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Seminar Context-Aware and Ambient Applications 2007

Prof. Dr. Armin B. Cremers, Albrecht Schmidt, Holger Mügge, Paul Holleis, Dagmar Kern, Pascal Bihler, Alexander Goth, Tobias Rho, Daniel Speicher

Format of the seminar

The seminar is run in the style of a scientific conference: In the beginning, each participant selects a topic. Two weeks later the student presents this topic in 90 seconds to the group. Then a paper (about 20 pages) on the topic has to be written. This paper will be reviewed by other students as well as by the supervisors. Based on the comments from the review the paper has to be revised. For the conference day of the seminar each participant has to prepare a 25 minute presentation. All student papers will be published in a “seminar proceedings” and the presentations will be open to the public. Guest form research institutes and companies are invited to attend the final presentation at the conference day.

Informational Meeting

Date and time: 1.2.2007, 11h

Location: Expo-room, Uni Bonn (Römerstr. 164)

First Meeting

Date and time: 10.4.2007, 16h

Location: b-it, Marschallsaal


  • What is context-awareness? A brief history.
  • How to model location and context? [more]
    • Basic sensor technologies
    • Different modeling approaches
      • Context
      • Location
  • Architectures and middleware for context-aware systems [more]
    • Context-aware software architectures
      • Support distribution in dynamic network topologies
      • Support context management and context-dependent adaptations
    • Context management
      • Standardized way to model and reason about context
      • Interconnect sensors with the system
      • Enforce privacy policies
    • Context-Aware Adaptation (Actuators)
      • System reconfiguration based on the context (changes)
  • Indoor and outdoor location sensing [more]
    This topic includes a comparison of different indoor and outdoor location sensing approaches, as for example ActiveBat, ActiveBadge, GALILEO, GLONASS, or GPS.
  • Activity and context recognition [more]
    The focus of this topic will be the recognition in smart environments and in wearable computing.
  • From Context to Situation – Applying Formal Concept Analysis [more]
    To support the user in a smart way, a mobile device can use context information. This context can be defined by sensor data (as location, light, temperature, time of day or week, body-sensor data, proximity to other devices) or by user data (Personal schedule, contact list, tasks, user profile). The expressiveness of the data is limited if examined isolated, therefore recurring combinations need to be identified and interpreted as a specific situation.

    This topic aims to present the approach of formal concept analysis in combination with cluster techniques. First ideas need to be expressed, how a automatic or semi-automatic identification of situations might be used.
  • Context-aware communication [more]
    This topic is about to focus the context and location-awareness for divers mobile devices as for example mobile phones.
  • Programming context-aware applications [more]
    A survey of context-aware programming languages is aimed, as well as a comparison of a range of approaches:
    • Languages with different characteristics of dynamic scoping (thread-dependent behaviour)
    • Rule engine integrations into common object-oriented and functional languages, like wmbedded context reasoning
  • Location and context-aware user interfaces [more]
    • Special features of this kind of user interfaces
    • Developing process (tools, prototyping, methods, etc.)
  • Context-Specific discovery of Services using Ontological Description [more]
    The emergence of mobile devices has enforced the rapid evolvement of the Mobile Web. While the WWW offers Web Services for users in nearly all situations of every day life, there is a lack of search engines which support the users in finding adequate services. As the service need of mobile users depends on their actual context situation, the consideration of the user context is promising for mobile service discovery.

    Seminar topics:
    • Web Services platform architecture and SOA
    • Ontological representation of user and service context
    • Web Service discovery and composition
    • Context-specific discovery
  • Context-Aware Applications in Smart Buildings [more]
    Smart buildings are regular buildings providing an embedded computational infrastructure: Sensors, displays etc. are integrated into the builing matter and form a Smart Environment.

    This seminar topic deals with the applications anticipated for such buildings:
    • What is currently possible?
    • What is already implemented?
    • Which techniques are used?
    • What are the visions for the future?
  • Group Support with Ambient Applications [more]
    Wireless networking capabilities of mobile devices like PDAs or cellphones can support social groups by forming ad-hoc networks and provide distributed applications. What are the applications realized today, what is envisioned by researchers?
  • Flexible User Interfaces for Mobile Devices [more]
    Mobile devices come in a variety of display and interaction capabilities: Display-Resolution, size and orientation, input patterns etc. can be different from one device to the other or even change during runtime. Flexible User Interfaces are designed to cope with those challenges and adapt itself due to the current working environment or user context.
  • Security and privacy issues in location and context-aware systems [more]
    Usually applications are secured by restricting access rules for users based on their roles and authentication. Here, the topic is the idea to take the current user's location or further context data into account for securing the system. Thus, depending on your current situation you might get different access rights to currently relevant This could be relevant for example to support mobility on the job or equip guest in large organizations with suitable access.
  • Autonomous Computing and Emergent Behavior [more]
    Autonomous Computing covers the emergence of complex global behavior induced by simple local rules on cooperating simple processing units. A well-known example is the game of life.

    Ubiquitous Computing covers scenarios where mobile applications behave differently in different contexts and the user's device adapts itself to its environment. Cooperative scenarios are also covered.

    This subject asks:
    • What can Ubiquitous Computing learn from Autonomic Computing?
    • Can the co-location or context-driven cooperation of multiple devices evoke complex behavior that emerges from the mutual cooperations?
    • How can the potential of spontaneous cooperation between different devices be described and exploited?
  • Context-Oriented Programming with ContextL [more]
    ContextL is a CLOS extension to provide context-oriented programming in Lisp. Details can be found here.

    This subject will mix theoretical and practical studies:
    • The basics of the language ContextL shall be investigated and summarized.
    • A simple scenario should be implemented to show the benefits and drawbacks of this approach.
  • Ubiquitous Computing using AmbientTalk [more]
    AmbientTalk is an experimental language specific for ubiquitous computing.
    Details can be found here.

    Topics are:
    • AmbientTalk shall be investigated and summarized.
    • A simple scenario should be implemented to show the benefits and drawbacks of this approach.


Meetings are Tuesday at 16h at the b-it

  • group meeting: 10.4.2007, 16h each participant gets a topic and a supervisor, introduction to scientific research using the ACM digital library, Google Scholar, and Citeseer
  • individual meeting with supervisor; selection of relevant article
  • group meeting: 24.4.2007, 15:30 (Rheinsaal) short presentation (90 seconds) by each participant (will be video taped and discussed afterwards)
  • individual meeting with supervisor; discussion of progress and table of contents of the paper
  • deadline: 7.6.2007; submission of the paper, distribution of reviews
  • individual meeting with supervisor during the next two weeks: discussion of reviews, agreement on requested changes, submission of draft of the presentation slides
  • individual meeting with supervisor during the next two weeks: submission of final version, test presentations
  • group meeting conference day 13.7.2007 (Friday) 9h: all presentations


The short presentations (90 seconds) are available under http://www.slideshare.net/pbihler/90seconds-presentation

Final presentations:

Templates for the paper and the presentation

Students have to use templates to create their documents.
The templates for the paper (Word or LaTex) can be downloaded at www.springer.com.

Some links to useful information sources

Integration in the study program

The seminar is for master students at the b-it and students at the University of Bonn who have completed their Vordiplom.

Number of ECTS Credits: 4/5

The seminar is equivalent to 2 SWS.