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GECAF : a generic and extensible framework for developing context-aware smart environments

Sabagh, A


A Sabagh


A Al-Yasiri


The new pervasive and context-aware computing models have resulted in the
development of modern environments which are responsive to the changing needs of
the people who live, work or socialise in them. These are called smart envirnments
and they employ high degree of intelligence to consume and process information in
order to provide services to users in accordance with their current needs. To achieve
this level of intelligence, such environments collect, store, represent and interpret a
vast amount of information which describes the current context of their users. Since
context-aware systems differ in the way they interact with users and interpret the
context of their entities and the actions they need to take, each individual system is
developed in its own way with no common architecture. This fact makes the
development of every context aware system a challenge. To address this issue, a new
and generic framework has been developed which is based on the Pipe-and-Filter
software architectural style, and can be applied to many systems. This framework uses
a number of independent components that represent the usual functions of any
context-aware system. These components can be configured in different arrangements
to suit the various systems' requirements. The framework and architecture use a
model to represent raw context information as a function of context primitives,
referred to as Who, When, Where, What and How (4W1H). Historical context
information is also defined and added to the model to predict some actions in the
system. The framework uses XML code to represent the model and describes the
sequence in which context information is being processed by the architecture's
components (or filters). Moreover, a mechanism for describing interpretation rules for
the purpose of context reasoning is proposed and implemented. A set of guidelines is
provided for both the deployment and rule languages to help application developers in
constructing and customising their own systems using various components of the new
framework. To test and demonstrate the functionality of the generic architecture, a
smart classroom environment has been adopted as a case study. An evaluation of the
new framework has also been conducted using two methods: quantitative and case
study driven evaluation. The quantitative method used information obtained from
reviewing the literature which is then analysed and compared with the new framework
in order to verify the completeness of the framework's components for different
xiisituations. On the other hand, in the case study method the new framework has been
applied in the implementation of different scenarios of well known systems. This
method is used for verifying the applicability and generic nature of the framework. As
an outcome, the framework is proven to be extensible with high degree of reusability
and adaptability, and can be used to develop various context-aware systems.


Sabagh, A. GECAF : a generic and extensible framework for developing context-aware smart environments. (Thesis). Salford : University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2012
Publicly Available Date Oct 3, 2012
Award Date Jan 1, 2011


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