Context-based Information Management for Mobile Workers


EPSRC Industrial Case Award (Ep/C537831/1)

Participants: QMUL (School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science) and BT

Time span: 2006-06 for 42 months

Principal Investigators: Stefan Poslad (email Stefan dot Poslad at and John Shepherdson (email john dot shepherdson at

Research Student: Ioannis Barakos (email Ioannis dot Barakos at


According to the Computational Foundation activity section of EPSRC Research Priorities and Opportunities v2 April 2004:

"... Intelligent aids are needed to locate relevant, context-dependent information and present it to potentially mobile users via diverse computing devices ranging from desktop workstations to simple PDAs ..."

This project will combine existing skills and Intellectual Property in knowledge management, context awareness, mobile team support, Web Services and the Semantic Web to produce and evaluate potential solutions which will enable Field Service Engineers to maintain and enhance converged service offerings (the delivery of multiple services by a single device) made up of components from multiple suppliers.

Background and earlier work

Many incumbent telecommunications providers are in the process of transformation from being a traditional 'plain old telephony' company (with voice-based services being core to the business) to an Information and Communication Technologies services company that owns and operates an IP-based data network. With this transformation comes convergence, which brings many new product and service opportunities.

The resulting plethora of hardware and software combinations on Customers' premises in the next three to five years will present a major challenge for Telecommunications Field Service Engineers, unless appropriate technology is made available to extract, integrate and present information to them, in order to reduce information overload.

BT has been conducting investigations into the use of mobile devices (such as PDAs) since its involvement in the EU IST Project ’LEAP: A Lightweight Extensible Agent Platform’, which closed in mid-2002. A number of internal trials have taken place that have collectively looked at individual and team-based approaches to receiving, progressing and closing jobs in a Mobile Work environment. However, much more needs to be done to add context-based retrieval and blending of seemingly disparate information sources.

Researchers at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has appropriate skills and experiences, namely substantial experience of developing mobile services projects that it coordinated EU FP5 projects CRUMPET & ADAMANT. In CRUMPET, heterogeneous multimedia tourism content was fused and adapted to different mobile contexts such as location, person, terminal and network QoS, using an agent / XML infrastructure. In ADAMANT the focus was on personalised and location based, Intelligent delivery of information for mobile users at WLAN hot-spots such as airports. Published PhD research in Journals and conferences has also looked at models to support privacy of mobile services based upon policies (P3P), access control matrices and anonymity mediators and various semantic and XML models for work-flows, anomaly detection and service orchestration.

Proposed research

The focus is on:




Various planning, work-flow models and environment models