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Stefan Poslad

Ubiquitous Computing: Smart

Devices, Environments and Interactions

Wiley, ISBN: 978-0-470-03560-3, 2009

UbiCom Book Resources Mainly for Researchers

Each of the 13 chapters includes a list of references for researchers totaling over 630 references. The work of over 1000 different researchers is referred to. Here is the list of researchers whose work is referred to in this book. See also the general reader resources. The book proposes the following innovations in its treatment of Ubiquitous computing:

  1. A novel holistic framework for UbiCom (Chapter 1).
  2. Three basic design patterns for UbiCom called Smart Devices, Smart Environments and Smart Interaction (Chapter 1).
  3. A critical analysis of the five core UbiCom properties: distributed computing (Chapters 3 and 4), iHCI (Chapter 5), context-awareness (Chapter 7), artificial intelligence (Chapters 8 and 9) and autonomy (Chapter 10).
  4. No single definition for UbiCom but a framework based upon a core set of 5 properties which can be combined as needed. The next level of detail for the model includes over 70 defined properties. (Chapter 1).
  5. Extension of Weiser's 3 basic form factors for UbiCom devices to include 3 additional forms based upon skins, dust and clay (Chapters 1, 5).
  6. A classification of UbiCom system environment interaction into 3 main types: CCI, HCI and CPI (Chapter 1).
  7. A classification of how smart devices and smart environments model each other (Chapter 1).
  8. Analysis about the common myths of Ubiquitous Computing (Chapter 1).
  9. Survey of the key UbiCom projects and a discussion of these in the light of the types of UbiCom readily available today (Chapter 2).
  10. Detailed discussion of design for UbiCom service interaction in volatile resource and communication infrastructures. (Chapter 3).
  11. Constrained model for service access based upon embodied virtuality to complement the seamless virtuality of Web-based Service-Oriented Computing (Chapters 1, 3).
  12. Comprehensive treatment of operating systems for UbiCom including MTOS, ASOS, RTOS, Mobile and resource-constrained OS and Virtual Machines (Chapters 3,4, 6).
  13. Novel treatment and taxonomy of mobility that extends far beyond the current generation of smart mobile communication devices (Chapter 4).
  14. Applied HCI starting with four common device models, a focus on iHCI, a review of different types of hidden computer interfaces and the use of implicit versus explicit models of human interaction (Chapter 5).
  15. Applied AI extended that covers multiple representations, hybrid models, multiple and autonomous intelligent systems (Chapters 8,9,10).
  16. Novel treatment and taxonomy for physical world and virtual world tagging (Chapter 6).
  17. Novel treatment of context-awareness based upon a goal-based context-aware model and a classification of three main types of context (Chapter 7).
  18. Interlinking of different communication models for interaction such as event-driven, sensor-based, context-awareness, AI and HCI.(Chapters 3,8).
  19. Analysis of how intelligent systems or agent-based models can be used as designs for sensor-based systems, context-awareness, autonomous systems, robots, autonomic interaction and human computer interaction,
  20. Comprehensive study of autonomous systems that encompasses automatic systems, self-star systems, autonomic computing, multi-agent systems, reflective systems, complex systems and artificial life (Chapter 10).
  21. Detailed analysis of self-star systems including autonomic computing and a taxonomy of over 20 different self-star properties and management techniques. (Chapter 10).
  22. Treatment of ubiquitous communication and networks (chapter 11).
  23. Comprehensive and holistic treatment of UbiCom management techniques including six different models for user-centered system management. (Chapter 12).
  24. Cross disciplinary-treatment view of computing and one that also spans and embraces engineering, physics, biology, ecology, economics, geography, law and sociology. (Chapters 9, 13).
  25. Multi-lateral model of support for UbiCom to enable different applications to support different degrees and mixes of autonomy, context-awareness, intelligence, iHCI etc (Chapter 13).
  26. Analysis of the key issues for future computing (Chapter 13).

