Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 409–432 | Cite as

Adaptive interaction support in ambient-aware environments based on quality of context information

  • M. Anwar HossainEmail author
  • Ali Asghar Nazari Shirehjini
  • Abdullah S. Alghamdi
  • Abdulmotaleb El Saddik


Ambient-aware environments are technologically augmented with myriad sensors, devices and other emerging services in order to support users. However, users find it complex in interacting with such environments due to the presence of numerous devices and services. In this situation, providing context-aware implicit or automatic interaction support may help reducing the cognitive load of the users and facilitate easy access of the available devices and services. However, due to the imprecision in context information, implicit interactions performed by the environment often leads to mis-automation. The result of such impaired implicitness causes distrust and dissatisfaction to the user. In order to address this issue, we propose a system that considers quality of information to dynamically adjust the level of implicit interaction and allows a system to operate in different modes such as full-automation, action suggestion, simple notification, or null action. We conduct experiment in a smart home scenario in order to elicit users’ acceptance and trust regarding the proposed system. Our experiment shows that dynamic and alternative mode of interaction not only increases the satisfaction of users but also helps to avoid distrust in automated actions carried out by the environment under varying contexts.


Human environment interaction Ambient-aware environment Quality of context information Media services User satisfaction Trust 



The authors extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this work through the research group project No RGP-VPP-049.


