SFB 627: Nexus
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unilogo University of Stuttgart
SFB 627: Nexus


Deutsche Version
The proliferation of sensor technology, along with advances in wireless communication and mobile devices, allow for context-aware applications. Those applications take into account the context of real world entities, such as a user's current location, physical environment, or even activity. They are able to act upon and adapt to changes in the real world and select and present information depending on the application's context. Since almost all application domains can benefit from context information, we envision most applications to be context-aware in the near future.

Billions of sensors located in our physical environment collect a huge amount of context information. This information will be fed into numerous spatial context models building the basis for context-aware applications. The models may include stationary objects, like streets or buildings, as well as mobile objects, such as people or vehicles. The spatial models may differ in various ways, e.g., in topographical or topological nature, in different levels of detail, or in coverage of different areas and aspects of the real world.

For both economic and technical reasons, it is highly desirable for context information to be shared by a wide variety of applications. We envision - in analogy to the WWW - a World Wide Space, which provides the conceptual and technological framework for integrating and sharing context models. It is open in the sense that any commercial and non-commercial provider can "place" context models into this space. The collection of context models is federated and leads to a large scale context model, offering a global and consistent view on the context data. The federation allows for complex spatial queries, including continuous evaluation and stream-based processing. If the context model is enriched by temporal concepts, applications can query not only the current model state, but also states of the past or even predicted ones. To protect context data, application-specific views can be defined for individually controlling model access. We envision the World Wide Space to be the common basis for future context- aware applications.