Holistic Framework for UbiCom

A novel holistic framework is proposed for UbiCom called the Smart DEI (Devices, Environments and Interaction) model. It is based upon three interlinked system viewpoints in terms of:

Form Factors for UbiCom

Mark Weiser who first coined the term Ubiquitous Computing, originally proposed three main forms for ubiquitous computing:

This set of forms is extended to include three additional forms:

Basics Designs for UbiCom

Three basic designs for UbiCom based upon smart devices, smart environments and smart interaction:   

Classification of System-Environment Interaction: CCI, HCI and CPI

UbiCom system use covers a range of interactions (Chapter 1):

Some CPI involves sensing the physical environment, performing tasks which are situated in it, affect it and may control it. Physical environments which are smart environments act in part as collections of smart devices so CPI involving smart environments approximates towards CCI. Interactions between humans (H2H or HHI) and between humans and the physical environment (HPI) are often mediated using computer devices. If humans interact with the physical world  and the latter is designed as a smart environment then human smart environment interaction approximates to HCI and HPI.

Unilateral Models of Environment by System or Vice Versa or Mutual Modeling

Each of these three types of system environment interaction can also be subdivided (Chapter 1) in terms of whether or not:

Common Myths of Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous computing is quite a broad vision. There is a danger that it becomes too encompassing. Here a few unrealistic expectations about ubiquitous computing which are discussed in detail in chapter 1:

  1. There is a single definition which will accurately characterises Ubiquitous Computing
  2. The ideal type of Ubiquitous computing is where all the properties of ubiquitous must be fully supported
  3. Ubiquitous computing means making computing services accessible everywhere
  4. Ubiquitous computing is boundless computing
  5. Ubiquitous computing is just about HCI
  6. Calm Computing should be used as a model for all HCI
  7. Ubiquitous computing is just distributed or virtual computing
  8. Ubiquitous computing is just mobile wireless computing
  9. Ubiquitous computing is just about smart environments
  10. Ubiquitous computing need to be highly autonomous systems
  11. Ubiquitous computing is just about physical world context-awareness
  12. Ubiquitous computing is just distributed intelligence
  13. Ubiquitous computing systems can operate effectively in all kinds of environments.

Applied HCI

Chapter 5 includes:

  1. An analysis of four common device models: computers, phones, games consoles and local wireless controlled devices
  2. An analysis of how to design usable user interfaces for input and output resource constrained devices such as mobile devices
  3. A comprehensive treatment of hidden user interfaces and associated devices.
  4. A description of iHCI (intrinsic HCI) design, contrasted with conventional HCI design (called explicit HCI design.
  5. Design patterns for pervasive device user interfaces.
  6. An overview of a user-centered design method for (user) interactive devices.
  7. An introduction to user modeling for use in personalised services and devices.

Applied AI or Intelligent Systems (IS)

This is covered in 3 specific chapters (chapters 8,9,10) but interlinked with other chapters. This treatment highlights the following main points:

  1. An introduction and overview of AI in one chapter (8).
  2. Use of (distributed) AI models in UbiCom.
  3. Compare and contrast of IS (agent-based) models with sensor-based systems and context-aware systems.
  4. Basic models for intelligent systems based upon those proposed by Russell and Norvig (in their AI: a modern approach textbook) but extending the way they way that they talk about model-based systems, e.g., in terms of combining (internal) self-models and (external) environment models.
  5. A holistic approach for different AI model representations including Semantic KB, Classical Logic and Soft-computing.
  6. A comprehensive look at interaction multiplicity models in distributed computing, compared and contrasted with distributed AI interaction.
  7. Coverage of models from automatic, autonomous to autonomic behaviours.
  8. Coverage of models concerning reflective systems and self-aware systems.
  9. Coverage of complex systems and artificial life.

Ubiquitous Networks and Communication

Chapter 11 includes:

  1. A holistic treatment of convergence in multimedia communication including audio radio, phone, Internet and video networks.
  2. A detailed look at a range of wireless and mobile user network models for UbiCom.
  3. A comprehensive discussion of service oriented networks.

Chapter 9 includes:

  1. Compares and contrasts conventional distributed and network communication with richer distributed AI interaction.