed: seniors aged 65years and above and people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Our goal is to de-sign user interfaces (UI) for our target groups that make use of all available modalities, such as, graphics, voice, and video. We provide a set of recommendations and design patterns for developing UIs for seniors and Alzheimer's disease patients. We present the results of tests of user interfaces designed for smart home environment.
This work analyses the use of NFC technology to simplify the interactions of users with context-aware services offered by intelligent environments. Touch Computing is a novel explicit user interaction mechanism in which users accompanied by their NFC-enabled mobile devices request services from the environment by touching tags or other NFC-enabled devices. This paper describes the deployment of three NFC-aware services within SmartLab, our AmIdedicated lab, and the user experience derived from them. Moreover, it analyses the possibilities offered by the current state of the art on NFC and suggests some future lines of work, which may revert into its more widespread deployment in the near future.
This paper presents two various approaches to decreasing effort of Internet users during searching the Internet. The focus is on a particular mapping of a web sub-graph of the nearest surroundings of an actual web page for better orientation and on interpretation of web pages content through the explanation of the meaning of concepts with the aid of the Magpie system. Particularly, we tried to generate the lexicon for Magpie from the ontology of a domain.
The “ERA Coordination Initiative in the field of Networked Enterprise” is a study, launched by DG INFSO, D4: Networked Enterprise & RFID Unit. One of the major inputs of the study is the interest towards an ERA-NET that would focus on “the Future Enterprise”, a cross-thematic, cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral research area of horizontal nature. In this paper the authors consider the challenges and the role of multi-disciplinary B2(B2B) networks in this research area. Some relations to the “Advanced ICT for the Product Lifecycle” (AITPL) – a broader research area – are presented.
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