Swiss Informatics Society

Special Interest Group

on Information Systems


DBTA Workshop on Mobile Information: Context-Awareness

3 October 2007
14:00-18:30 DBTA Workshop

ETH Zurich
HG G19.1, Rämistrasse 101, Zurich
(how to get there)

One of the major challenges of mobile data management is how to support interaction for users on the move. Adaptivity and context-awareness have been recognised as key requirements in supporting mobility by ensuring that the right information is delivered to the right user at the right time. They reduce the information bandwidth and provide a focal data view which is important when presenting data in a mobile environment, not only due to communication costs and restrictions of mobile devices, but also the fact that users may be involved in parallel activities or need to react quickly to a given situation. Models and platforms to support the development of context-aware applications are receiving a lot of attention in the research community.

The goal of this workshop is to provide a general introduction to the topic of context-awareness and issues that it raises in information systems. Presentations will be given by key researchers within Switzerland working on context-awareness in mobile information systems covering work in databases, information retrieval and pervasive systems. There will also be demonstrations and poster presentations of a number of research projects.



Information in Context
Prof. Moira Norrie, ETH Zurich
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Location-Aware Information Services
Prof. Stefano Spaccapietra, EPF Lausanne
Abstract: Support for mobile users includes the capability to provide them with local information, i.e. information specific to the place (and its surroundings) the user currently is or intends to be. For users on a recreational trip, this information typically includes all items a tourist may need to locally organize her planning. For users on a business trip, this information also refers to facilitating business moves such as attending a meeting, finding potential partners, arranging new meetings, etc. This talk explores the data organization that may best fit the requirements for delivering personalized and context-aware information on locally available services and illustrates how this data can be set up and used.
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Context-Aware Data Management
Dr. Michael Grossniklaus, ETH Zurich
Abstract: Context-awareness is a requirement of many modern applications. While several solutions exist to gather, represent and process context, very few provide management of context-aware data. In this talk, a two-dimensional version model is presented, that allows managing context-dependent variants, while, at the same time, keeping track of the revision history. Queries are processed based on a matching algorithm that uses the current context of the system to select the best object. As an application of this extended database, a content management system has been designed and implemented. This Extensible Content Management System (XCM) provides a flexible platform for web engineering, built on the separation of content, structure, view and presentation. Metadata about these concepts is managed within the extended database and therefore all aspects of a web system become context-aware. Using XCM, a mobile tourist information system (EdFest) was developed. EdFest offers multi-channel interaction through standard web channels and a novel paper-based channel.
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Information Retrieval in Context
Prof. Fabio Crestani, University of Lugano
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uMove: Interaction through Motion in Ubiquitous Computing Systems
Dr. Vincenzo Pallotta, University of Fribourg
Abstract: uMove is a conceptual and software framework for the design and the development of Kinetic User Interfaces (KUIs). KUIs are user interfaces for mobile and ubicomp systems where the motion of people and objects is considered as the main input modality. KUIs can be programmed through abstractions called "Activities" that represent kinetic patterns of the moving entities in a structured space. When contextually relevant motion patterns are recognized, applications are notified and reactions are triggered. Motion patterns are detected by observing the dynamic features "Kuidgets" that are abstract representation of the moving entities. Kuidgets acquire motion information through "Widgets" that wrap location and motion sensors (e.g. GPS, indoor location devices, RFID antennas, accelerometers) into reusable software components. Two KUI-based scenarios implemented on top of the uMove middleware will be presented and demonstrated: UbiGlide, a smart flight assistant and UbiShop, a mobile collaborative shopping assistant.


Open Forum and Apéro
Poster and demo presentations:

  • CASCOM: Context-Aware Business Application Service Co-Ordination in Mobile Computing Environments, University of Basel
  • EdFest: Context-Aware Access to Festival Information based on Interactive Paper Brochure and Map, ETH Zurich
  • Reliable Health Monitoring on Mobile Devices, University of Basel
  • mExplorer: A Mobile Learning Game, University of Zurich
  • UbiGlide and UbiShop, University of Fribourg


There is no charge to attend the workshop, but registration is required to help with catering arrangements. If you would like to register please send an email to grossniklaus@inf.ethz.ch before 25 September 2007.

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