Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 4–7 | Cite as

Understanding and Using Context

  • Anind K. Dey
Original Article


Context is a poorly used source of information in our computing environments. As a result, we have an impoverished understanding of what context is and how it can be used. In this paper, we provide an operational definition of context and discuss the different ways in which context can be used by context-aware applications. We also present the Context Toolkit, an architecture that supports the building of these context-aware applications. We discuss the features and abstractions in the toolkit that make the task of building applications easier. Finally, we introduce a new abstraction, a situation which we believe will provide additional support to application designers.

Key words: Application support – Context – Context-awareness – Situation-awareness 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anind K. Dey
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Computing & GVU Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USAUS

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