  1. 1.
    Aarts E (2004) Ambient intelligence: a multimedia perspective. IEEE Multimed 11(1):12–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aarts E, de Ruyter B (2009) New research perspectives on ambient intelligence. J Intell Smart Environ 1(1):5–14Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Allen J, Guinn C, Horvtz E (1999) Mixed-initiative interaction. IEEE Intell Syst Their Appl 14(5):14–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barkhuus L, Dey A (2003) Is context-aware computing taking control away from the user? three levels of interactivity examined. In: Proceedings of the UbiComp conference. LNCS 2864, pp 149–156Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brumitt B, Meyers B, Krumm J, Kern A, Shafer S (2000) Easyliving: technologies for intelligent environments. In: Proceedings of the second international symposium on handheld and ubiquitous computing, pp 12–29Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Buchholz T, Küpper A, Schiffers M (2003) Quality of context: what it is and why we need it. In: Workshop of the HP OpenView University Association (HPOVUA). Geneva, pp 11–18Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cook F, Youngblood M, Heierman III EO, Gopalratnam K, Rao S, Litvin A, Khawaja F (2003) Mavhome: an agent-based smart home. In: Proceedings of the first IEEE international conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom 2003), pp 521–524Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Damián-Reyes P, Favela J, Contreras-Castillo J (2011) Uncertainty management in context-aware applications: increasing usability and user trust. Wirel Pers Commun 56:37–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    de Vries P, Midden C, Bouwhuis D (2003) The effects of errors on system trust, self-confidence, and the allocation of control in route planning. Int J Human-Comput Stud 58:719–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dey A (2001) Understanding and using context. Pers Ubiquit Comput 5(1):4–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dey A, Newberger A (2009) Support for context-aware intelligibility and control. In: CHI ’09: proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, pp 859–868Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dey AK, Mankoff J (2005) Designing mediation for context-aware applications. ACM Trans Comput-Hum Interact 12(1):53–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Encarnação JL (2007) HEI!—the human environment interaction. In: Human interface and the management of information. Methods, techniques and tools in information design. Springer, Berlin, pp 623–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Endsley M (1996) Automation and human performance—theory and application, chap. automation and situation awareness. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey, USA, pp 163–181Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Helal S, Mann W, El-Zabadani H, King J, Kaddoura Y, Jansen E (2005) The gator tech smart house: a programmable pervasive space. Computer 38(3):50–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Horvitz E (1999) Principles of mixed-initiative user interfaces. In: CHI ’99: proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, pp 159–166Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hossain MA (2011) A framework for adaptive interaction support based on quality of context information. In: IEEE ICME workshop on Ambient Interactive Multimedia Environment (AIME), pp 1–6Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hossain MA, Atrey PK, El Saddik A (2011) Modeling and assessing quality of information in multi-sensor multimedia monitoring systems. ACM Trans Multimedia Comput Commun Appl 7(1):1–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hossain MA, Parra J, Atrey PK, El Saddik A (2009) A framework for human-centered provisioning of ambient media services. Multimed Tools Appl 44(3):407–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jian J, Bisantz A, Drury C (2005) Foundations for an empirically determined scale of trust in automated systems. Int J Cogn Ergon 4(1):53–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kidd CD, Orr R, Abowd GD, Atkeson CG, Essa IA, MacIntyre B, Mynatt E, Starner TE, Newstetter W (1999) The aware home: a living laboratory for ubiquitous computing research. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international workshop on Cooperative Buildings, vol 1670. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, pp 190–197Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lim BY, Dey AK (2011) Investigating intelligibility for uncertain context-aware applications. In: UbiComp, pp 415–424Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Manzoor A, Truong H, Dustdar S (2009) Using quality of context to resolve conflicts in context-aware systems. In: Rotherman K et al (eds) 1st international workshop on Quality of Context (QuaCon), vol. LNCS 5786. Springer, Stuttgart, pp 144–155Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nakamura EF, Loureiro AAF, Frery AC (2007) Information fusion for wireless sensor networks: methods, models, and classifications. ACM Comput Surv 39(3):9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Parasuraman R, Sheridan T, Wickens C (2000) A model for types and levels of human interaction with automation. IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern Part A Syst Humans 30:286–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Qin W, Zhang D, Shi Y, Du K (2008) Combining user profiles and situation contexts for spontaneous service provision in smart assistive environments. In: 5th international conference on ubiquitous intelligence and computing. Oslo, Norway, pp 187–200Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ranganathan A, Al-Muhtadi J, Campbell R (2004) Reasoning about uncertain contexts in pervasive computing environments. IEEE Pervasive Computing 3(2):62–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schmidt A (2000) Implicit human computer interaction through context. Pers Ubiquit Comput 4(2):191–199Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schmidt A, Beigl M, Gellersen HW (1999) There is more to context than location. Comput Graph 23(6):893–901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Shafer SAN, Brumitt B, Cadiz JJ (2001) Interaction issues in context-aware intelligent environments. Hum-Comput Interact 16(2):363–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sheikh K, Wegdam M, van Sinderen M (2008) Quality-of-context and its use for protecting privacy in context aware systems. J Softw 3(3):83–93Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sheridan T (2002) Humans and automation: system design and research issues. Wiley, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Shirehjini AAN (2004) A novel interaction metaphor for personal environment control: direct manipulation of physical environment based on 3D visualization. Comput Graph 28:667–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Shirehjini AAN (2008) Interaktion in ambient intelligence—konzeption eines intuitiven assistenten zur ganzheitlichen und konfliktfreien interaktion in adaptiven umgebungen. PhD thesis, Technischen Universität DarmstadtGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Spiekermann S (2008) User control in ubiquitous computing: design alternatives and user acceptance. Shaker VerlagGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Villar N, Kortuem G, Laerhoven KV, Schmidt A (2005) The pendle: a wearable mediator for mixed initiative environment. In: The IEE international workshop on intelligent environments (IE 05). University of Essex, Colchester, UK, pp 173–181Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    X10 (industry standard) (2009) Accessed 20 Feb 2011
  38. 38.
    Yu Z, Zhou X, Zhang D, Chin C, Wang X, Men J (2006) Supporting context-aware media recommendations for smart phones. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5(3):68–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Zimmer T (2006) QoC: quality of context—improving the performance of context-aware applications. In: Advances in pervasive computing. Dublin, Ireland, pp 209–214Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Anwar Hossain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ali Asghar Nazari Shirehjini
    • 2
  • Abdullah S. Alghamdi
    • 1
  • Abdulmotaleb El Saddik
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS)King Saud UniversityRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Distributed and Collaborative Virtual Environments Research Laboratory (DISCOVER)University of OttawaOntarioCanada
  3. 3.Multimedia Communications Research Laboratory (MCRLab)University of OttawaOntarioCanada

Personalised recommendations