Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 781–797 | Cite as

Design and validation of a light inference system to support embedded context reasoning

  • Josué Iglesias
  • Ana M. Bernardos
  • Paula Tarrío
  • José R. Casar
  • Henar Martín
Original Article


Embedded context management in resource-constrained devices (e.g. mobile phones, autonomous sensors or smart objects) imposes special requirements in terms of lightness for data modelling and reasoning. In this paper, we explore the state-of-the-art on data representation and reasoning tools for embedded mobile reasoning and propose a light inference system (LIS) aiming at simplifying embedded inference processes offering a set of functionalities to avoid redundancy in context management operations. The system is part of a service-oriented mobile software framework, conceived to facilitate the creation of context-aware applications—it decouples sensor data acquisition and context processing from the application logic. LIS, composed of several modules, encapsulates existing lightweight tools for ontology data management and rule-based reasoning, and it is ready to run on Java-enabled handheld devices. Data management and reasoning processes are designed to handle a general ontology that enables communication among framework components. Both the applications running on top of the framework and the framework components themselves can configure the rule and query sets in order to retrieve the information they need from LIS. In order to test LIS features in a real application scenario, an ‘Activity Monitor’ has been designed and implemented: a personal health-persuasive application that provides feedback on the user’s lifestyle, combining data from physical and virtual sensors. In this case of use, LIS is used to timely evaluate the user’s activity level, to decide on the convenience of triggering notifications and to determine the best interface or channel to deliver these context-aware alerts.


Context-aware application Data modelling Light ontology management Embedded reasoning Service-oriented architectures Activity inference 



This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the European Fund for Regional Development under grant TSI020301-2008-2, the Ministry for Science and Innovation under grant TIN2008-06742-C02-01 and the Government of Madrid under grant S2009/TIC-1485. The authors also acknowledge enriching discussions with Marcos Sacristán and Alejandro Álvarez of the PIRAmIDE project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josué Iglesias
    • 1
  • Ana M. Bernardos
    • 1
  • Paula Tarrío
    • 1
  • José R. Casar
    • 1
  • Henar Martín
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain

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